November 14, 2013

University Appeals SWAC Decision

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

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton



November 5, 2013

Saluting Coach Rob, 1983 Players Unite

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA - Five players from the 1983 Grambling State University football team that played in Robinson Stadium as it opened 30 years ago returning to their alma mater as the stadium was officially renamed the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

“It’s great day for Grambling,” said Robert “Big Bird” Smith, a defensive end from Bogalusa,  La., who played for Robinson’s  ‘83 team. 

Robinson, the late legendary GSU football coach that won 408 games was named the most winningest coach for the NCAA Division I universities, coached dozens of players to professional football careers and success in life, including former NFL greats Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Willie Davis, Charlie Joiner and Doug Williams, who won the NFL Super Bowl when he quarterbacked the Washington Redskins to success over the Denver Broncos.

“(He) got it all started for Grambling,” said Aaron James, Grambling State’s  athletic director.

More than 30 years ago, a lake was drained to build a stadium on campus. Under state policies, the stadium could not be named after someone living, so it was named Robinson Stadium. Robinson died April 3, 2007, and six years later he received  the full name recognition more than 400 people attending the event think he deserved long ago.

Smith and his teammates played their first game on Sept. 3, 1983 against Alcorn State University. They G-Men won 28-0.

“I would have had the first interception in this stadium, but it was called back for roughing the passer,” said Edward “Eddie” Scott, a New Orleans native who played three years under the late Eddie G. Robinson. “I started the first game here in this stadium and I started the last game in the old stadium.”

Smith and Scott were teammates and also played professionally. Scott played United States Football League for the Louisiana Express in 1984-19985 and for the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL in 1987.  Smith played from the USLA’s Arizona Outlaws and the NFL’s Cowboys and Vikings.

Smith did not plan to speak at Saturday’s pre-game event, but, to surprise his two Grambling State student daughters — Joiyia and Chelsea Smith – he did.

The large crowd roared approval when Smith ended his remarks outside of Gate 2:  “Everyone needs to remember these words: W e are Grambling.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




November 1, 2013

Grambling State Radiothon is Back

University’s second on-air event raises money for scholarships all day Friday

Grambling, La. - Grambling State University is holding its second annual radiothon at KRGM-FM Friday (Nov. 1), offering alumni, fans and supporters opportunities to receive special premium gifts as they contribute to the academic success of students with donations dedicated for scholarships. The radiothon also helps recruitment and retention efforts.

Last year was a success for the first ever radiothon and this year has some eager for the event Friday. "We’re excited about our second annual radiothon, and we’ve got a lot of good things in store, including a few surprises," said Joyce Evans, KGRM’s general manager and a 1974 Grambling State University graduate. "Twelve hours is a long time to be on the radio, but it’ll go by swiftly as alums, students and others come by and offer their support to dear ole Grambling."

Evans will co-host the radiothon with Keidron Dotson, a university alumnae and former KTVE-TV/NBC10 news anchor. The first guest will be GSU President Frank G. Pogue, who will talk about the importance of giving and why helping the university is more important now than ever. “No donation is too small and we encourage alumni, faculty, staff and supporters to contribute whatever they can,” he said.

The university is encouraging, and enticing, contributions with some special offers, including only five footballs signed by Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, who was the Washington Redskins quarterback when the NFL team won the Super Bowl championship against the Denver Broncos 25 years ago this year. Those who contribute between $501 and $1,000 are eligible for one of the footballs, but the station expects those to go early, and fast.

Those who want to contribute at lower amounts also have some opportunities:

  • $24 and below T-Shirt/Lanyard
  • $25 – $100 T-shirt/USB
  • $101 – $250 T-Shirt/Garment Bag
  • $251-$500 T-Shirt/Duffle Bags
  • $501 – $1,000 T-Shirt/a Doug Williams-autographed football or a choice of a garment or duffle bag

A $1,000 contribution gets a donor all of the above items.

"Clearly the nation and the world knows more about our university than they did just two weeks ago," said Debra Johnson, interim associate vice president of institutional advancement and director of alumni affairs. "We need the support of alums and everyone now more than ever, but we want to make it clear that we cannot do this with only alumni; we need everyone’s help."

Join in on the fun and listen throughout the day. Be a part of the live broadcast by calling 318-274-2182, or visit the station on the second floor of Washington-Johnson Complex on the GSU campus.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




October 31, 2013

University High School Day A Success

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling, LA - Grambling State University was the first school Dajah Taylor visited on her search to find the college of her choice before she graduates in May 2014.

