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Grambling cancels game

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Grambling State's game against Jackson State on Saturday was canceled after the team boycotted practice this week and failed to show up for the bus trip on Friday, the school announced.

The players were not present for their scheduled Friday afternoon departure to Jackson, Miss. As a result, Grambling will forfeit the game, which was scheduled to be Jackson State's homecoming, and might face a fine from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

University president Frank Pogue and athletic director Aaron James said at a news conference on Friday morning that they expected the game to take place. But school spokesman Wesley Peterson announced the cancellation just after 6 p.m.

Trouble has been brewing since Tuesday when the players met with Grambling officials to voice their displeasure about the program, particularly interim coach George Ragsdale. He replaced Doug Williams in September after the team's 0-2 start this season.

The Tigers are now 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the SWAC. They have lost 11 straight games.

Contacted Friday by USA Today, Williams said, "I'm proud of them boys. They took a stance."

The school relieved Ragsdale of his duties on Thursday and promoted defensive coordinator Dennis "Dirt" Winston to take his place. Winston played linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.

The players failed to show up for an afternoon practice on Wednesday and there was no practice on Thursday.

"I don't see the players as being in control," Pogue said. " I have never lost control of an institution."

Ragsdale, who started the season as running backs coach, was to be reassigned in the athletic department, school spokesman Will Sutton said Thursday.
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