What Grambling State's Football Strike is About

By DJ Byrnes on October 18, 2013 at 3:13p
The Grambling State Tigers

From Sports Illustrated:

Covering the concrete floor are large interlocking rubber tiles. They are light gray now but were almost certainly a different shade when they were installed years ago. Many of them curl at the edges or have corners missing, hazards that can cause an unsuspecting player to trip. In some areas, entire tiles are gone, creating a perilous sort of hopscotch. Imagine hoisting 300 pounds while having to watch your step. In a sport where injuries are common enough, the last thing players need are physical hazards in their own weight room. That is how Grambling football players train.

... Grambling now buses to games as far away as Kansas City and Indianapolis, 650 and 750 miles away from campus, respectively. For the latter of those trips, the team left campus at 6 p.m. on a Thursday night and did not arrive in Indianapolis until 9 a.m. on Friday. Not surprisingly, the players appeared unprepared and listless in a 48-0 loss to Alcorn State. "It does something to your body, being on the bus that long," Smith says. "We were kinda upset other team got a chance to fly there. It wasn't fair."

... Ask school officials why the football team and other programs are struggling and they quickly shift attention from personality conflicts and staffing decisions to the budget. Since 2007-08, overall state funding for Grambling has gone from $31.6 million to $13.8 million. The school has attempted to bridge that gap by increasing tuition, but it has fallen short, and cuts have been made across the board. Approximately 127 staff members have been laid off since 2008 and furloughs are common. Professors have also been asked to teach an extra class each year for free. Generally, the school has "cut to the bone," says Leon Sanders, Grambling's vice president for finance.

The whole article is a pretty fair/fascinating look into the disarray that is not only Grambling football, but apparently Grambling anything athletic. It's also compounded by the fact Eddie Robinson isn't walking through that door.

UPDATE (3:41 PM): 



Comments Show All Comments

AngryWoody's picture

Around where I live, the high school teams recycle college team logos for their sports teams so that they can save money.
Here is Grambling State's logo. Look familiar?

I remember from last year that their basketball team was the only team to not win a single game. 0-28.

Our Honor Defend!

Squirrel Master's picture

sad state of affairs. I count my blessings that our favorite team doesn't have to worry about this.
It will be a shame if the program gets shutdown and there is no more Grambling football. Heck, the way this blurb sounds, the whole school might go under. I would so hate to see that. Despite what the masses think, good institutions are too few and seeing a University go through this is awful.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

MotownBuck's picture

Agreed. That is a great institution and a few of the best and brightest folks I've worked with have come from there.

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

Idaho Helga's picture

Grambling had a lot of class.  A 750 mile bus ride is just silly.  I don't blame the football team at all.  We all can imagine the paychecks the football program has brought in for them, so I'm thinking an accounting firm needs to be brought in and find out WTF is going on.   I'll bet we find out somebody up high is stealing.

buckifishr's picture

The whole situation sounds terrible.  I imagine a lot of universities are facing similiar financial hardships with decreased state funding. 
Glad our athletic department generates profits and is able to help by sending funds to the university.

1MechEng's picture

Poor Eddie Robinson has to be spinning at about 10,000 rpm in his grave right now ...

Michael Citro's picture

I'm sure they could get on Alabama's or LSU's non-con schedule and make a quick million to take their beating if they tried.

Sean N's picture

I guess we assume that Dohrmann found no wrongdoing when it comes to raffles at Grambling.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Sounds like the owner is trying to move the team to Miami!!!

Theres nothing left to do BUT WIN THE WHOLE F@CK!NG THING!

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

2nd or 3rd best baseball movie of all time.

luckynewman13's picture

You mean the 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd best baseball movies of all time

Scott's picture

Hey you can't use sarcasm font on truth!

Class of 2008

brband64's picture

Wasn't Grambling the original choice of Gene Smith to fill the schedule slot eventually taken by FAMU?  If so, it would seem Smith may have been trying to help the Grambling program with a cash infusion for making the trip here.

"Maybe the Big Ten is not that bad. Maybe it's pretty damn good.'' ~ Urban Meyer

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Smith has indeed stated he first tried to work out a deal with Grambling. I doubt he was doing it specifically to help out their athletic department but it is interesting to think where they would be right now if they had a pay day game with Ohio State earlier in the season.

N8thegr8's picture

Maybe I am in the minority here but... You mean to tell me the kids decide to go there to play football and are completely oblivious to how things are? Wouldn't they have known before committing there that the state of things were pretty dire? That bus was the way to travel? That the work out facility was pretty tragic? I would venture to say they did know. And if that is the case then I think they are being selfish and juvenile and not helping the reputation of their school whatsoever by throwing tantrums and making comments that "it's not fair." On the other hand, if the athletic dept somehow sold them on the program being drastically different then what it is, then shame on the school. 

"Play for Ohio State or get beat by Ohio State. That simple." - Kirk Barton 

JKH1232's picture

I'm willing to bet recruits were given the usual sort of "I know it looks bad now, but we're getting all of this redone very soon" stuff.  I think a lot of this is about promises being made, and not being kept as regards to facilities, coaches, travel, etc., etc.  I mean, the kids they talk to don't sound like whiners- they're complaining about the coaches being overworked as much as anything.

4thandinches's picture

Maybe GS was the only school these players could play for? Maybe this was the only scholarship for a lot of these players so they could attend school. The matter of the fact is that their safety is not being taken care of. And that is a failure of the school. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

teddyballgame's picture

Since 2007-08, overall state funding for Grambling has gone from $31.6 million to $13.8 million.

Why is that?

sloopy88's picture

I don't know for sure about Grambling, but that's happened to almost every state-supported school in Ohio I know of in recent years, so I imagine it's part of the same wave of cuts.  States have been cutting budgets to save money, and universities have all been raising tuition or fundraising to make up the gap. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Sucky situation down there.  Hopefully they can get a coach that doesn't treat them like shit.  That's the first step.  Not sure what they can do about the financial situation, though.

Class of 2010.

ATXbucknut's picture

Bobby Jindal better do something about that funding issue.

texasbuckeye's picture

If the state had taken the money being offered from the federal Gov't they wouldn't be so far in the hole.  Quit playing politics and get this state school some help.  Hope they have some NFL alumni that can help out with that weight room, it looks like a high school one.

mb5599's picture

Grambling better squash this now. Nobody is holding a gun to their heads and making them play football or attend the university.  I would tell them that if they don't attend Monday's practice, they are off the team and their scholarship is pulled. I would try to field a team of walk ons and continue the season.  There is no excuse for the players actions.  Playing football is a privilage, not a right. Let them pay for school on their own dime. If the players are good enough, they can transfer and sit out a year.  That way they can "fly" to away games.  My hunch is these players were not good enough to get a position at most other universities. Now they are blowing their last shot at playing football.  Not smart. 

Big B