Grambling State University volleyball coach cuts entire 19-player roster, players lose scholarships
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on April 08, 2022 |
Students who thought their collegiate futures were secured were sent packing, with their scholarships taken away. Athletic Director Trayvean Scott says he supports the decision made by Coach Chelsey Lucas and that it was not made last minute.
Lucas told each player individually their scholarship would not be renewed because they didn't perform to her standard over the three practices she held this semester.
Naturi Parker was one of 19 players once on the volleyball team. She said she now has to make the decision of whether to stay at Grambling or transfer to a different school.
“The fact that I wasn’t even able to show what I can do is heartbreaking because just like you said I just went through the recruiting process, didn’t get recruited, but still found a way to make it on the team,” she said.
For Maurisa Harris, a Grambling State junior, three practices weren't enough to show her skills.
"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."
The timing of Lucas' decision left the outgoing players only four months to find a new program before the 2022 season.
Still, Grambling State athletic director Trayveon Scott defended the move.
He said he believes the right decision was made and the players still have time to choose to remain at the university or transfer elsewhere.
Athletic Communications Director Brian Howard said Coach Lucas had already recruited somewhere between 14 and 15 players. However, open tryouts were taking place as well.
"I hate to say out with the old, but in with the new a little bit," Howard said. "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."
Coach Lucas released a statement late Thursday afternoon saying the following:
"I met with my team, each student-athlete, individually to discuss my plans moving forward with the Grambling State University volleyball program. My decision was to not to bring back some of the current student-athletes on the team. While student-athletes are granted athletic scholarships, a scholarship is not guaranteed and not binding, per NCAA rules and regulations."
If winning is Grambling State's goal, Lucas' potentially career-defining decision shows it's willing to do so at any cost.
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