The statement released Monday said they do not regret boycotting practice last week or refusing to travel to Jackson State for their Saturday game.
The team began the boycott because of a string of complaints, including the firing of head coach Doug Williams two games into the season, the condition of athletics facilities and equipment and having to travel long distances by bus to games this season in Kansas City, Mo., and Indianapolis.
NOTE: ALL OF GRAMBLING ATHLETICS IS SUFFERING— Naquan Nate Smith (@NateDaGreat26) October 19, 2013
The players decided to return after talking to Williams, who was fired in September. The statement said Williams' main statement to the players was to "go out there and play football."
Grambling forfeited Saturday after players didn't show up for the buses to take them to Jackson, Miss. They also boycotted practices Wednesday and Thursday before the game.
The team is 0-8 this season including the forfeit, and has lost 18 in a row to NCAA programs. They will host Texas Southern for a game on Saturday, with three games after that left in the season.
Read the full players' statement below.
To Whom It May Concern:
As part of the athletic program at Grambling State University, the football team, took a stance on what we thought was right. We did not quit on our university. There are many problems that exist and if no one says anything, nothing will come of our institution. We hope Coach Eddie Robinson and his legendary players can appreciate that we stood up for what we thought was right. After coming into contact with different sources, we decided to reach out to the one person we trusted, Coach Doug Williams, with our concerns. His main statement to us was, "Go out there and play football." He also put us in contact with Jim Bernhard out of Baton Rouge. A meeting was held with Mr. Bernhard as well as, Douglas Porter, Ezil Bibbs, Roy Jackson, Henry Dyer and Howard Davis. The meeting confirmed him [Jim Bernhard] as being committed with our best intentions at heart and that he would ensure we had updated facilities, but we had to agree to being back practicing Monday, October 21 and finish the remainder of our season. Although we are going to continue our season, we have not forgotten the situation and how we've gotten here. We would like to say thank you to Coach Williams, the Legends and Mr. Jim Bernhard. Grambling has given us the opportunity to be a part of its legacy and we are only looking to improve conditions for the university and future student-athletes.
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