Monday, March 24, 2014

J-State Pushes Mississippi AG to Look Into Legal Action Against Grambling and/or SWAC Over Financial Losses From 2013 Football Forfeit, Says Clarion Ledger

An empty Jackson Memorial Stadium the weekend Jackson State was to have hosted Grambling last fall.  Photo by Matt Harris/Jackson Advocate

The game that never was decided on the field could be decided in the courts.

According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger newspaper, officials with Jackson State University have been pushing the Mississippi Attorney General's office to look into whether the school is owed an estimated $600,000 from either Grambling State University and/or the Southwestern Athletic Conference after Grambling football players boycotted the game between the two schools last fall.

Grambling players skipped a week of practice and the game in protest of their school over having to make double-digit hour bus trips for games, poorly maintained facilities, and even unclean uniforms. Players said they even had to provide their own energy drinks.

The problem for Jackson State is the game that was skipped was their homecoming game, with an estimated $600,000 expected to flow into the school's coffers that weekend.  Instead, the game was canceled.

Jackson State paid more than $457,000 in ticket refunds that weekend alone.  They also said they missed out on more than $60,000 in parking fees, nearly $26,000 in concessions, and along with other losses.  The SWAC forced Grambling to pay Jackson State $50,000 and play their annual game in Jackson for three consecutive seasons.

 Not enough, say Jackson State officials.

“This is greatly impacting our cash flow,” said Michael Thomas, JSU’s vice president of finance, according to the Clarion-Ledger's story. “(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.”

An open records request by the Clarion-Ledger revealed that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood will review the case after Jackson State's attempts for more for five months to get them to do something about the situation.

Go to to read the entire Clarion Ledger story on the issue.