Grambling Protest Exposes Disrespect for Blacks

Upset about poor conditions and the firing of a legendary coach, the Grambling State University football team last Friday refused to board a bus for Jackson, Mississippi, to play Jackson State.

The NCAA has done nothing to help Grambling and other black colleges make money from other sources.

The revolt by the 0-7 Tigers is exposing an ugly reality of college athletics. The NCAA and corporate sponsors do everything possible to make sure big-league schools such as the University of Alabama, Ohio State University, and Notre Dame reap the rewards of multibillion-dollar bowl games. But storied black colleges such as Grambling, Howard University, and Florida A&M have to grovel for the leftover crumbs.

Black colleges are shut out of the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision, so these institutions never have a shot at the big paydays that come from playing in the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, and Rose bowls. Heck, black colleges don't even get to play in lower-tier bowls that would allow the schools to generate revenue to help offset budget cuts that are killing their athletic programs.

Grambling's share of funding from the State of Louisiana has been slashed more than 50 percent in the past eight years. Last year, the university had to cut $1.19 million from the athletic department. Yet the NCAA has done nothing to help Grambling and other black colleges make money from other sources. Instead, the sanctioning body treats these schools like second-class institutions, relegating their prime-time games to Wednesday nights, when no one is watching football.

At Grambling State, things have gotten so bad that players must resort to riding buses to away games, sometimes traveling more than 1,000 miles. In a letter obtained by ESPN, players complained they've had to pay for Gatorade and Muscle Milk out of their own pockets. They've also had to deal with mold and mildew growing on their football equipment and in their workout facilities.

The last straw was the school's firing of head coach Doug Williams, a Hall of Famer who was the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl and whose son is the team's quarterback. The players refused to practice, forcing school administrators to cancel the game in Jackson this past weekend. Let's hope their protest prompts the NCAA to show black colleges some respect.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

 
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4 comments
choho3141
choho3141

Yeah not a racial issue, but I'm not surprised because this is kind of your m.o. Honestly, I'm wondering why we're shoveling money into hbcus anymore anyways

schuup
schuup

You are completely ignorant of the subject matter. Trying to compare Alabama and SEC schools to SWAC? Are you retarded? Its not about conference its about budgets... Schools on the financial level of the SWAC ride busses. There might be times when they fly... but mostly they ride busses. I have worked in college athletics for 7 years... so I might know what Im talking about. If someone went to Grambling thinking they were going to be flying everywhere they were lied to.

schuup
schuup

You are completely ignorant of the subject matter. Trying to compare Alabama and SEC schools to SWAC? Are you retarded? Its not about conference its about budgets... Schools on the financial level of the SWAC ride busses. There might be times when they fly... but mostly they ride busses. I have worked in college athletics for 7 years... so I might know what Im talking about. If someone went to Grambling thinking they were going to be flying everywhere they were lied to.

troy143
troy143

Maybe these HBCU's should focus take this as a signal to focus on education rather than football.  As far as Black males are concerned, it should be obvious which would serve us more.

Luther given you position on Resorts World (2010 article), I think you can see the similarities.

 
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