Hundreds of young students from various schools filled the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center in celebration of High School and Transfer Day at Grambling State University on Saturday.

The day began at 6 a.m. and continued through the G-Men’s football game against Texas Southern University.  Registered students and transfers learned about the university’s career and course offerings during a campus tour.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in Grambling,” said Taylor, 17, from Maumelle High School in Maumelle, Ark. “It’s really big and is also the first college I’ve visited.”

Grambling State University has hosted High School Day for at least 20 years in an effort to get more students interested in becoming Gramblinites.

In the Assembly Center, high school students and potential transfer students devoured ham and turkey sandwiches, turkey sandwiches  and potato chips while listening to popular music spun by DJ Twin. GSU clubs and organizations presented themselves to the eager crowd of students, advisors and teachers.  Attendees witnessed the World Famed Tiger Marching Band dance and play their instruments as the school’s nationally ranked cheerleaders performed backflips and acrobatics.

“I’m thinking about coming to Grambling because it’s close and my mother Erin Walker works for residential life on campus went here,” said Kenneth Walker, 18, a senior at Ruston High School, as he watched members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity execute a fast-paced stroll on the arena floor.

According to university officials, more than 900 people participated in the event.

“We brought a group of 43 kids here so they can experience Grambling college life,” said Marcia Menyweather, 48, a 1986 GSU graduate and member of the Grambling University National Alumni Association’s Dallas Chapter. “We’ve been coming to High School Day for the past nine years in hopes that one student will come here.”

“I love Grambling!” exclaimed Marquie Jones, 17, a senior at J.A. Fair High School who visited GSU for his  fourth High School Day. “My mother graduated from Grambling and it feels just like home to me.”

Faculty and staff from Peabody High School and Arthur F. Smith Middle School attended the event with 56 students in tow.

“We’re sister schools that have been coming here for the last seven years, but I remember going to Peabody High School in 2000 and going to High School Day in Grambling,” said Carletha Stewart, 30, a paraprofessional at Peabody High School in Alexandria, La.

“Because we are a low socio-economic school, I think Grambling will give students a sense of pride and let them know that they can do something after they graduate high school, said Stewart. “My mother is (an) alumnae and my sister is an alumnae of Grambling.”

“The Mildred S. Jones Alumni Association sponsors the majority Black schools in Alexandria to come to GSU’s High School Day,” said Renisha Beaudion, 35, a teacher at Arthur F. Smith Middle School and an assistant instructor of kinesiology at GSU.

“Some of our students get their degrees from Grambling, then come back to Alexandria to do good things for the community, said Beaudion, a 2000 GSU leisure studies graduate.

“It’s nice all over Grambling,” said Jacorey Sanders, 15, from Clark High School in Plano, Texas, who visited Grambling for the first time. “I was surprised at all the African American people I saw because I’ve never been at a black college until now.”

“We grew up around mostly Caucasian people but Grambling is very turned up,” said C.J. Wall, 14, from Clark High School. “It’s too early for me to go to college, but it seems like a very fun school.”

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




October 30, 2013

Grambling State Students Gather, Huddle, Support Football Players

University’s Miss Senior says students must rebuild proud tradition of student support

Grambling State University Media Bureau

Grambling State University’s student section for football games is increasing. There were more than fifty students dressed in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to support the Tigers against Texas Southern University. In an overtime thriller, Grambling lost 23-17.

One finger pointed up and arms extended in the air, Grambling State students, alumni, cheerleaders, band and football players stayed united, even when an oh-so-close game had ended and they sang the school’s alma mater. Some players fought back tears.

“They played really hard and showed a lot of heart,” said Desmond Stegall, 20, a junior mass communication major from Atlanta. “Even though they lost, they did it the Grambling way, with pride.”

The strength of the new student section should grow and the “Tiger Pride” movement should engage everyone, according to Jalendra Traylor, 23, a senior kinesiology major from Dallas. “It’s okay to have one section, but the players feed off” everyone.

The student section is coordinated by Miss Senior, Alexandra Perry, a former Grambling State cheerleader who has made the support of Grambling athletics a part of her reign responsibilities.

“I think the student section went great,” said Perry, 21, a senior therapeutic reaction major from Alexandria. “When it came down to the end of the game, everyone was cheering on the team and that’s when it really matters.”

Perry said she’ll host another student section meeting this week to prepare for the big homecoming game against Mississippi Valley State University on Nov. 2. She wants students, alums and interested fans to follow @WhatsUpWithFSUB on Twitter and Instagram for more information. 

“We plan to get more students involved every time,” said Perry.

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




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