The State Fair Classic football game between Grambling and Prairie View A&M, played annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, could potentially feature Prairie View and a team other than Grambling in 2015 due to a scheduling conflict proposed by the SWAC.
The game, which has featured the two conference foes spanning four decades, has been played the first Saturday in October the past three seasons.
But according to the SWAC’s football conference schedule for 2015, Grambling and Prairie View are to play on Sept. 26 (the last Saturday in September); with Grambling at Jackson State the following week on Oct. 3. Prairie View is open for the Oct. 3 date.
Al Wash, CEO of ALW Entertainment, the firm that promotes the State Fair Classic, revealed in a recent phone conversation that Grambling could miss out on a payday as high as $300,000 if adjustments can’t be made for the school to participate in the game. The Cotton Bowl stadium, according to Wash, will not be available on the Sept. 26 date because the State Fair of Texas has reserved that date for a game that will feature two other college teams. Last season Louisiana Tech and Army headlined the inaugural Heart of Dallas Kickoff Classic at the Cotton Bowl the Saturday before the State Fair Classic.
Wash is hoping that Grambling athletic director Aaron James, along with Prairie View athletics director Ashley Robinson, can work something out with commissioner Duer Sharp and Jackson State athletics director Vivian Fuller.
“I’m trying to work with Jackson [State] to see if their schedule will permit where we can move some games around,” said James in a phone conversation on Tuesday. “We’re trying to work with all of our options.”
Despite a conference mandate that forces Grambling to play at Jackson State though the 2016 season, stemming from a GSU football team boycott that resulted in the forfeiture of a Jackson State homecoming football game, James doesn’t think working with Fuller will be a problem; even though the options are limited.
“Dr.Fuller and I have been talking about it and she said if it’s permissible anything she can do she’ll try to help,” James said.
It’s still not known why SWAC officials made the decision to change the GSU/PV game date to late September in 2015 or if Sharp has offered any input to resolved the matter. The SWAC office has not responded to multiple requests for a comment.
UPDATED: 1/24 @ 10:39AM