Fired Cornell lacrosse coach responds to dismissal, 'unclear' on firing

By Travis Eldridge

November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 12:52 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Former Cornell head men's lacrosse coach Ben DeLuca said the reasons "remain unclear" on why the university fired him, according to a statement released by his attorneys Wednesday.

The statement was the first time DeLuca had spoken since being fired from his head coaching position at Cornell last Thursday.

“For reasons which still remain unclear to me, after (17) 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. I am grateful for the opportunities that Cornell University has given to me," DeLuca said in the statement.

During the past three years as head coach, DeLuca led the Big Red to two NCAA tournaments and to the Final Four in 2013.

This September, Cornell canceled the fall season for the lacrosse team following an alcohol-related hazing incident. However, a school spokesman said then that no further punishments were expected for the team as a result.

An alum of Cornell, DeLuca had spent about a decade as part of the Big Red coaching staff as an assistant coach before taking over as the head man after the 2010 season.

In his statement, DeLuca also thanked the people who had reached out to him over the past few days and wished the lacrosse team luck this season.

Assistant coach Matt Kerwick was named Cornell's interim head coach last week after DeLuca was fired.

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