Ben DeLuca Releases Statement on His Dismissal

Drew Hallowell

DeLuca: "For reasons which still remain unclear to me, after seventeen years as a student-athlete and coach in the men's lacrosse program at Cornell University, I will be parting ways with the university and move on to the next chapter in my professional career."

Ben DeLuca, through the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl (a large firm with what appears to be an established employment, labor, and benefits practice (at least according to the firm's website)), issued a statement today regarding his dismissal from Cornell. The statement is a message of thanks to those that have supported the former head coach following the university's decision to relieve him of his responsibilities and provides further opacity to the circumstnaces that resulted in Cornell choosing to fire him:

"For reasons which still remain unclear to me, after seventeen years as a student-athlete and coach in the men's lacrosse program at Cornell University, I will be parting ways with the university and move on to the next chapter in my professional career," DeLuca said in the statement. "I am grateful for the opportunities that Cornell University has given to me.

"To all of those friends, parents, students, alumni, and mentors who have reached out to me and my family in recent days, your support has been overwhelming and humbling. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

"To the student-athletes of the Cornell men's lacrosse team, I am extraordinarily proud of the way in which you have conducted yourselves during your time at Cornell. I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together, and I wish you all every happiness and success for this season and into the future. My pride in watching you mature as young men is second only to that of your parents and family. It has been an honor to have a window into that part of each and every one of your families and lives."

Cornell -- through its various administrators and staff -- have yet to provide any details around the decision-making process that prompted the university to remove DeLuca from his post after three years as the men's lacrosse program's navigator.

There are two important aspects to DeLuca's statement: (1) He will not further pursue actions to assume stewardship of the Cornell men's lacrosse program; and (2) DeLuca asserts that he does not understand what caused Cornell to issue him a pink slip. Obviously, the second aspect of the statement is more interesting than the first. Whether Cornell responds in any tangible fashion to DeLuca's statement remains in question.

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