Former Grambling State University volleyball head coach Chelsey Lucas says she was wrongly fired and is planning to lawyer up after only being employed in the position for less than six months.
In a move that sparked a ton of discussion around in the HBCU Community, Grambling announced that it had fired its controversial new volleyball coach on Tuesday following an internal investigation. Lucas was hired by Grambling in February after coaching at both the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Alcorn State University. She caused controversy just two months after she was hired when it was reported that Lucas told all of the previous athletes on the roster that their scholarships would not be renewed and that she would bring in a completely new roster for the 2022 season.
On Tuesday, Lucas told local news outlet KSLA News 12 that she believes her firing was unjust and that she plans to get an attorney. She also gave the news station 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.”
Reactions to Lucas’ firing have been plentiful. Many think that Lucas’ dismissal was fair based on the way she treated the previous group of athletes. And some have even called for the reinstatement of scholarships for some athletes that Lucas kicked off the squad once she got the job.
Grambling officials also provided comments on the firing of Lucas through a statement posted on the school’s athletics website.
“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 at Grambling. “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.”
Grambling President Rick Gallot added: “It is the responsibility of this institution to make sure that student-athletes are afforded opportunities in a manner compliant with all regulatory organizations. That applies to athletics as much as it does to academics.”
Grambling will now have less than two months to look for a new head volleyball coach and get them acclimated before the 2022 season begins this fall.