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Grambling's Offense Might Not Have Seen Its Last Departure
A zippy guard — listed as a junior in your program — sinks the shot that sends Grambling to overtime against Jackson State. When it’s over, he’s posted a career-high 29 points, and added four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Great news for the men’s team. Terrible news for the football team.
That guard is one Greg Dillon, MVP quarterback of the 2008 Bayou Classic and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game.
His presence on Grambling’s basketball team tells me that the football staff doesn’t have much confidence in an ongoing petition to the NCAA for a sixth year of gridiron eligibility. You don’t let your most important offensive weapon risk injury with another sport.
It’s just one more striking development in an unsettled offseason for the Grambling offense.
Though veteran assistant Bob Leahy has been brought on staff at GSU, he has not been named offensive coordinator.
That position remains open, though a decision is pending — and could come from fourth-year coach Rod Broadway as early as Friday. Leahy, as expected, will be a position coach and oversee recruiting.
Whomever earns the position will have to work quickly to develop an offensive plan after a flurry of recent departures — including receivers coach Sammy White, coordinator/offensive line coach James Spady and quarterbacks coach Jay Davis.
Dillon just might be next.
Compliance officers at Grambling are requesting a sixth year of eligibility for Dillon, who originally walked on at another university before walking on again at GSU. College athletes by NCAA rule only have five years to complete four seasons of eligibility.
The process has been hampered by yet another departure — compliance officer Alvin Jackson, who has taken over as athletics director at Tuskegee.
That doesn’t bode well for Grambling, which will need to make a persuasive case for Dillon. Typically these waivers are granted because of catastrophic injury — like Bruce Eugene’s blown-out knee in 2004 — and Dillon has not redshirted for that purpose.
Returning for GSU this spring is Justin Higgins, who led the state of Louisiana in passing yards as a senior prep quarterback, and Danny Reyes — Dillon’s backup in 2009. Higgins arrived in Grambling with a bum knee, and has struggled with inconsistency ever since. Reyes is 6-of-12 all-time at GSU, with 63 total yards and a touchdown. He was originally recruited by Jay Davis.
One more thing: A favorite moment from the weekend of events surrounding the Eddie G. Robinson Museum’s dedication was running into Sammy White, who built a SWAC Hall of Fame career as a receiver for Robinson, then earned rookie of the year honors and a Super Bowl berth at wideout for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. I asked him what he was up to these days, and he said he was now working elsewhere on the Grambling campus — appropriate, I thought. The school should find a spot for legends like him. I then asked where he had been placed, and White had a deadpan answer for the ages: “In receiving.” No kidding. Just perfect.
By Nick Deriso, The Deriso Report