Athletic Director Aaron James: ‘We disagree, ruling is excessive’
GRAMBLING, La. – In response to a ruling by the Southwestern Athletic Conference on Wednesday, Grambling State University Athletic Director Aaron James said the conference ruling was expected but is excessive.
“This isn’t a surprise at all. We’ve been working with our conference and our friends at Jackson State so we knew this was coming. It’s been a friendly and business-like series of conversations and exchanges and while we appreciate the desire and the intent, we disagree with this action and we have appealed.
“We notified the SWAC office today, filing an official appeal, making it quite clear why we think the fine and game decisions are excessive,” James added. The university provided the conference office with a seven-page letter of appeal specifically outlining the university’s concerns about the decisions, which include a $50,000 fine and requiring Grambling State to visit Jackson State University to play football games in each of the next three years. James said the university’s decision to appeal was made in consultation with the university attorney.
“Neither our president nor I have done anything to abdicate our responsibilities and our commitments and there are no grounds for such rulings,” said James. “We support the rights of our students to voice their opinions, but the university was not responsible our inability to field a team to travel to Mississippi. Their actions pale in comparison to the overwhelming severe penalties imposed by the conference.”
“If allowed to stand, the conference ruling would mean that Grambling State University would have to pay as much as $305,000 once the $50,000 fine and travel costs at about $41,000 per trip to Jackson and related expenses are included. That’s completely unacceptable.”
The university and the football team are preparing for its next and final football game against Southern University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Nov. 30. For more information, see www.mybayouclassic.com.
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