Grambling Protest Exposes Disrespect for Black Colleges

Categories: Luke's Gospel

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Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke goes to bat for historically black colleges.

The Grambling State University football team's revolt is exposing an ugly reality of college athletics. The NCAA and corporate sponsors do everything possible to make sure big league schools like the University of Alabama, Ohio State University, and Notre Dame, to name a few, continue reaping the rewards of multi-billion dollar bowl games and nationally televised games. But storied black colleges like Grambling, Howard University, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, have to grovel for the leftover crumbs.

The NCAA, as well as major corporations, should be embarrassed by the way they treat historically black colleges. They don't have corporate sponsors. They get no bowl games to generate revenue. They don't get any television coverage for classic rivalry games that fill up stadiums. And they don't get any support from major corporations that are profiting from the black dollar.

Black colleges are shut out of the Football Bowl Subdivision category so these institutions never have a shot at collecting the big pay days that comes from playing in the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. Heck, black colleges don't even get to play in lower tier bowls that would allow the schools to generate revenue that would help offset budget cuts that are killing their athletic programs.

The only way black colleges generate revenue is by allowing historically white institutions like Alabama to pay them $500,000 to $900,000 to get their asses kicked. A school like FAMU gets paid to have their band perform at half-time and lose 72-0 to Oklahoma. This serves as a subliminal message that the white institution is better and that the black college is a second class institution.

What's worse is that the money goes back to a black college's general fund. It's not earmarked for athletics, so you get what happens at Grambling State. Things have gotten so bad at that school players are forced to ride buses to away games, sometimes traveling more than 1,000 miles on a trip. In a letter obtained by ESPN, players complained that they've had to deal with mold and mildew growing on their football equipment and in their work out facilities.

They also paid for Gatorade and Muscle Milk out of their own pockets. Yet these two companies pay white colleges and local high schools with money and product to have their names plastered everywhere on campus.

The NCAA and corporations treat these schools like second-class institutions, regulating their prime time games to Wednesday nights when no one is watching football. There are games like the Florida Classic between FAMU and Bethune Cookman College that always sell out that ESPN can show on television.

There is no excuse for companies that count on the buying power of African Americans to ignore black college sports programs. According to the annual "Buying Power of Black America" report by Target Market News, appliance purchases grew 27 percent to $2.2 billion and computers for home use climbed 28 percent to $3.5 billion in 2012.

That means General Electric, Microsoft, and Apple, should be tripping over themselves to sponsor black college football games. Corporations like Nike, Church's Chicken, and Johnson & Johnson also have to step up. Nine out of 10 people standing in line to buy new Jordans are African American.

It's time Corporate America recognize black colleges with the same level of respect given to the Alabamas and Oklahomas of the world.

Follow Uncle Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1

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Some of the facts in this article are not true!

Through Classics like the Turkey Day Classic and the Bayou Classic these schools are not only sponsored by big companies such as State Farm these schools also get airtime on NBC AND  generate a large amount of revenue from the game and weekend. Not to mentions the independent investors who donate to these schools just because they love HBCUs.

The Bayou Classic is known as the SuperBowl of black college football and when it happens, New Orleans rakes in TONS of money from the weekend. After the Hurricane, it was one of the events which helped bring the city back. 

HBCUs do NOT need to get their asses kicked by Ohio State or other big schools as a source of revenue. They can make just as much, if not more by "keeping it in the family" and continuing to play other black schools in traditional classics. 

Unfortunately, the money is not given to the schools athletic program which is why you have problems like this.

But HBCUs do not have a problem generating money, they have a problem with using it correctly. 


It's time black folks start supporting black business and institutions and DO 4 SELF. 

frankd4 topcommenter

............................all i know about funding BLACK colleges include andrew carnegie's gift of $600,000 in 1903 to g w carver as president of tuskegee , and the heat that a current day black entepreneur took from some black academics when he gave a large donation to a predominately white college in california, and that james meredith was the first black student at alabama despite GOV g c wallace's stand.............otherwise i don't know what difference it really makes

kirkslade1 topcommenter

The African American players that are good don't want to go to Grambling anymore. For years they were discriminated against at big schools like Alabama and Texas. Now, their goal is to go to those schools. You have more exposure at the bigger schools. 

In a strange way Luke, you who thinks capitalism is racist, is missing a major point. Why don't you blame the players that have shunned black colleges in favor of large schools. You can't do that because you wouldn't be keeping it real! 


NPR just talked about why the program is so short on money.

its the economy STUPID!   all the state schools have had cut money from their funding.  Atheletics is finally feeling it.  

in larger schools the alumni give to the football programs.  Grambling? not sure about their alumni funding...  but must not be too great.

The reality, is athletics is a diversion, and luxury for a colleges.    would you fund a football team over libraries and teachers?  (no).

its not racist, its across the board funding cutting.    all colleges feel the pain.  

Grambling must not have its alumni returning $ to the program like other schools. 

-why is that Luke? 


TV money comes from Ratings.  if the 'black colleges' had better ratings they would earn more money. 


ps:   why is it Not Racist to have a Black College?

if there was a White college, would that be racists?    

and what is the difference?


I live about 39 miles from Grambling and I can tell you the Grambling/Southern game each year is played on NBC TV. They have State farm and others supporting that game and low ratings. Why aren't black people watching, why aren't alumni giving, why does Grambling refuse to hire competent leadership and when they do, thei fire them or play serious low balling politics. And on another note, why will the City of Grambling not allow white owned businesses in their town. It ain't southern or corporate racism. It all starts at home.

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