As if rebuilding a program that won just four games last season wouldn’t be difficult enough for new Grambling head coach Joseph Price, now he’ll have to deal with additional sanctions in regards to the program’s poor APR performance.
After being declared ineligible for postseason play in 2011-12 Grambling’s basketball program has reached the third of four penalty phases, meaning that they’d better get things in order quickly.
As a result, Grambling can only play 27 games this season and will lose practice time (four hours/week) while also beginning practice later than the rest of the country.
There’s also the reduction in scholarships to ten, which can put any program at a serious disadvantage much less one that went 4-24 and has to replace its leading scorer in Quincy Roberts.
Grambling president Frank G. Pogue did meet with the NCAA last month to discuss plans to improve the program’s academic performance, and for their sake hopefully the solutions work.
The fourth and final penalty phase is a simple but “deadly” one: all athletic programs would lose their NCAA membership.
Price, formerly an assistant at Lamar, certainly has his work cut out for him as he looks to rebuild a team that’s struggled both on the court and in the classroom.
To Price’s credit he doesn’t seem to be shying away from the challenge but it’s a daunting one to say the least.
“First of all, it’s the recruiting — understanding the caliber of kid that you’re recruiting, making sure they’ve got great character, making sure the kids wanna get a degree, making sure they wanna go to class,” he said. “The other thing, too, is support. We’ve got great support here with our academic enhancement staff, and I think that with their help, we can get the job done. It’s a big challenge, but I think if everybody works together, we can accomplish that.”
Whether or not Price is able to turn things around will ultimately impact far more than just the basketball program at Grambling.
Photo credit: Ben Corda/Louisiana Gannett