When Grambling decided not to play at Jackson State’s homecoming on Oct. 19, its conference, the Southwestern Athletic Conference, was not pleased. Wednesday, the SWAC charged Grambling $50,000 and awarded Jackson State three consecutive home games in the series, but Grambling will appeal these penalties according to the Shreveport Times.
Aaron James, Grambling’s athletic director, said the school expected a penalty but James deemed them “excessive.”
“We’ve been working with our conference and our friends at Jackson State, so we knew this was coming. It’s been a friendly and business-like series of conversations and exchanges, and while we appreciate the desire and intent, we disagree with this action and we have appealed,” James said in a statement.
SWAC commissioner Duer Sharp said the fine and payment to Jackson State “is the right thing to do from a conference standpoint.”
Jackson State filed a lawsuit against Grambling due to loss of revenue from the forfeited game.
James calculated the penalty’s total cost to be $305,000, which includes the $50,000 fine plus three trips to Jackson State. Grambling normally attracts large crowds for Jackson State home games, so if the penalties stand, the school will see increased financial strain.
The Tigers have only played four games at home in each of the last two years.
“On our odd years, revenue is down,” James said. “Jackson (State) comes here and Alcorn (State) comes here and they bring the fans. On a year like this year, none of them came here.”
The Grambling players decided to boycott the Jackson State game due to their unhappiness with the university’s facilities, transportation and the dismissal of Coach Doug Williams.
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H/T Shreveport Times