Officials at Jackson State University have released a statement regarding their cancelled homecoming game versus Grambling State. As expected, the university is displeased with the game’s cancellation and will seek monetary compensation through litigation.
Per the Jackson State Newsroom:
Still, the JSU family was damaged. Our Homecoming game draws tens of thousands of fans. The university intends to use litigation to be made whole for our direct and indirect financial losses.
We have a fiduciary responsibility to Mississippi taxpayers and the JSU community to mitigate our ongoing and substantial losses. Jackson State plans to pursue litigation against Grambling State and others.
In regards to how much money the University and city of Jackson lost, the school estimates that it “could be in the millions.”
Not only is Jackson State upset with Grambling, it also takes issue with the SWAC Conference. University officials feel they were misled in believing the game would carry on. Furthermore, SWAC officials have yet to address the situation with Jackson State’s administrators.
Grambling repeatedly assured us its team would travel to Jackson. Late Friday afternoon they informed us their student athletes would not travel to Jackson for our scheduled game. We have dealt in good faith with Grambling and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The actions of both have hurt JSU.
The SWAC commissioner did not return calls from our director of athletics the entire week. The Clarion-Ledger reported the SWAC commissioner would be meeting with folks at Grambling and JSU. We haven’t seen him, nor has he called.
Though the football game was cancelled, other homecoming events proceeded, and were well-attended.
Jackson State is conscious of the financial problems surrounding Grambling, yet are addressing this matter in a businesslike fashion. Considering their stadium holds over 60,000 people, the school’s estimates on revenue loss appear accurate. Failing to explore the financial repercussions would be, as Jackson officials said, irresponsible on their part.
This story has come about at a fascinating time in college sports. For much of the offseason, and early part of the regular season, there has been heavy discussion regarding the revenue college players earn their universities. The Grambling boycott is just the opposite. By sitting out, Grambling’s players cost two schools and a capital city millions of dollars. Regardless of how the pendulum swings, it is obvious that too much revenue is dependent upon the wills and whims of 18-22 year-olds.