College football coaches probably aren't laying up in bed in the nights before Saturday thinking, "Gosh, I hope my players don't suddenly decide just not to play. That'd screw up the whole game plan.' If that's the case, there's much bigger problems to worry about than a game plan.
They could be at least thinking, "Sheesh, at least I'm not coaching at Grambling." Maybe even Lane Kiffin can think that. Grambling State University, a Division 1-AA school, is being fined $20,000 for forfeiting its game against Jackson State on Saturday because the football players refused to get on the bus. This is supposed to be Jackson State's homecoming and the situation can harm the school financially. It'll try to carry on by hosting a scrimmage.
The refusal isn't because Grambling is sick of losing since they've yet to win a game all season. The team is protesting the poor conditions surrounding the team, which includes long bus travels (it traveled 12 hours to reach Indianapolis last week, where they got sent back on another 12-hour ride back home after getting smacked 48-0 by Alcorn State), mediocre training conditions, and the very direction of the program. Grambling State fired head coach Doug Williams in mid-September after a 1-10 2012 season.
These problems combined with just how bad the program has looked these past two years is going to take more than a week to fix. These are reasonable demands, but the question is when will they be met. For a program in shambles, something's got to give. Like, ASAP.