It was not that long ago that newly hired Grambling State University head volleyball coach Chelsey Lucas made national news by “firing” (cutting) the entire team she inherited. But according to KSLA News 12, the chickens have come home to roost, as Lucas was recently shown the door by GSU officials.
When Lucas cut the entire team in April, several sportscasters and sports lovers on social media lamented that the move was a bad look for HBCUs. Some, however, noted that new coaches have the authority to keep or release players as they see fit. Apparently, the same is true for university administrators. They can release head coaches at their discretion.
GSU’s discretion was said to have been moved to fire Lucas as 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,” said Dr. Trayvean Scott, 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 News 12, Shreveport, La’s CBS affiliate, sought a parting comment from Lucas, who responded to the request 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.”
The Defender reached out to Karma for a comment. She responded with a couple of questions, asking “Did Lucas just complain about being terminated ‘without notice or any opportunity for discussion,’ and describe that situation as ‘not right or just’? C’mon playa. She didn’t say that with a straight face, did she?”
The GSU president also offered words on the situation.
“It is the responsibility of this institution to make sure that student-athletes are afforded opportunities in a manner compliant with all regulatory organizations,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “That applies to athletics as much as it does to academics.”
Karma added that just as those cut student-athletes had to search for new schools if they wished to continue playing volleyball, Lucas will more than likely be looking for a new destination, as well.
Grambling will conduct a nationwide search for a new volleyball head coach; preferably one whose tenure is longer than three months.