Meridian Star

New Today

October 23, 2013

Grambling football dispute draws attention to cuts

BATON ROUGE —

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A nearly weeklong boycott by the Grambling State University's football team including forfeiting its game at Jackson State has made more people aware of the campus's financial struggles and drummed up interest from donors around the country, Grambling's president said Tuesday.

For its part, Jackson State said late Tuesday night that its losses over canceling its homecoming game Saturday could cost the school and the city millions and that it "plans to pursue litigation against Grambling State and others," which could cause Grambling even more headaches.

Grambling President Frank Pogue told the University of Louisiana System board that oversees the historically black college that "it's a rarity for any athletic team to come together to abandon their commitment to an institution by walking off the field. It's a very unique experience. But we're using this as an opportunity of learning, a teachable moment."

Pogue said he's used the national attention Grambling has received as a way to highlight campus academic and facility needs and that the complaints lodged by football players about inadequate facilities are symptomatic of larger financial troubles on campus.

The university, like all public colleges around Louisiana, has been hit with repeated budget cuts from the state since 2008. Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal have stripped $690 million in state funding from higher education, a 48 percent reduction. Tuition increases have only partially filled the gap.

Pogue said Grambling's state financing has been slashed 57 percent, and he said that fell on top of disparities in funding that already exist across the nation for historically black colleges and universities.

"If you want to be helpful to Grambling, write a check," he said.

Grambling's players staged the boycott — which is over now — because of many issues with university leaders, including the school's rundown facilities, long bus trips to road games and coaching changes. The players have returned to the field and are expected to play this weekend, but only after forcing the university to forfeit its game against Jackson State last Saturday.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Mississippi's unemployment rate rose to worst in the nation at 7.9 percent in June, as the state's economic recovery lags behind others. Gov. Phil Bryant, who has made economic development a central focus, acknowledged the poor figure but said Mississippi's economy has improved since he took office. Do you agree with Bryant's statement?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide