By Journal Staff
At least some of the Grambling State football team has formally complained to University of Louisiana System president Dr. Jim Henderson about what they claim is a lack of institutional commitment to the athletics department as a whole, and particularly, the football program, according to reporting by HBCUSports.com.
A Dec. 7 letter signed by “The 2021 Grambling State University G-Men” sent to Henderson and ULS Board members, and copied to the state Board of Regents, state Sen. Katrina Jackson and state Rep. Patrick Jefferson, cites a series of complaints and is entitled “No Vote of Confidence for Richard ‘Rick’ Gallot, President of Grambling State University.”
The three-page letter says it is a “formal complaint of mistreatment, lack of institutional control, possible misappropriation of funds, and the lack of financial support for GSU Athletics, with an emphasis on Football. This has undermined the integrity and reputation of our programs, harmed the growth and development of current student-athletes, deterred recruitment of future student-athletes, and led to the termination of our former Head Football Coach Broderick Fobbs.
“University President Richard Gallot is the main contributor to the decline of Grambling State University Football,” the letter continues.
Among allegations in the letter were “misappropriation and diversion of funds for the football program,” a “failure to provide a safe environment” along with “failure to provide, promote and support proper athletic staff.”
The “safe environment” complaint cited shootings on campus since 2017 in which four people have died and 15 have been wounded. The letter claimed Gallot has not initiated a safety plan since two separate shootings in October around the university’s homecoming celebration.
It also lists safety hazards in the weight room and in the fieldhouse. The letter criticizes the sports medicine department for “poor service” and “an unclean environment.”
It concludes by saying “Collectively, the G-Men are respectfully requesting an investigation into the
Athletic Program, specifically our program, to include a review of the overall budget, staffing and facilities. It is our honor to represent Grambling as G-Men and we deserve better from our University.”
Junior defensive back Rey Estes spoke with HBCUSports.com confirming the authenticity of the letter, although he apparently was not asked how many team members endorsed the complaint.
Gallot denied the allegations during a call with HBCUSports.com, citing three consecutive years of no audit findings, stating “our finances are in great shape,” and saying he maintains an open-door policy to all students.
In 2013, before Gallot became president and amid the most unsuccessful sustained stretch in the history of the Grambling football program, players went on strike and refused to play a game to highlight their complaints of inadequate facilities and other shortcomings.
The new complaints followed the Nov. 15 dismissal of head coach Broderick Fobbs, who took over the program after that 2013 season and quickly turned the Tigers into winners, including an HBCU national championship season in 2016. After a 54-31 overall record marred by an 0-4 mark in the spring season and 3-7 this fall, Fobbs was fired. The letter praised Fobbs.
Former NFL head coach Hue Jackson was introduced Friday as the Tigers’ new head coach.