GRAMBLING, La.–Just two days after costing Jackson State University perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost ticket sales, Grambling University football players called an end to their boycott and returned to the field for practice Monday evening.
After that practice, the students held a brief press conference where leader Naquan Smith said the players had no regrets about what essentially amounted to a strike over conditions in the program and the firing of two coaches.
“We feel great. To get what we fee what was right we had to get our voices heard,” said Smith. “We’re looking forward from this point. Great futures after this.”
Smith declined to comment on what conditions led them to return, but said the vote was 100 percent.
This weekend’s boycott meant an automatic forfeit of the game with JSU, which was the Jackson State homecoming game. JSU was forced to refund tickets and an early estimate as to how much may have been lost was $500,000.
As for Grambling, the fine from the Southwestern Athletic Conference was $20,000.
Smith said he had had no discussion about the possibility of lost scholarship or other punishment the administration at Grambling might enact.
Out of 83 players, only 22 showed up to get on the bus Saturday for the Tiger homecoming.