The fallout from October’s boycott staged by the Grambling State football team continued with news that Jackson State is exploring taking legal action against the SWAC and Grambling, according to reports.

A lengthy article published by The Clarion-Ledger lays out  the details regarding JSU’s position and some of the financial losses it took following the Oct. 18 forfeit.

How it unfolded

Grambling players, incensed over the firing of head coach Doug Williams, their perceived lack of respect from university officials, long bus rides to games as far away as Indianapolis and poor facilities, banded together and decided not to play against Jackson State, resulting in the forfeit.

The record books would reflect that JSU beat Grambling by a 1-0 score.

The losses

Nov. 1, JSU projects it lost between $540,000 and $600,000 because of the forfeit, according to the article. Ticket refunds accounted for approximately $475,000.

The reaction

SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp released a statement on Nov. 8 outlining penalties against Grambling. The school would pay Jackson State $50,000 and play JSU in Jackson each of the next three seasons.

On Oct, 22, JSU spokesman Eric Stringfellow released a statement chronicling the disappointment over the cancellation of the school’s homecoming game.

“The JSU family was damaged,” Stringfellow said. “Our Homecoming game draws tens of thousands of fans. The university intends to use litigation to be made whole for our direct and indirect financial losses.

We have a fiduciary responsibility to Mississippi taxpayers and the JSU community to mitigate our ongoing and substantial losses.  Jackson State plans to pursue litigation against Grambling State and others.”

The quotes

“This is greatly impacting our cash flow. (The Institutions of Higher Learning) requires a balanced budget each year, which JSU has had for a few years now. For the first time in years, JSU is requesting from IHL an exception to this policy.” – Michael Thomas, JSU’s vice president of finance.

“I’m sure the arrangement determined by the conference between JSU and Grambling will begin to erase last fall’s disappointment. No, it’s not going to make it go away. But we’re looking forward to playing JSU on the gridiron the next three years. And we’re looking forward to kicking some butts.” – GSU spokesman Will Sutton.


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