University fires volleyball coach who cut entire team
GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA/Gray News) - A university in Louisiana fired its head volleyball coach after she cut the entire team as the players learned about the roster change back in early April.
Coach Chelsey Lucas was hired by Grambling State University in February to lead the volleyball team. Many called Lucas’ move to release all 19 players from the team unprecedented.
GSU Athletics Communications Director Brian Howard told KSLA in April that the athletic program leaders knew Lucas would be making some changes to the roster, but he did not know to what extent.
He also says that those kinds of changes are at the coach’s discretion and do not need to be discussed beforehand.
According to the players, the coach called individual meetings with each player on April 4 and told them their scholarships would not be renewed.
The university said Lucas’ termination was the result of an internal investigation within the volleyball program.
“The success of student-athletes and their ability to matriculate at Grambling State University is the top priority,” Dr. Trayvean Scott said, president of intercollegiate athletics for GSU. “As we move forward in this transition and commence a national search for the next coach, all volleyball student-athletes who received scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year will keep their scholarships and remain on the team. Walk-ons will also continue to hold their roster spot.”
KSLA reached out to Lucas for a comment on the decision. She responded with the following statement:
“Since I started at Grambling, I have been ordered not to speak to the media. My voice has unfortunately been silenced despite the rumors and accusations about me. As a result, I have not been able to provide my side of the story about the many events that have occurred during my tenure as head volleyball coach at Grambling. I was told today, without notice or any opportunity for discussion, that I was being terminated. When I asked why I was being terminated, the administration was not able to provide me any details about why they decided to fire me.
“This termination came just days after I had requested and then had a meeting with the President to discuss the way I had been treated in recent weeks by the Athletic Director. The AD, without me knowing in advance, was invited to this meeting with the President. The AD was visibly upset at my complaints during my meeting with the President, and today I was informed that he was the one who recommended my termination. I will be working with my attorney to prepare a response, and believe that my side of this story will demonstrate that what happened to me today was not right or just.”
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