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Grambling players end boycott, media attention continues - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Grambling players end boycott, national media attention continues

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GRAMBLING, La. -

Grambling State University football players returned to the practice field Monday, but the fallout from their six-day protest may have long lasting results with a $20,000 fine on the line for forfeiting Saturday's game against Jackson State University.

The G-men cited poor facility conditions, long bus trips, and the firing of head coach Doug Williams among their frustrations with university leadership.

"While it's horrible, good things can come from bad things [and] bad experiences," said GSU President Dr. Frank Pogue. "The good thing is that I'm able to talk about with the world about our financial status."

The player's protest has garnered national attention with stories on ESPN, SI.com, and other mass media outlets.

Pogue said the university received hundreds of calls from people looking to donate to the program as a result of the player strike.

Christopher Dennis played in the marching band before graduating in 2009. He says he's proud of the players for taking a stand.

"The young football athletes at Grambling State University are standing for what they feel is right," Dennis said. "Isn't that what we teach? No matter what they do or how they do it, I'll remain a proud alumnus.

Athletes leaked photos of mildews walls, moldy uniforms, broken weightlifting equipment and unfinished floors to prove their claims of substandard facilities.

For some former students, the news about funding issues is not surprising.

"We've been historically under-funded since our existence in 1901 compared to other ULS member institutions," says former student Beverly Thomas. "However, we've been able to overcome the many challenges we've faced since that time and I see no reason why we will not overcome this particular challenge. This problem isn't just an alumni problem. It is a state problem too. There is a lot both sides need to do and I think we will get it done when it is all said and done.

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