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Grambling State game with Jackson State cancelled

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Updated: 10/19/2013 12:32 am

Jackson, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Grambling State's road game against Jackson State Saturday has been cancelled.

The move came a day after Grambling State relieved George Ragsdale as interim football coach and named defensive coordinator Dennis "Dirt" Winston to the same position.

It's the latest in the turmoil for the school's football program. Several reports indicate Tigers players walked out of a meeting with school administration following Tuesday's practice, then staged a first day of boycotting practice on Wednesday. Players also reportedly did not attend practice Thursday and didn't board a bus for the SWAC game to Jackson State Friday afternoon.

"It's unfortunate that the game will not be played, but in accordance with the Southwestern Athletic Conference bylaws, the game will be ruled a forfeit charging Grambling State the loss and awarding Jackson State with a win," said SWAC commissioner Duer Sharp. "For Grambling State's failure to compete in a conference contest and in addition to forfeiting the game, they are subject to a monetary penalty."

The Tigers have an 0-7 record, the first two losses under Doug Williams, who was fired in September. The last five defeats have come under Ragsdale. The team, which finished 1-10 last year after winning the SWAC championship under Williams in 2011, has lost 13 straight conference games.

The Grambling State football program rose to national attention under the guidance of Eddie Robinson, who is the winningest coach in Division I.

This week, though, the football players, reportedly became increasingly upset at required long bus trips for games in Kansas City and Indianapolis. Players were also reportedly upset at the firing of Williams.

This was to be Jackson State's homecoming contest. Instead the Tigers will play a "Blue and White" scrimmage game.

"This is an unfortunate situation for JSU fans, but it is beyond our control," said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. "I want to encourage the JSU community, including students, alumni and supporters, to participate in the other activities scheduled as part of our Homecoming celebration."

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