Grambling athletic director, students speak on new volleyball coach’s decision
GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) - Just a day after learning Grambling State University’s new volleyball coach cut the entire team, KSLA spoke with the school’s athletic director.
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.
In a one-on-one interview, Scott explained that any time a team concludes their a spring season and it doesn’t lead to a championship, it gives the coach a chance to evaluate and draw the course for the team going forward. He also said he has an open-door policy and that players who have concerns should discuss them in a private meeting.
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.
Parker and her teammates received a text message from Lucas, asking them come to a meeting in her office.
“There had been talk since she got here about her bringing in 14 to 15 girls,” Parker said.
However, Scott said he believed this to be a rumor.
“I want to provide some fact. I’ve been told, and again I’ve only spoken to two student athletes, one prospective and one current, that Coach Lucas is bringing an entire team is inaccurate. My belief is it is four or five young ladies. I think the tone and tenor is that she cut the entire team, in fact she intended to keep four or five,” Scott said.
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.
On Wednesday, April 6, Athletic Communications Director Brian Howard said Coach Lucas had already recruited somewhere between 14 and 15 players. However, open tryouts took place Thursday, April 7.
Parents of high school students who were set to play for the team this fall reached out to KSLA. They tell us their scholarships are also no longer being honored.
A concerned family member of one of the prospective players said the coaching staff sent out emails this week. The one she received stated the following:
A parent that wishes to remain anonymous said the news is shocking because his daughter is a talented athlete with a 3.7 GPA. He says his main concern at the moment is his daughter’s mental well-being.
“I understand that its a game, it’s a game, it’s a sport, a professional coaching job, but at the same time there is a way to go about doing things. For her to stay there and keep that thought in the back of her mind that, ‘I’m suppose to be out there.’ I don’t think its healthy mentally for her to stay,” he said.
That parent also expressed despite this decision, he believes it is still important for the community to support all HBCU’s.
Coach Lucas released a statement late Thursday afternoon saying the following:
Sources tell KSLA that some of the players who were released are holding a meeting this week to discuss possible courses of action.
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