Thanks to the SWAC, Jackson State is still undefeated this conference season. The conference decided that, since Grambling State forfeited the game over the weekend, the Tigers could claim it as a victory.
I understand the Grambling players being upset about mold and mildew in their training facility. It is dangerous and should be cleaned up by the university on the double quick.
To a certain extent, I can also understand them being mad about paying for their own Gatorade and the supplement Muscle Milk. I also understand being upset about having to drink water from hoses in the hot southern heat.
But Grambling State players causing a stir over taking bus trips is a bit of a stretch for me. A lot of schools send players on bus trips instead of flying to save money.
Barring abuse from interim coach George Ragsdale, players have no reason not to support him. I understand that Grambling firing Doug Williams is like Ole Miss firing Archie Manning, but coaches get fired midseason all the time.
The university could have handled Williams' firing better, or given him more time, but that is not a reason to boycott practice. The players will now have to play under a third coach this season: Dirt Winston, which the school named interim coach last week.
The idea that 60 or 70 football players could try to hold the university hostage and demand the president step down is an even bigger stretch. The football team shouldn't dictate terms to the entire university.
Grambling State is the same university that great football coach Eddie Robinson once led. I'm sure Robinson would be sad to see the state of the Grambling football program after this past week.
While Jackson State is busy reaching its goal of an undefeated conference season and gearing up to play in the SWAC Championship Game, it also might be time for the school to take a look at the SWAC. Historically, JSU has been good for the SWAC, and the SWAC has been good for JSU, but is that still the case?
Perhaps Jackson State should take a look around the conference to see if Grambling's problems were just an exception or about to become the rule? Is it time for JSU to leave the SWAC in search of a more stable conference?
If JSU assesses the SWAC and deecides everything is not fine and dandy, the school should try to make a move as early as possible. No one wants to be the last one left on the Titanic.
Jackson State should put out feelers to other FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) conferences or look into moving up the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) level. The athletic arms race isn't going to end anytime soon, and no one wants to see JSU left out in the cold.