GRAMBLING, La. — Naquan Smith and his Grambling teammates have no regrets about a nearly weeklong boycott that forced the university to forfeit its game against Jackson State on Saturday.
Players ended their boycott, standing behind Smith on Monday during a news conference outside of the Eddie Robinson Museum on campus. Smith said the entire team was present and that the vote to return to the field was 100 percent.
"The football team took a stance on what we thought was right," Smith said. "We did not quit on our university. There are many problems that exist and if no one says anything, nothing will become of our institution. We hope coach Eddie Robinson and his legendary players appreciate we took a stand and thought we were right."
The players cited many issues, including rundown facilities, long bus trips to road games, personnel decisions, mold in the locker room and improperly cleaned uniforms contributing to an increased likelihood of staph infections.
Grambling president Frank Pogue said players would not face repercussions and that the national attention would help publicize the funding plight for historically black colleges and universities.
Pogue said work is already scheduled to improve conditions in the weight room.
"We will continue to support our football team — our players," Pogue said. "We will pay attention, obviously, as much as we can financially to enhance all the athletic facilities. My concern now is we move forward together"
Smith said players decided to end the boycott after reaching out to several Grambling greats, including former coach Doug Williams, the ex-Bucs quarterback who advised them to, "Go out there and play football."
Williams put them in contact with Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard, who told players he would ensure they had updated facilities, but they had to return to practice Monday and finish the rest of the season.
The school could face a $20,000 fine, according to the Southwestern Athletic Conference bylaws.
Smith declined comment when asked if there had been pushback from university officials because of the boycott. No athletic administration officials attended the players' news conference.
David Lankster Sr., the online editor Grambling's student newspaper, the Gramblinite, said he was fired after tweeting statements from anonymous sources and unflattering photos of the athletic facilities. Lankster said the university is trying to censor students.
Alabama: Safety Vinnie Sunseri has left knee surgery scheduled today and is out for the season.
Cincinnati: Receiver Mark Barr, injured in a traffic accident last month, was released from a medical center. He is making steady progress, the school said.
Nebraska: Quarterback Taylor Martinez is practicing for the first time since mid September and coach Bo Pelini said the fourth-year starter could play against Minnesota on Saturday if he can put more stress on his injured left foot as the week progresses.
N.C. State: Quarterback Brandon Mitchell will start against FSU on Saturday after missing five games with a broken left foot. The Arkansas graduate transfer has been out since the opener. Coach Dave Doeren said Mitchell progressed steadily through a bye week and is ready to go, though he expects rust with Mitchell having seen only 15 snaps.
Northwestern: Running back Venric Mark (ankle) will miss Saturday's game against Iowa. Quarterback Kain Colter (sprained ankle) is day to day.
Oregon: Running back De'Anthony Thomas, who hasn't had a carry since Week 3 because of an ankle injury, expects to face UCLA on Saturday.
Southern Cal: With placekicker Andre Heidari struggling (1-for-3 against Notre Dame) the position was opened for competition this week.
Awards: Two Missouri players were honored by the SEC for their play against Florida. Quarterback Maty Mauk is freshman of the week and end Michael Sam is defensive player of the week.