NCAA: Grambling players refuse to travel to Jackson State for Saturday game
10-18-2013 06:03 PM
JACKSON, Miss. -- A Jackson State spokesman has announced that Saturday's game against Grambling has been canceled.
JSU spokesman Wesley Peterson told the Associated Press Friday that Grambling officials contacted Jackson State to inform the university of the decision.
Disgruntled Grambling players had refused to travel to Mississippi for the game. Grambling spokesman Will Sutton had said earlier in a text to the AP that there would be "no forfeit" and that Grambling officials were trying to determine the next step to take.
Apparently, nothing could be worked out so that the game could be played.
Southwestern Athletic Conference Commissioner Duer Sharp had said before the decision was made not to play that if Grambling does not show for Saturday's game, it will be forced to forfeit and the school will be fined.
"It's very disappointing," Sharp said. "But without knowing all the facts it's hard for me to make a judgment."
Friday's apparent player boycott was the latest in three days of upheaval for Grambling's proud program. Several media outlets have reported that players did not attend practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of issues with program and school leadership.
Grambling (0-7) has changed coaches twice in about two months. Doug Williams was fired two games into the season and replaced by George Ragsdale, who was reassigned Thursday and replaced by Dennis "Dirt" Winston.
The game is Jackson State's homecoming and could hurt the school financially. The Grambling-Jackson State matchup usually draws very well — an announced crowd of more than 21,000 attended the game in Jackson in 2011.