Jackson, MS (SportsNetwork.com) – The Southwestern Athletic Conference opener
between Grambling State and Jackson State Saturday night has extra meaning.
The two longtime rivals didn’t meet a year ago as scheduled.
Grambling State forfeited their Oct. 19 game at Jackson State after refusing to
travel to the game. Its players were in the midst of a six-day walk-out
protesting conditions within the program.
Both teams have new head coaches this season, so the programs are more than
anxious to move on from last season’s forfeit. Jackson State is 2-1 under
Harold Jackson, winning twice at home, while Grambling State is 0-3 under
Broderick Fobbs, playing better this season despite the winless record.
“These guys, they understand the situation that was going down there. And
probably within that same situation, they probably would have done the same
thing. They understand that,” Jackson said. “We haven’t heard any residue or
anything about that right now. Right now, the only thing they’re doing is
trying to get ready for Grambling because they know Grambling is going to come
into their home and (be) ready to play ball.”
“Jackson State has always been a program that I’ve admired,” said Grambling
alumnus and coach Broderick Fobbs. “They have a great fan base, they travel
well and they show up for any contest that Jackson State plays. That’s
something that I will always remember from playing against Jackson State. And
then they have great athletes. The state of Mississippi puts out great talent
every year that goes on to various universities and are very, very successful.
And Jackson is no different.”
In addition to Grambling forfeiting the game during the Tigers’ tumultuous 2013
season, the SWAC’s council of presidents and chancellors later imposed a
$50,000 fine against the Louisiana school and mandated that it would have to
play at Jackson State for the next three seasons to help compensate for its
opponent’s lost revenues last year, when the game was supposed to be Jackson
Grambling holds a 40-23-1 series lead, but Jackson State won the last time they
met on the field, 53-17 in 2012 at Grambling.