Update: GSU AD responds to SWAC fine, Will appeal - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Update: GSU AD responds to SWAC fine, Will appeal

Posted: Updated:

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Grambling's Athletic Director is calling fines the university is facing in connection with the forfeited Jackson State football game "excessive."

In a statement, Aaron James says the fines could cost the university more than $300,000. James says they have already filed an appeal with the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The full statement from James is listed below.

Previous Report:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced on Wednesday that Grambling will face financial penalties after forfeiting its road game against Jackson State on Oct. 19.

The SWAC did not announce exact figures in its release, but said the fine would be issued in accordance to the league's bylaws. Grambling spokesman Will Sutton has said previously that amount is $20,000. Grambling must also play road games at Jackson State the next three seasons.

Grambling's players staged a boycott of the Jackson State game because of issues with Grambling's leaders, including the school's rundown facilities, long bus trips to road games and personnel decisions.

The SWAC also said Grambling will pay Jackson State an undisclosed amount from its "future distribution amounts" to help Jackson State recoup lost money from the Oct. 19 cancellation.

UPDATE:

The statement below is from Grambling Athletic Director Aaron James:

"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.

"Neither our president nor I have done anything to abdicate our responsibilities and our commitments and there are no grounds for such rulings.  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."

Official GSU News release:

UNIVERSITY APPEALS SWAC DECISION

Athletic Director Aaron James: ‘We disagree, ruling is excessive'

GRAMBLING, La. (November 13, 2013)— 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."

 

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