The NCAA will grant any Virginia football player whose college eligibility expired this past season an extra year to play, a response to the shooting on Grounds that killed three teammates, UVa athletic director Carla Williams confirmed Wednesday.
Virginia initiated and submitted the request, she said.
The decision from the NCAA comes in the aftermath of last month’s tragic shooting on Grounds in Charlottesville that killed wide receivers Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler and linebacker D’Sean Perry.
The Cavaliers, who finished 3-7 in their first year under coach Tony Elliott, canceled their last two games of the campaign — a non-conference contest against Coastal Carolina and their annual rivalry game at Virginia Tech — after the shooting.
And instead of playing football on those days, UVa players and coaches gathered for a public memorial service to honor the lives of Davis, Chandler and Perry at John Paul Jones Arena on Nov. 19. The following week, the Hoos traveled as a group to the funerals of their three fallen teammates. Perry’s funeral was held in Miami, Chandler’s in Virginia Beach and Davis’ in North Charleston, S.C.
The extra year of eligibility will mostly impact graduate players and sixth- or fifth-year seniors if they decide to take advantage of the additional season they’re being offered.
According to the Virginia roster, players who completed their final year of eligibility this past season include wide receivers Billy Kemp IV and Keytaon Thompson, defensive backs Darrius Bratton and Anthony Johnson, defensive ends Kam Butler and Jack Camper, and defensive tackle Devontae Davis.
Not all will use the extra year, though. Johnson and Kemp have already declared for the NFL Draft. Johnson was a sixth-year senior this past fall and will play in the Senior Bowl this coming February. Kemp was a fifth-year senior this past season.
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