On the first Monday since Grambling State players decided not to play at Jackson State's homecoming, heads have begun rolling at Grambling State. However, everyone within the athletic department and in embattled President Frank Pogue's administration are fine. Instead, an editor for the Grambling State student newspaper was fired and another was suspended for tweeting about revelations from anonymous sources in addition to posting photos of
Tampa Bay's Grambling State's moldy facilities on the newspaper's Twitter account, @TheGramblinite.
— The Gramblinite (@TheGramblinite) October 20, 2013
Apparently, no one seems to realize that this whole thing exploded after former interim coach George Ragsdale dismissed a player from the team for speaking up. Grambling State is just repeating mistakes. Opinions editor Kimberly Monroe was suspended for "unprofessional conduct" after she organized a rally for students to speak up about the lack of teachers and crumbling buildings including the newsroom. However, after football players showed up and the event blew up on social media, it was characterized as a conflict of interest and Monroe was disciplined.
Tensions that have been simmering for weeks came to a head last week when Grambling football players walked out of a meeting with college president Frank Pogue; and they refused to play in a scheduled game over the weekend, taking a forfeit. Students are upset about crumbling buildings and a lack of teachers among other things, they said. There’s even mold in a section of the newsroom, Lankster said. Doors to the area are kept locked and students are told not to enter the area, he added.
While Lankster was fired, his colleague Kimberly Monroe was informed she was being suspended for two weeks. Monroe, the editor of the newspaper’s opinion section, said she was asked by the newspaper’s adviser to remove parts of a column submitted by Grambling’s student government president, including the president’s email address that he asked students to use to report problems on campus.
David Lankster, the online editor who was fired, accused Will Sutton a former NABJ President and Grambling State's current Director of Public Relations and Communications of trying to censor student journalists.
“I was behind it. I was the only one on the ground hearing from the students and players,” said Lankster, the former sports editor who has worked at the paper since 2009. “Sutton was trying to mute our voice because we were tweeting the real news, the truth about what was going on.”
@TheGramblinite Are you serious? "Unidentified"? Really? Step up and be identified and stop hiding, or don't use them as sources.
— willsutton (@willsutton) October 17, 2013
After everything that happened it appears like everything went in one ear and out the other of the adults in charge at Grambling State. Grambling State's players have returned to practice and will play next week after speaking with Doug Williams, but this won't blow over anytime soon.