The newly fired head volleyball coach at Grambling State University is pushing back against the narrative that she invited her own termination by cutting the entire team and says she was just following orders. This comes as the movement to get those players reinstated is gaining momentum.
Chelsey Lucas was fired last week after mere months on the job following an internal investigation from the fallout of the volleyball players being cut. In a subsequent interview, Lucas said that Grambling State Director of Athletics Dr. Trayveon Scott was the one who “directed” her to cut the whole team, a move she said she was against.
“I was literally directed at one point … to get rid of them all,” Lucas said in an interview with 247 Sports. “But I turned around in that same meeting and told him ‘No, that’s not what we are going to do’ and I was not only in that meeting I had two other coaches sitting with me in that meeting.”
Lucas explained: “I met with 14 girls on the day that we had our end-of-the-year meetings. On April the 4, I met with them. There were girls that I gave them reasons of why you will no longer be a part of the Grambling volleyball program, and there were student-athletes that I asked — that I asked — I want you to be a part of this program. This is your decision. I want you to come in and help me build a winning program here. I was looking for the university to make a statement and say that this did not happen.”
Lucas said she specifically looked for Scott “to say this did not happen,” to no avail.
Lucas also said that she felt like there was a calculated plan set in motion to get her fired from a combination of athletes she coached in the past and the athletes who were on the Grambling State roster under her short tenure.
After her dismissal, Lucas said that she would obtain legal services. It is not clear whether or not a lawsuit has been filed against the university.
Since her firing, an online petition to have the cut athletes’ scholarships reinstated has started to gain significant traction amid this debacle. The petition had nearly 4,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
“Lucas has been terminated due to findings from the investigation!!! The Ladies of Grambling Volleyball would like Grambling State University athletic department to reinstate athletic scholarships in hopes to allow the remaining players to complete their athletic careers and to allow the student-athletes to complete their education debt-free,” the petition says in part. “These ladies are ready to join forces with new recruits and future coach! Majority of the players that have remained are seniors and looking to complete their legacy. Praying Grambling State will continue to do the right thing and keep the ladies in their best interest!”
With less than two months left before the start of the 2022 Volleyball season, Grambling is now searching for a new head volleyball coach that can right the ship after an offseason full of controversy.