In a statement Sunday night, the Southwestern Athletic Conference said it has yet to issue a fine to Grambling after its football team refused to travel for Saturday’s game against Jackson State, yielding a cancellation that the conference ruled a forfeit.
Grambling’s players did not attend practice Wednesday or Thursday, and the schools announced the cancellation Friday, a day before Saturday’s homecoming game in Jackson. Multiple reports indicated Grambling would have to pay the league a $20,000 fine in accordance with SWAC bylaws.
On Sunday, the SWAC said it is working with Grambling officials “to ensure that the appropriate actions are made. Any decision moving forward will be consistent and in accordance with the conference bylaws.”
“The ramifications of this unprecedented situation is covered in our bylaws and constitution,” Commissioner Duer Sharp said in the release. “Therefore, there should not be any confusion as it relates to how a boycotted game will be classified. ... The Grambling State situation affects the entire conference.”
Grambling players cited several concerns — chief among them challenging travel arrangements and unsatisfactory facilities — for their refusal to practice and play this past week.
The team, which is 0-8 after Saturday’s forfeit, is on its third coach of the season. Grambling legend Doug Williams was fired after back-to-back losses to open the season; he was replaced by interim coach George Ragsdale, who in turn was replaced by former Saints player Dennis “Dirt” Winston on Thursday.
Grambling is scheduled to host Texas Southern on Saturday.