GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) — In a bold move, Grambling State University’s new volleyball head coach has decided to ax the entire team. The team was informed of the roster change during the first week of April.
Grambling State’s new volleyball coach cut the whole team. (Source: KSLA)
KSLA Kori Johnson spent the day talking with school athletics officials to find out the next steps for the program.
Coach Chelsey Lucas was hired in February to lead the volleyball team. Now some are calling the move unprecedented after all 19 players were released from the squad on Monday, April 4. Many are now asking why.
GSU Athletics director of communications Brian Howard said athletic program officials knew Coach Lucas would make changes to the roster, but he didn’t know to what extent. He says the move hasn’t been discussed before, which is good because changes like these are at the manager’s discretion. According to the players, on Monday the coach called individual meetings with each player and told them that their scholarships would not be renewed.
“The decision is her decision to make and she has some quality players coming on board. I think 14 or 15 come on board at any given time so in terms of things I hate to say with the old one but kinda with the new one,” Howard said. “Obviously we don’t want them to be cut or lose their scholarships or whatever or whatever that might look like. “At the end of the day Coach Lucas has a goal, a vision. We have a goal as an institution and a vision too to win and that’s first and foremost.
Howard says the university’s athletic leaders wish the players whose scholarships were not renewed future success. GSU athletic director Dr. Trayveon Scott also released a statement this week. It reads: “Just as the Transfer Portal empowers student-athletes, our coaches are also empowered to make the decisions they deem necessary to move their programs forward.”
Maurisa Harris, a junior at Grambling, says she played for the team for three years as a DS libero. Harris says each team member received a message from the coaching staff on Monday about one-on-one meetings. During these meetings, each player was informed that his scholarships would not be renewed based on the performance of the players during the three practices held this semester. Harris says the decision has left many of her teammates scrambling to find another program to transfer to late in the offseason.
“She said we weren’t able to train much which we weren’t and she said based on that she couldn’t renew my scholarship so I didn’t really had time to show what I could do. When I was in there and she told me, my heart completely broke. Of course and I didn’t cry in it, but I did when I left and it hurts a lot, the fact that it was ripped off so quickly,” Harris said.
KSLA also reached out to Coach Lucas for comment on the situation. At the time of this article’s publication, Coach Lucas has not responded.
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