Grambling State appears to be on the dawn of a new era, but its current student-athletes are crying foul.
A letter from members of the football team was sent to Dr. Jim Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System and its board of regents. The letter, obtained by HBCU Sports, was a vote of “no confidence” for GSU President Rick Gallot and asked for an in-depth investigation.
The three-page letter alleges mistreatment, lack of institutional control, possible misappropriation of funds, and the lack of financial support for GSU Athletics “with an emphasis on Football.” It cites Gallot as “the main contributor to the decline of Gambling State University Football that used to be the “Black Notre Dame” and ICON of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the state of Louisiana and the nation.”
“We’ve had three consecutive years of no findings in our audits. Our finances are in great shape,” Gallot told HBCU Sports. “I’ve always maintained an open-door policy to all students who’d like to meet with me to address any campus concerns they may have.”
Like the unrest in 2013, the condition of Grambling State’s weight room was also called into question as the letter stated that it had broken weights and outdated equipment. Sports medicine was accused of misdiagnosing injuries and failing to give out water during practice, tape individuals or provide timely medical treatment. The environment was described as “unclean” and services provided were rated as “poor.”
Beyond athletics, the letter also addressed campus safety, noting that shooting incidents have occurred yearly under Gallot’s leadership and calling him to task for what they see as a lack of a safety plan as well as a lack of a strategic plan.
In contrast to the sharp criticism levied at Gallot, the letter spoke positively of former head coach Broderick Fobbs, who was fired prior to the Bayou Classic. The team finished with a record of 4-7.
Grambling State is set to announce the hiring of its new head football coach on Friday. Whoever it is will likely have a very small window to win over the current players as he builds for the future.