For years now, observers of college football have been predicting — and in some cases rooting for — a players’ strike to protest that universities are getting rich from unpaid student athletes. Last week, a boycott finally happened, at Grambling State University, a historically black college in Louisiana, but the football players brought attention to an entirely different sort of problem: budget cuts that have hurt the entire university.
In a letter to the administration, the players wrote that the athletic complex was in “horrible condition,” with “mildew and mold” on “the ceiling, walls and floor,” and complained of long bus trips to Kansas City and Indianapolis that left them “drained and exhausted” before competitions. After refusing to participate in a game on Saturday, the team agreed to return to practice on Monday. The university, while disputing some of the complaints, explained that it is working with limited resources.