That didn’t last long.
Grambling State University has fired the head volleyball coach who was brought in to turn a struggling program around but spent her entire tenure surrounded by one controversial move.
The former coach, Chelsea Lucas, was canned yesterday after an internal investigation, local station KSLA reported. It’s unclear what the focus of that investigation was but it’s very clear that Lucas’ time at Grambling was overshadowed by one story: her cutting the entire volleyball team and revoking every player’s scholarship shortly after she was hired in February.
Lucas cut 19 scholarship players in total, replacing them with new players who in some instances followed her from her previous job at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where she put up a losing record over three seasons as head volleyball coach. Because of the timing of the roster moves, many of the Grambling players were left without the opportunity to try to find another school that would give them a scholarship to play.
The school is now conducting a national search for a new coach, but its athletic department says whoever it hires will inherit the players already on the team, as it has guaranteed that current scholarship and walk-on players will keep their spots.
Meanwhile, Lucas issued a statement saying she was muzzled by the university throughout her controversial employment and is now free to speak out. She said her firing came without warning and she won’t take it lying down.
“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.”