Virginia football players whose eligibility would have expired after this season will have the opportunity to play one more year, school athletic director Carla Wiliams confirmed to the Charlottesville Daily Progress. The NCAA's allowance of additional eligibility comes after the shooting death of three Virginia football players and subsequent cancellation of the team's final two games against Coastal Carolina and rival Virginia Tech, respectively.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry were killed in the shooting on Nov. 14, which took place on a bus that had transported students on a field trip to Washington, D.C., according to local authorities. A fourth player, Mike Hollins, was injured in the shooting while a female student was also injured.
Six players on Virginia's roster are listed as "fifth-year" players while another seven are listed as graduate students and among those who could presumably benefit from the additional year, should they choose. Another 12 players are listed as seniors on the team's 2022 roster but are likely be eligible to play another season anyway because of the bonus year provided amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
UVA finished the season 3-7 under first-year coach Tony Elliot. While football-related matters have been pushed to the back-burner amid the tragedy, the chance to bring back a few extra veteran players could benefit the Cavaliers as they assemble their 2023 roster. It will also allow those players who take advantage of the provision the chance to have a senior Day at Scott Stadium after the program's last home game of the season was among those canceled in the wake of the shooting.