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University fires volleyball coach who cut entire team, reinstates players

(C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Grambling State has fired volleyball coach Chelsey Lucas after just five months, the school announced Tuesday.

Lucas made headlines in April after cutting all 19 players from the team and opting not to renew their scholarships. At the time, Grambling State athletics communications director Brian Howard told KSLA that the changes were at the coach’s discretion. He also said that athletic department leaders knew there would be roster changes, though they didn’t know to what extent.

Following the cuts, an internal investigation was conducted that resulted in Lucas’ termination. All of the student athletes who were cut have been reinstated.

“The success of student-athletes and their ability to matriculate at Grambling State University is the top priority,” said Trayvean Scott, the school’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics. “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.”

Lucas provided a statement Tuesday to KSLA in which she said that she had been “ordered not to speak to the media” since the start of her tenure at Grambling, which resulted in her being “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,” her statement read. “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.”

Lucas added that she had requested a meeting with the university president in regards to her treatment by the athletic director, only to find him present during the meeting.

“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,” the statement continued. “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.”