Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

Grambling complaints include mold

Grambling players said there is mold and mildew on equipment in a letter sent to school officials, ESPN reported Saturday.

The report came on the same day Grambling was supposed to play at Jackson State. But the players refused to show up for the buses that were to take them from their Louisiana campus to Mississippi. The Southwest Athletic Conference said the game will be a forfeit, which is the Tigers' 18th consecutive loss.

"There are certain factors that are hindering us from reaching our goals," the letter reads.

"First, the (athletic) complex is filled with mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can be seen on the ceiling, walls and floor and are contributing to water leaks because of faltering walls and ceilings."

Also in the letter:

• Poor cleaning of uniforms has led to multiple staph infections.

• Players had to pay for Gatorade and the supplement Muscle Milk during summer workouts.

• Players took buses for games in Kansas City, Mo. (14 hours) and Indianapolis (17 hours) while the school president and athletic director took a plane.

• Money from "friends of football and the alumni association … is being rejected" because the organizations donating the money want it to go to specific areas while the university demands it be applied to the university or athletics as a whole.

The situation began Tuesday, when players walked out of a meeting with administrators. They refused to practice Wednesday and Thursday. That led to the removal of interim coach George Ragsdale, who took over after two games when Doug Williams — his former teammate with the Bucs — was fired.

Saturday, school officials said they will meet throughout the weekend in an effort to reach a resolution. University spokesman Will Sutton said players were given the weekend off but officials were in touch with some of them by phone.

He added there is a practice scheduled for Monday and the school plans to play next week's scheduled home game against Texas Southern.

After Saturday's game was called off on Friday, Sutton said university officials would have no comment and players would not be available for interviews.

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