Although the late Eddie G. Robinson is one of the most decorated Grambling figures, he is not decorated enough in Grambling.
Grambling State University’s football stadium, which is celebrating its 30th year anniversary, will change its name re-honoring the winningest football coach in NCAA Division I.
Effective Saturday, the university’s 23,200-seat multipurpose stadium will officially include the full name of the legendary coach. After the parade and before the Homecoming game, there will be a short ceremony at 1 p.m. outside Gate 2 of formally known Robinson Stadium, where the name will be changed to Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.
“Since my first few months on campus, I’ve wanted to give Coach Robinson what he’s due in a number of ways, including the official naming of the stadium by giving the stadium his full name,” said President Frank G. Pogue. “This was a priority of mine, and I’m glad the time has come.”
Thirty years ago before the stadium was built, the G-Men played their games on what is now the track behind the Wheatley girls’ dorms. Because of the notability of Grambling’s football program, games attracted large crowds – no matter the opponent – and seats were very limited for everyone.
Freddie L. Colston, a 1971 graduate who also played the cymbals in the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, said the old stadium didn’t take into consideration the many elderly or disabled fans.
“One thing I like about the new stadium is they allow for handicap, they allow for the senior citizens to have good seats,” said Colston, who also said he didn’t mind standing up back in the days Grambling played in the old stadium.
There were a number of people who didn’t mind standing up watching Grambling football games during that era, but there are people from that era who are still around today, and sitting down is more pleasurable to them now that age has caught up with them.
“It’s much better and it’s more enjoyable because you don’t have to be worried about getting up running around going to speak to people and coming back and you can’t find a seat,” said local businessman James Moore. “If you can’t find your seat, you can find a seat.”
Moore has followed Grambling football for more than 50 years and was Robinson’s personal barber for 30-plus years.
The thing that both fans agreed on was that the number of restrooms at the now Eddie G. Robinson Stadium is adequate. Back then, it was said that the bathroom lines were extremely long, so long that sometimes the women would use the men’s restroom and vise versa. Now, thanks to Eddie G. Robinson, using the restroom of the opposite sex is no longer an option.