|TSPN Sports reports Percy “Chico” Caldwell resigned as Grambling AD. (TSPN.com photo)|
It looks like Grambling State is now one of several HBCUs looking for a new athletic director. TSPN Sports reports that Dr. Percy “Chico” Caldwell resigned as AD on Tuesday without any explanation. Aaron James, a Grambling alum who has served in several capacities at the university, including associate athletic director for marketing and promotions, has been named interim AD.
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsCaldwell’s resignation comes less than 18 months after he was hired at Grambling. It was a brief, rough tenure that included NCAA sanctions, a football team that won just one game and a men’s basketball program that went winless.
In February, Caldwell gave an interview to TPSN Sports in which he spoke frankly about several subjects, from the SWAC’s lack of participation in the FCS football playoffs to resource issues at Grambling.
The reason most of our teams are struggling has less to do with the coaching staffs and more to do with the lack of investments in the program. The athletics program has lost over 2 million dollars in state support in the last three years. There is no student athlete fee like other institutions. Alumni giving is very low. The results are less recruiting dollars, poor facilities to attract quality recruits and fewer scholarships to provide to recruits when we find good players. All of these issues can be solved if more commitments are made to invest in the programs. We can’t expect the coaches to be successful until the institution provides successful support.
This isn’t the first time Caldwell has left the AD position in a controversial way. Caldwell was fired by Winston-Salem State in 2009 after an attempted move to Division I stalled at the university. Caldwell told the Winston-Salem Journal’s John Dell that the reason for the split was a difference in vision.
“The real issue was visionary,” said Caldwell, who was replaced by interim AD Tonia Walker. “I was hired under a different administration, and over the past couple of years, we realized a major difference in the vision and the direction of the program.”
Whatever the reason for the split, Grambling joins the list of several HBCUs searching for ADs, including FAMU, Mississippi Valley State and Stillman College. The question is, will these schools go outside the HBCU AD realm, or will they stick with someone with in the ranks, as Tuskegee and Prairie View have as of late. One thing is for sure, all eyes will be on the Grambling as it chooses its next leader.