Grambling State's football player mutiny this past week captured the attention of media outlets and sports fans nationally.
Add Jackson State's lawyers to that list.
Jackson State says it took a financial hit after Saturday's homecoming game was canceled because Grambling forfeited when players refused to play. Now, Jackson State leaders plan to take legal action against Grambling State and "others" to recoup the losses, a Jackson State spokesman said Tuesday night in a message to alumni and school supporters.
"The JSU family was damaged. Our Homecoming game draws tens of thousands of fans. The university intends to use litigation to be made whole for our direct and indirect financial losses," Eric Stringfellow, executive director of Jackson State University Communications, wrote.
"We have a fiduciary responsibility to Mississippi taxpayers and the JSU community to mitigate our ongoing and substantial losses. Jackson State plans to pursue litigation against Grambling State and others."
Jackson State sold tickets up until late Friday afternoon for its homecoming game against Southwestern Athletic Conference rival Grambling State, which had told Jackson State officials and the media that the school would field a team for Saturday's game despite a chaotic week that included a walkout by players and its second head coaching change of the season.
But after players — who began the boycott after a blow out with the Grambling State administration in an Oct. 15 meeting — failed to board the bus to Jackson scheduled to leave late Friday afternoon, Grambling forfeited.
"Grambling repeatedly assured us its team would travel to Jackson. Late Friday afternoon, they informed us their student athletes would not travel to Jackson for our scheduled game," Stringfellow wrote. "We have dealt in good faith with Grambling and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The actions of both have hurt JSU."
"We had every reason to believe that our players would show up at (3:30 p.m. Friday). There wasn't any other thinking," Grambling State spokesman Will Sutton said Tuesday night. "We heard from folks that they were going to show up."
Stringfellow said the financial losses for the school and city are substantial. The school is refunding tickets to fans and local businesses also reported losses.
"Jackson State University's and the city of Jackson's losses could be in the millions," he wrote.
Jackson State's decision to seek legal action is not a surprise to Grambling State.
"We did realize the gravity of the options of what could happen if our players did not show up at 3:30 p.m. on Friday," Sutton said.
Ros Dumlao also writes for the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger.