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Sports briefs: Grambling football players end boycott
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

College football • Naquan Smith and his Grambling football teammates have no regrets about a nearly weeklong boycott that forced the university to forfeit its game against Jackson State on Saturday.

Grambling players stood behind Smith on Monday during a news conference outside of the Eddie Robinson Museum on campus in Grambling, La. Smith said the entire team was present and that the vote to return to the field was "100 percent."

"The football team took a stance on what we thought was right," Smith said. "We did not quit on our university. There are many problems that exist and if no one says anything, nothing will become of our institution."

Grambling's players staged the boycott because of many issues with university leaders, including the school's rundown facilities, long bus trips to road games and personnel decisions.

Grambling president Frank Pogue said Monday night that the national attention would help publicize the funding plight for historically black colleges and universities.

Portugal, Sweden in Cup playoffs

Soccer • Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal must beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden in a playoff to advance to the World Cup in Brazil. The two teams were drawn to face each other in a two-leg series.

France will play Ukraine, and Greece was paired with Romania. Iceland will host the first leg against Croatia, which fired its coach last week.

The four winners will complete Europe's 13 entries in the World Cup.

Isinbayeva will remain ambassador

Olympics • Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva will remain an ambassador for the Youth Olympics. Isinbayeva condemned homosexuality last August at the world championships. The next day, Isinbayeva said her comments in English may have been misunderstood.

Former IOC President Jacques Rogge said last month Isinbayeva's role could be reconsidered. But IOC spokesman Andrew Mitchell said Monday that Isinbayeva had clarified "that she is against any discrimination."

From wire reports

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