Coaches often clean house — aka adjust their roster — upon taking a new position. Grambling State volleyball coach Chelsey Lucas, however, completely demolished her new house.
On April 4, only two months after she was hired, Lucas cut her entire 19-player roster. According to KSLA, 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.
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 by pointing to the transfer portal.
"Just as the transfer portal empowers student-athletes," Scott said in a statement, "our coaches are also empowered to make the decisions they deem necessary to advance their programs."
Grambling State athletic communications director Brian Howard also supported Lucas' decision despite saying he was unaware it was coming. He explained it makes sense from a numbers perspective because 14 or 15 "quality" players may be joining the team soon, leaving little room for returners.
He didn't exactly sugarcoat that message, though.
"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."
If winning is Grambling State's goal, Lucas' potentially career-defining decision shows it's willing to do so at any cost.