The “G” has been used on Grambling’s football helmets for the past 31 years. Last week, the school — thinking it had let its trademark on the “G” lapse — announced it was going to create a new logo because it had lost its legal right to make vendors pay for the rights to use the “G” on merchandise.
According to Grambling records, however, the school only applied for a trademark in 1997 and was turned down because it was too similar to the logos used by the Packers and the University of Georgia.
The Packers, in fact, own the trademark on the “G” but had given Georgia and Grambling limited rights to use the logo. The Packers have had the “G” plastered on their yellow helmets since 1961.
“Grambling, with its renown and international acclaim, should have its own mark,” Vickie Jackson, a Grambling spokeswoman, said. “This administration is taking us to another level. Part of that is standardizing the look.”
Grambling’s use of the “G” has another Packers tie.
According to Wilbert Ellis, who at the time was an assistant to school president and baseball coach R.W.E. Jones, one reason the school chose the “G” was to honor Willie Davis, a Grambling graduate who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his play at defensive end for the Packers.
Davis — who opened scouts eyes by making 19 solo tackles and 16 assisted tackles during a game against Florida A&M — was the school’s first hall of famer. He was drafted by Cleveland in the 17th round of the 1956 draft and acquired in a 1960 trade by Vince Lombardi. He is the Packers’ all-time leader in fumble recoveries with 21.