Grambling State players agree to finish season

By
Updated: October 21, 2013

Grambling, LA (SportsNetwork.com) – Grambling State’s football players, whose
university forfeited a conference game this past Saturday, have reportedly
agreed to end a six-day walkout and finish the season, beginning with a
practice Monday afternoon.

The Tigers players walked out of a meeting with administration following last
Tuesday’s practice and haven’t practiced or played since then, listing
greviences over the state of the winless football program. They forfeited a
scheduled Southwestern Athletic Conference game at Jackson State this past
Saturday.

The Shreveport Times reported Monday morning that senior defensive back Naquan
Smith said in a statement from the team that its members are ready to practice
again. Their recent complaints include the firing of head coach Doug Williams
in September, having to travel on what they considered to be excessively long
bus rides to some road games and having to train in what they consider to be
unhealthy, dangerous facilities.

Defensive coordinator Dennis “Dirt” Winston was named the team’s interim head
coach last week, following the firing of George Ragsdale, who replaced
Williams.

“As part of the athletic program at Grambling State University, the football
team took a stance on what we thought was right,” the players’ statement
said.
“We did not quit on our university. There are many problems that exist and if
no one says anything, nothing will come of our institution. We hope Coach
Eddie
Robinson and his legendary players can appreciate that we stood up for what we
thought was right.

“After coming into contact with different sources, we decided to reach out to
the one person we trusted, Coach Doug Williams, with our concerns. His main
statement to us was, ‘Go out there and play football.’ He also put us in
contact with Jim Bernhard out of Baton Rouge. A meeting was held with Mr.
Bernhard as well as Douglas Porter, Ezil Bibbs, Roy Jackson, Henry Dyer and
Howard Davis. The meeting confirmed him (Bernhard) as being committed with our
best intentions at heart and that he would ensure we had updated facilities,
but we had to agree to being back practicing Monday, October 21 and finish the
remainder of our season.

“Although we are going to continue our season, we have not forgotten the
situation and how we’ve gotten here. We would like to say thank you to Coach
Williams, the Legends and Mr. Jim Bernhard. Grambling has given us the
opportunity to be a part of its legacy and we are only looking to improve
conditions for the university and future student-athletes.”

Grambling has an 0-8 record. It finished 1-10 last year after winning the
Southwestern Athletic Conference championship under Williams in 2011.

The Tigers are scheduled to host Texas Southern in a SWAC game on Saturday.