JACKSON, Miss. — Saturday’s game between Grambling and Jackson State has been canceled.
JSU spokesman Wesley Peterson said that Jackson State had been contacted by Grambling officials who informed them of the decision.
Disgruntled Grambling players refused to board the team buses and travel to Mississippi. Grambling spokesman Will Sutton had said there would be “no forfeit” and that Grambling officials were trying to determine the next step.
Apparently, nothing could be worked out so that the game could be played.
Southwestern Athletic Conference Commissioner Duer Sharp said the situation was “very disappointing.”
The game was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Friday’s announcement came after Grambling team buses left campus without any players.
Other news reports detailed that Grambling administrators are threatening to take away scholarships in the wake of recent players’ actions.
Former coach Doug Williams sent a text message to USA Today that he was proud of the stance by his former players.
Williams said in a text to The Advocate that he has no further comment. Attempts to reach Grambling players on their cell phones were unsuccessful.
According to local reports, team buses left the campus empty after Grambling officials conferred with the waiting bus drivers.
Players have been unhappy about recent administrative moves made by Grambling officials toward football team personnel.
Williams was fired after the second game of the season, a 48-10 loss at Louisiana-Monroe — a move that didn’t sit well with many players, even though Grambling was coming off a 1-10 overall record last season, Williams’ second in his return to the sideline.
The Tigers haven’t fared any better lately. They rank last in the SWAC in points scored (13.3 per game), second-to-last in points allowed (39.4 per game) and last in penalties (9.7 per game).
Players had a Tuesday meeting with Grambling President Frank Pogue, Athletic Director Aaron James, interim coach George Ragsdale and student government president Jordan Harvey. That, according to the Shreveport Times, is where things came to a head: Players walked out as the meeting became increasingly negative.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.