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Volleyball players' departures a big net loss for FAU

Six players on the women’s volleyball team are packing their bags, but they aren’t going to the next tournament. They are transferring to a different college team or quitting the sport completely.

Near the end of last fall’s season, six players were caught “talking” about leaving the team because what they felt were problems within the coaching organization. Comments were made about transferring to play for ranked, out-of-state university teams.

“I wasn’t planning on transferring for sure,” said a veteran player who asked that her name not be used because of the sensitivity of the issue. “I was just talking about it because of the way things were going with the team overall. Just talking.”

The conversation was supposedly restricted to the 13 teammates, but that obviously didn’t last long. The coaching staff eventually heard about the transfer discussions and was not happy.

“We were suspended for one practice and the last game,” another transferring athlete recalled. “But then we were allowed to play again. The six of us were a huge part of that team.”

But the problems don’t end there. Another player on the team grew so frustrated throughout the season and just quit.

The players were not necessarily “kicked off” the team for talking about transferring, but some believe the confusion about playing or not playing led them to leaving the team. The coaching staff attempted to discipline the players, but decided at the end of the season that a win was more important, the players said.

The team had a record of “about 500,” according to Head Coach Jody Brown. That means that they won “about half of their games.” However, the school’s Web site statistics show that the team won 11 matches and lost 16. And the team only won two matches the whole second half of their season.

“During the first half of our season, we won nine out of 13 matches,” a player said. “And then we just couldn’t win a match I guess. That was probably why the girls started talking about transferring.”

The transfer decision that the six players made does not seem to faze Brown, who has been the volleyball head coach at FAU for the past 14 years.

“We are building on what we have,” Brown said. “The girls we have returning next fall are fantastic and the incoming players are wonderful.”

He added: “It is going to take a lot of work on and off the court,” Brown said. “We are doing a great deal of fundraising, recruiting, and training to prepare for a better season next fall.”

Until then, the players must attend spring training practices because they are all still on full-ride scholarships. Out of 13 players, eight are on out-of-state full-ride scholarships, four are international students and four are from Florida.

All the transferring players will lose their scholarships at FAU; however, five are transferring to be on scholarships at out-of-state universities, one player quit the sport, and another is playing at neighbor Lynn University.




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