GRAMBLING, La. -- After letting rights lapse to its familiar
"G" on football helmets, Grambling State University is planning
to introduce a new logo for the first time in decades -- much to the
consternation of some fans.
Since the rights to the logo lapsed, outside vendors can produce
and sell items with the logo, all without giving a dime to the
"Grambling paraphernalia sells all over the country. We're
losing money hand over fist," said football coach Melvin Spears.
Athletics director Willie Jeffries confirmed the logo change,
and said an unveiling could come as early as this week.
Some school supporters have a notable lack of enthusiasm.
"Brand identity is not something to play with," said 1990
Grambling graduate Kenn Rashad, who operates a Web site devoted to
the Southwestern Athletic Conference called SWACPage.
"Establishing a successful brand isn't something that can happen
Since the 1980s, Grambling used an oval-shaped "G" on its
football helmets similar to that of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and
the NCAA's Georgia Bulldogs, except in color scheme. Grambling
featured a black-and-gold palette, sometimes circled with an accent
But government records show Grambling lost the copyright on that
logo almost seven years ago, as well as protection for its school
Once the lapse was discovered by new Grambling president Horace
Judson, plans to change the logo got under way, according to
"The big 'G' will still be in play," Spears said. "But we've
got to do some things that make sure our logo is identified only
with us, not with Green Bay or Georgia, as well. The 'G' will still
be on the helmet. It will be a form of that, with a tiger as
Jeffries said updated helmets will be ready in time for football
season, and the design will be standard across all
Still, the university administration has been peppered with
e-mail protests about the plan.
"It's a sad day," said Grambling booster John Wilborn. "I
know that some individuals think we are too close to the Green Bay
and Georgia 'G.' The color, however, is the difference."