Tag Archives: grambling state university

HBCU Money™ Presents: 2018’s HBCU Alumni NFL Players’ & Salaries


In our 5th annual installment of tracking the earnings of HBCU alumni who are NFL players, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead takes the crown.

HBCU Money™ FACTS:

  • HBCU NFL players combine for $38.7 million, an almost 32 percent decline from our last list in 2016, when HBCU NFL players earned $56.4 million.
  • South Carolina State University leads the way with 4 NFL players.
  • 16 HBCUs are represented in the NFL. Up from 15 in 2016.
  • Average salary for HBCU NFL players is $1.8 million, a sharp decrease from $2.1 million in 2016.
  • Median salary for HBCU NFL players is $630,000, down 35 percent from 2016.
  • HBCU players account for 1.3 percent of the NFL’s 32 team active roster spots.
  1. Terron Armstead /University Arkansas-Pine Bluff / Saints / $10.3 million
  2. Antoine Bethea / Howard University / Cardinals / $4.48 million
  3. William Hayes / Winston-Salem State University / Dolphins / $4.05 million
  4. Isaiah Crowell / Alabama State University / Jets / $4 million
  5. Rafael Bush / South Carolina State University / Bills / $2 million
  6. Joe Thomas / South Carolina Sate University / Cowboys / $1.575 million
  7. Brandon Parker / North Carolina A&T State Univ. / Raiders / $1.538 million
  8. Anthony Levine / Tennessee State University / Ravens / $1.4 million
  9. Rodney Gunter / Delaware State University / Cardinals / $705,000
  10. Javon Hargrave / South Carolina State Univ. / Steelers / $691,000
  11. Antonio Hamilton / South Carolina State University / Giants / $630,000 (Tied)
  12. Chester Rogers / Grambling State University / Colts / $630,000 (Tied)
  13. Ryan Smith / North Carolina Central University / Buccaneers / $630,000 (Tied)
  14. Trenton Cannon / Virginia State University / Jets / $619,224
  15. Chad Williams / Grambling State University / Cardinals / $581,500
  16. Tarik Cohen / North Carolina A&T State Univ. / Bears / $555,000 (Tied)
  17. Tony McRae / North Carolina A&T State Univ. / Bengals / $555,000 (Tied)
  18. Michael Ola / Hampton University / Saints / $511,181
  19. Danny Johnson / Southern University / Redskins / $490,000
  20. Trent Scott / Grambling State University / Chargers / $451,674
  21. KhaDarel Hodge / Prairie View A&M University / Rams / $423,529
  22. Jawill Davis / Bethune-Cookman University / Giants / $395,294
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Grambling Football Needs A Lifeline – Call Washington D.C. And Ask For Daniel Snyder


Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. – James Baldwin

If there is a heaven, then Eddie Robinson is somewhere up there raising hell. It goes without saying that since the late great coach’s passing, the most historic program in black college football has seen itself take an unexplainable and precipitous decline over the past decade. A far cry from the expected restoration of the program to its pinnacle after Doug Williams took over in 1998 and proceeded to win three consecutive SWAC championships for the university. The future looked promising and then the wheels began to fall off after Williams returned to the NFL for a stint as a personnel executive. An attempted second tour of duty was too little and too late. Looking forward though the question is how can the program be restored. My solution – call Daniel Snyder.

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Let us face facts, when Grambling State University had the opportunity to leverage its winning ways to raise funds like many HBCUs have, it arguably simply did not strike enough of the iron while it was hot. Now, its cold – ice cold. Furthermore, at this point with HBCU public university alumni giving rates at five percent according to a recent article by HBCU Digest, help is certainly not coming at this point from alumni. The football program needs an infusion of millions and they needed it yesterday to get itself to proper standards that accompany a Division 1 program – not a middle school program. Players not having access to cool water during scorching practices in Louisiana heat, is a recipe for a player death and worse still a lawsuit. While it is hard to pinpoint Grambling’s actual university endowment, it is safe to say it is well under $10 million and that might be being generous. So why should Daniel Snyder come to the rescue or even care?

