Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The head coach whom Grambling State's
football players would prefer to be following today is one who has embraced
what he learned under the mentor of black college football's most storied
"They don't have to embrace me," the now-fired Doug Williams told The Sports
Network shortly after returning to his alma mater in 2011 for a second stint
as the Tigers' head coach. "I think it's important they embrace Grambling - the
legacy and the history of Grambling."
The history and legacy of Grambling State football, of course, centers around
the legendary Eddie Robinson, who spent 57 years leading the program and
devoting his life to the young people in it. He taught countless players,
including Williams, how to make the correct decisions.
At Grambling State, the wrong decision was made on Friday.
Coach Rob would have boarded one of the team busses that didn't leave the tiny
Louisiana campus for a scheduled Southwestern Athletic Conference game at
Jackson State Saturday night, which ended in a regrettable forfeit to cap the
most embarrassing week in school history. He would have realized that standing
up to the Grambling administration had its boundaries, and the majority of
Tigers players who decided they wouldn't travel to the game failed to realize
this wasn't just about them.
Coach Rob would have shown them another way.
Refusing to step onto the field Saturday night - albeit in a game on the road
and not at the beloved, though aging Robinson Stadium - was in essence a step
too far over the line by the Grambling players.
The players who refused to play - about three-quarters of the team - were not
honoring the responsibility given to them in the form of their scholarships.
They had a responsibility to their fellow student body, their opponent and
those who were set to attend the game (both Grambling and Jackson State fans)
in addition to themselves. They should have represented the school on the field
and continued to use dialogue off it to work toward a solution.
Some will say the Grambling program hasn't been the same this season since the
beloved, outspoken Williams, who has been the face of the Tigers since he
first succeeded Robinson in 1998 and later returned to what he considered to be
"home," was fired after two losses to open this season, but the Tigers haven't
been the same for a long time.
Clearly, funding has dried up for Louisiana state schools and Grambling's
entire athletic program has fallen to unsightly depths. It seems honorable
that the football team rose up to the school's struggling administration,
voicing concern over the firing of Williams but more from what they say are
subpar and unhealthy training facilities and untenable road trips by bus.
But there are consequences to actions, and some members of this group of
players may not be part of the future as university officials work toward a
resolution. And, make no mistake, with a national TV date ahead next month via
the Bayou Classic, the school will find a solution and not cancel the
remaining four games (whether NBC will want to keep televising Grambling in
future years is another story).
Winless Grambling has been through the popular Williams and the unpopular
George Ragsdale as head coaches this season, and now will be under the lead of
Dennis "Dirt" Winston. If and when the school goes out to find a new leader
for its football program - maybe he's already here with Winston - it figures to
be hard-pressed to keep some of these players on scholarship, which, as we
sadly know, are renewed on an annual basis and not guaranteed for four or five
As Grambling regroups and tries to emerge from this dark period, the
university needs great change, from administration to coaches to, sadly,
players who feel they are bigger than the game.
Somewhere along the line they ignored some of Robinson's ideals. Grambling
football will never be the same.
ANOTHER DISASTROUS SITUATION
Speaking of programs needing change, it seems time for Appalachian State to
work out a mutual parting with first-year head coach Scott Satterfield.
After Saturday's 27-10 loss at Furman, the Mountaineers have an unfathomable
1-6 record. They are in the midst of their first four-game losing streak since
1993, which was when they last had a losing season (4-7). To avoid another
one, they have to sweep their final five games.
Satterfield, spooked by the pressure surrounding this lost season, doesn't
seem to be the coach who should be leading the program to the FBS level next
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
The Coastal Carolina-Liberty and Sam Houston State-McNeese State showdowns
lived up to their billings. A roundup of games in The Sports Network FCS Top
25 can be found at http://tinyurl.com/l383s4y.
STOCK RISING, STOCK FALLING
Rising: Maine (6-1, 3-0) is the last unbeaten team in CAA Football games after
the Black Bears dispatched William & Mary, 34-20, on Saturday. A win by coach
Jack Cosgrove's surprising squad at Villanova next weekend would go a long way
toward a conference championship because the remaining schedule seemingly
lightens in November. The Black Bears have lost only to Northwestern.
Falling: The soft section of the preseason rankings was No. 15-18 because
Illinois State (3-4), Cal Poly (3-4), Richmond (2-5) and Stony Brook (3-3) are
either out of the FCS playoff picture or teetering on it. But a fourth loss in
five games also has left preseason No. 6 South Dakota State (4-4) in a
particularly unexpected position.
AROUND THE NATION
Charleston Southern's expected loss at Colorado dropped the number of unbeaten
FCS teams to four: Fordham (8-0), Coastal Carolina (7-0), two-time defending
FCS champion North Dakota State (7-0) and Harvard (5-0). ... With four more
touchdowns, Coastal Carolina's Lorenzo Taliaferro has become the FCS leader in
scoring with 15.4 points per game - 18 TDs in seven games. ... In a 55-33 win
over Southeast Missouri State, Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
broke Sean Payton's school record for passing yards - he now has 10,841 yards
- and Casey Brockman's Ohio Valley Conference career record for total offense
at Murray State - he now has 10,741 career yards. ... Tennessee at Chattanooga
junior defensive end Davis Tull set a new school sack record with the 24th of
his two-plus year career in a 20-9 win over Elon. ... One year after going
winless, Rhode Island improved to 3-5 with its second CAA win, beating
Richmond, 12-10. It was the second game this season the disappointing Spiders
fell 12-10 on four field goals, this time by Dylan Smith. ... Over the last
two games, Villanova quarterback John Robertson has completed 32-of-35 pass
attempts. ... After South Dakota rallied to beat Northern Iowa, 38-31, in
double overtime to end an 18-game road losing streak, Coyotes coach Joe Glenn
said, "This is another bucket list for us." ... Hampton beat Norfolk State,
27-17, in the annual Battle of the Bay. Carvin Johnson, Denzel Heath and
Khambrel McGee all recorded interceptions in the Pirates' second straight win.
... Despite missing leading tackler Davon Moore because of a knee injury,
Delaware State held North Carolina A&T to 102 total yards (35 rushing, 67
passing) in a 12-7 road victory. ... Gavin McCarney fired a 31-yard touchdown
pass to Brian Lalli with 59 seconds remaining to give Colgate a 28-24 victory
over Holy Cross. In returning from injury, McCarney had 312 yards of total
offense and three total touchdowns. ... Without standout quarterback Matt
Lancaster, Butler still managed an important win over fellow defending Pioneer
Football League champion Drake, 24-14. Wade Markley stepped in to complete 27-
of-44 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown. Butler (6-2, 4-0) leads the PFL
after San Diego fell to Dayton, 45-38, in double overtime despite quarterback
Mason Mills becoming the Toreros' all-time passing yardage leader (9,977). ...
True freshman Austin Gahafer was 41-of-52 for 458 yards and three touchdowns
with three interceptions in Morehead State's 42-28 win at Valparaiso. ...
Quarterback Brad Attaway's six touchdown passes fueled Stephen F. Austin past
Nicholls, 55-41. Aaron Thomas, Mike Brooks and D.J. Ward caught two touchdowns
each. ... Here's what having 13 teams will do for a league. Seven teams are
within one game of first place in the Big Sky, led by Eastern Washington and
Montana State at 3-0 each. ... Northern Arizona senior Zach Bauman's 266
rushing yards in a 39-30 victory over Idaho State marked a career high and
gave him 884 yards on his way to a fourth season of at least 1,000 yards.
Idaho State has lost an incredible 42 straight road games dating to 2006. ...
Abilene Christian won the first game of a home-and-home set with fellow FCS
independent Incarnate Word, 40-6. John David Baker threw for three touchdowns.
The return game at Incarnate Word will be played Nov. 9. ... Southeastern
Louisiana's Xavier Roberson had four kick returns for 146 yards against
Northwestern State, including a 92-yard TD, and actually had his season
average go down. He has a 37.8-yard average after 14 returns. ... Duquesne
held on in the Steel City Showdown, edging rival Robert Morris, 21-20, to grab
sole possession of first place in the Northeast Conference. Incredibly, the
Dukes (4-2, 2-0) scored twice on safeties, once on a field goal and two more
times on Dillon Buechel touchdown passes within a 9-minute, 23-second span of
the third quarter. ... Sacred Heart's Troy Moore had six tackles for loss,
three sacks and a forced fumble in a 56-28 double-up of Bryant. Even better,
Fordham linebacker Stephen Hodge had a career-high 14 tackles for a second
straight week, this time with 13 solos, five tackles for loss and two forced
fumbles in a 52-31 win at Yale, which made the Rams 8-0 for the first time in
program history. ... Winless Austin Peay has scored only two touchdowns and 26
points in seven games. In fact, the Ohio Valley Conference squad has not had a
lead all season. ... The NCAA Division I FCS Weekly Roundup reports that
nearly 150 former players from schools currently in the FCS are on NFL rosters
A LOOK AHEAD
Next Saturday should be one of the best nationally this season. Among the big
FCS conference matchups are Eastern Washington-Montana in the Big Sky,
Samford-Wofford in the Southern Conference, Eastern Illinois-Tennessee State in
the Ohio Valley Conference, South Carolina State/Bethune-Cookman in the MEAC,
Maine-Villanova in CAA Football, Princeton-Harvard in the Ivy League, Butler-
San Diego in the Pioneer Football League.
All but the huge Eastern Washington-Montana matchup is a meeting of teams in
at least first or second place in their league.
There's also: Big Sky, Northern Arizona-Cal Poly; Big South, Liberty/Gardner-
Webb; CAA, Towson-Richmond and James Madison-William & Mary; Ivy, Yale-Penn;
Missouri Valley, Northern Iowa-South Dakota State; Northeast, Sacred Heart-
Saint Francis and Duquesne-Bryant; Southern, Georgia Southern-Appalachian
State; and Southland, Stephen F. Austin-Central Arkansas, Lamar-Southeastern
Louisiana and McNeese State-Nicholls.
In addition, there's SWAC, Alcorn State-Southern, Alabama A&M-Alabama State at
Legion Field in Birmingham and Prairie View A&M-Jackson State at Independence
Stadium in Shreveport, La.; non-conference, Old Dominion-Norfolk State; and
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