Many Grambling State University Lady Tiger volleyball players have been left in shock and wondering what to do without scholarships after their entire roster has been cleared by the head coach. Get the story from Wilton Jackson at Sports Illustrated below.
New Grambling State volleyball coach Chelsey Lucas decided to cut every player on the team, according to Kori Johnson of KSLA-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Lucas, a 2007 Grambling alum, became the team’s head coach in February. She had previously told all 19 players on the team that she would be making some roster changes, according to GSU’s sports communication director Brian Howard.
However, personnel within the department did not know the full extent of the changes that Lucas had planned. Lucas’s move to release every player was not previously discussed, according to Howard, and is something that is typically left up to the coach’s discretion.
The volleyball coach met each player individually and advised them that their scholarships would not be renewed.
Destiny Johnson, who was a sophomore defensive specialist on the team, tweeted a statement on Monday, said she was “sick to her stomach” and very “upset” about being cut from the team and losing her scholarship.
“All the time, energy, (and) dedication I put into the volleyball program here at Grambling State has been thrown right back in my face,” Johnson said. “My entire team has been robbed of our last years to play the sport we love by a woman who has come in and disrespected and belittled us since day 1.
“I’m so upset that the AD has made no effort to look further into this. Grambling State University especially the athletic department should be truly ashamed of themselves. We deserve so much better.”
Howard told KSLA-TV that recruiting efforts have already started to replace the players who were cut from the roster.
“It’s her decision to make, and she has some quality players coming on board,” Howard said. “I think 13 or 14 are coming on board at some point. So, I hate to say out with the old, but in with the new a little bit.”
Trayvean Scott, GSU’s athletic director, said in a statement that “just as the transfer portal empowers student-athletes, our coaches are also empowered to make the decisions they deem necessary to advance their programs.”
Before returning to Grambling, Lucas spent six seasons at two other Southwestern Athletic Conference programs in Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Alcorn State. She coached three years at UAPB where she posted a 37–44 record overall and a 37–17 mark in conference play. Prior to UAPB, she spent three seasons at Alcorn State from 2016 to ‘18.