The recent boycott by our student athletes brought national, and international, attention to the piney woods of Grambling State University.
There was initial shock that a school with our football pedigree could ever forfeit a game, as we did recently when we did not have enough football players to field a team against Jackson State University. I have been saying this for a long time, to anyone who would listen, but the student protest brought to light the fact that our finances are stretched so thin that the basics are no longer guaranteed.
Drastic budget cuts in recent years have pushed many of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities [HBCUs] to the financial brink. Yes, we have reduced athletic budgets, we are buying fewer uniforms, our football teams ride buses instead of flying and we have many more cutbacks. Frankly, that is a small part of our pain. We have furloughed faculty and staff, asked faculty to take on larger teaching loads, trimmed academic degree offerings and delayed building repairs.