Grambling State University’s new college volleyball coach cut all 19 of the team’s current players, nearly 2 months after she was hired. Now, some of the volleyball stars face losing their scholarships following the unprecedented move.
Chelsey Lucas, who spent three years coaching at The University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff (UAPB), was responsible for Grambling State’s drastic roster change. According to KSLA, after consulting with the university about the decision, Lucas called each player individually and notified them that their scholarship would not be renewed.
Maurisa Harris, a Grambling State junior, told the outlet that she was devastated by Lucas’ decision, noting how she was only given three practice periods to show off her true potential.
“I didn’t really get any time to show what I could do,” Harris told KSLA. “When I was in there and she told me, my heart completely broke. Of course, I didn’t cry in there, but I did when I left and it just hurts really bad, the fact that it was snatched away so fast.”
Lucas’ swift decision comes at a tough time for the players, who are now racing to secure another scholarship program before the end of the 2022 season, which is in four months, according to CBS Sports.
Grambling State University officials appear to be supporting Lucas’ swift move. GSU Athletics Communications Director Brian Howard said in a statement:
“The decision, it’s her decision to make, and she’s got some quality players coming on board. I think 14 or 15 coming on board at some point, so in terms of things, I hate to say out with the old, but in with the new a little bit. Obviously, we don’t want them to be cut or lose their scholarships or whatever that might be or whatever that might look like. At the end of the day, Coach Lucas has a goal, has a vision. We have a goal as an institution and a vision as well to win and that’s first and foremost.”
Trayveon Scott, Grambling State’s athletic director, also defended the harsh sweep.
“Just as the transfer portal empowers student-athletes, our coaches are also empowered to make the decisions they deem necessary to advance their programs,” he said in a statement.
Before leading the volleyball team at Grambling State, Lucas served as head coach at UAPB for three years. Under her guidance, the team racked up an impressive overall record of 37-44. The 2007 Grambling State alum was also the head coach at Alcorn State from 2016 to 2018 for three seasons.
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