Fate of spring Bayou Classic remains up in the air

By T. Scott Boatright

It was announced on Wednesday that Grambling State’s next two football games had been canceled due to a COVID-19 breakout within the Tigers’ football program.

That would leave Grambling with only the April 17 Bayou Classic against Southern left on the schedule. It was announced in October that the Bayou Classic had been moved from New Orleans to Shreveport’s Independence Stadium for this truncated Southwestern Athletic Conference spring 2021 football season.

On Friday, Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs admitted that at this point he’s not really even sure that the still-scheduled season finale will take place.

“Right now everything — football — is shut down,” Fobbs said. “We don’t really know what will happen. All we can do is keep testing, evaluating, and seeing if this thing will spread any further. It’s tough. I’d like to have an answer, but it’s been hard to find an answer for this thing over the past year now. All I can try to do is take care of this team, see what happens and decide on where to go from there. At this point I can’t say whether the Southern game will or won’t be played. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

GSU athletics director David “Rusty” Ponton said that three Grambling football players had tested positive for COVID-19 and that many other team members have gone through contact tracing.

“The three that have tested positive are in isolation,” Ponton said. “The others are in quarantine, so they’re able to do more but still have to take precautions and try to not get around others until we have a better handle on what is happening. We’ll just continue checking and testing. That’s all we can do at this point.”

Grambling fell in its first three games of the spring season, leaving the G-Men with only one opportunity to pick up a win before starting to prepare for the 2021 fall season they hope will take place.

“This is all so hard,” Fobbs said. “You want to move forward but the most important thing is the safety of our student athletes. And you don’t know what will happen not being able to do anything for two weeks and then trying to play that last spring game of the season. You worry about injuries after a long layoff like that. … It’s hard.”



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