The Washington Redskins, valued at $1.7 billion are the third most valuable team in the NFL and the third most profitable NFL team with 2012 profits of almost $105 million. Their owner, Daniel Snyder, has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion derived primarily from ownership of the Redskins, private equity, and a number of other enterprises. However, the team has been embroiled in a public relations that seems to never end over the team’s mascot name. Seen as offensive to many Native American groups whose primary ally tends to be African Americans, as it is often noted the only group who has suffered worse in America than African Americans are Native Americans. This often creates a great deal of sympathy for Native American causes among African Americans. Although the team technically plays its games in Maryland, do not be mistaken it is Washington D.C.’s team. A city whose population is 50 percent African American, home to two HBCUs, and two hours drive either way pushes that HBCU number swells to almost ten institutions. Beyond the geographical connection, the Washington Redskins connection to HBCUs runs directly into its own history with Doug Williams being not only an alum of Grambling State University, but the quarterback who led Washington to one of its most memorable Super Bowl victories becoming the first, and still only African American quarterback to do so.

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To say it pains me that we must look outside of our community to resolve our needs is an understatement for anyone who knows me. However, this is a dire situation and it is calling for dire solutions. Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins could use some goodwill in the public as it deals with a growing agitation over the team name and a perceived view of European American owners lack of regard for minority sensitivity. It could use its relationship with Doug Williams connection to both the Washington Redskins and Grambling State University as a way to quell some of that angst. On Grambling’s part they need the public goodwill themselves and show some proactive behavior to resolve this sinking ship. If it means that the president and AD need to go hat in hand to Doug Williams to facilitate the meeting with Daniel Snyder, then pride be damned they need to do it.

HBCUs overall have done a poor job of conveying to their alumni bases just how costly and unprofitable athletic programs actually are. There is still too much confusion of just how much university money can actually be diverted into athletics at public universities which have major restrictions on such activity. It also begs a long-term question if HBCUs can not properly fund their athletic programs, then exactly what is the plan? These type of incidents leave a scar on not only the athletic programs but the universities themselves and HBCUs as a whole. Spelman’s approach was to disband its athletic program as a whole in favor of more wellness programs, which is certainly one approach. There is also the Ivy League approach where there are no athletic scholarships at all. Whatever the solution, Grambling State University needs to act quickly and make a major splash in its resolution before the ghost of Eddie Robinson returns, and if anyone remembers Coach Robinson in a bad mood – it will not be a pleasant hau – I mean return.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Grambling State University


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School Name: Grambling State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $17 894

Undergraduate Population: 5 277

Endowment Needed: $1 888 532 800

Analysis: Grambling State University needs approximately a $1.9 billion endowment for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free annually. Grambling also affectionately known as “The House That Eddie Built” referring to Eddie Robinson, Sr. who was the legendary football coach that in many ways put Grambling State University on the map. There is no accurate source to know just what GSU’s current endowment is but it is safe to say by best guess estimates it is smaller than its in-state arch rival. A frightening prospect when one considers just the shape its arch rival is in although for different reasons. Grambling has one of the most loyal alumni in HBCU nation but it is not translating into consistent giving. There is some sense that Grambling has never quite had an academic niche. That it was prominently known for and at times seems to be in the jack of all trades and master of none box. This can work to their advantage if a strategy is developed around it, but right now it feels more like a ship at sea with no destination. It is geographically located in a great area to develop its graduate school. Located in the northern part of Louisiana, it has above average access to three states which it could heavily recruit in for graduate talent. It is there they could create higher quality donors. It faces a major obstacle in the politics of Louisiana seem intent on dismantling HBCUs. Primarily, this comes in the form of current governor Bobby Jindal and while Louisiana trails in almost every major educational category in the nation, the governor continues to find cuts. Particular those cuts are coming at the expense of African Americans. A joint political strategy between Grambling State University and Southern University to elect a governor that is more HBCU friendly could go a long way, but in order to do that each must first get its economic house in order. Demographics suggest that Grambling State University could be a $50 million endowment without blinking. Whether or not leadership can formulate a unique plan that entices the purse strings of its rabid alumni over the next 5-10 years remains to be seen. Grambling’s importance in northern Louisiana to the strategic development of HBCUs can not be understated. The eye of the tiger must find 20/20 focus or be endangered of going blind.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.