Jackson State to sue Grambling over canceled homecoming game

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

The ugly situation at Grambling State continues to get uglier.

The Tigers' SWAC rivals at Jackson State announced in a statement on the JSU website Tuesday that the school intends to "pursue litigation against Grambling State and others" after Grambling's players elected to boycott their game at Jackson State last Saturday, forcing a cancellation.

The game was Jackson State's homecoming, and though many of the school's scheduled activites went ahead as planned, the statement claims that "Jackson State University's and the city of Jackson's losses could be in the millions."

"Our Homecoming game draws tens of thousands of fans," it reads. "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 ... It would be irresponsible for JSU to fail to pursue some redress."

The statement also expresses displeasure with SWAC commissioner Duer Sharp, claiming that Sharp "did not return calls from our director of athletics the entire week."

How much financial "redress" JSU might obtain is a matter of some speculation, as massive cuts in state higher education funding have already deeply slashed the Grambling budget, leading to the poor condition of facilities (both within the athletic department and across campus) that helped spark the boycott in the first place.

The good news for Grambling is that players have reported back to practice and have pledged to finish the season. But as the lawsuit makes clear, the after-effects of the program's past week are likely to linger for a long, long time regardless.

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