Is Grambling State's Administration to Blame?

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Mark F. Gray writes in a piece at the Shadow League that heads should roll at the Louisiana university's highest levels because of failures that culminated in Saturday's forfeited football game against Jackson State.

Traditionally, Grambling has been to HBCU football what Notre Dame is to major college football. They were nationally prominent and a brand that resonated with the masses. Under Eddie Robinson, the "G-Men" were the standard by which all other HBCU programs were judged. 

But thanks to a rogue president, an incompetent athletic administration, and a state government that has reduced its endowment to a third of what it was, Grambling's football program has now reached critical mass. Three coaches in one season, 17 consecutive losses since 2011, and the embarrassment of forfeiting Jackson State's homecoming, pale in comparison to the institutional abuse of the players, which has finally boiled over  …

But what President, Frank Pogue and Athletic Director, Aaron James allowed to transpire under their watch was simple neglect. Pogue and James are now, like the Frank Lucas and Nino Brown of Grambling. They whacked Coach Doug Williams on September 11, capturing national attention, in a territorial power struggle that would have made for a great episode of The Wire. Williams’ crime was circumventing the administration in his successful effort to fund new flooring for the weight room. The administration’s attempts to subvert Williams gave the players no choice but to stage a boycott to expose the working conditions at Grambling State. 

The dysfunctional duo of Pogue and James has done volumes of damage, tarnishing Grambling's legacy that Coach Eddie Robinson and Williams polished, putting the school on a national stage for the last half century. They should be fired immediately, Williams should be reinstated, and the Grambling State football team should finally have their concerns addressed. Because by failing to supply their student-athletes with a safe environment, the foundation that HBCU's were built on has been violated.


Read Mark F. Gray's entire piece at the Shadow League. 

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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