UVA classes to resume Wednesday; No decision yet on football games
Wednesday morning update: Saturday's game has been canceled.
Classes at the University of Virginia will resume Wednesday and will run on their regular schedule, according to an email to the university community from President Jim Ryan. Undergraduate students will not be required to complete any graded assignments or exams before the Thanksgiving Break. Plans for a memorial service are still being made, according to the message.
During an emotional news conference Tuesday afternoon, football coach Tony Elliott and athletic director Carla Williams said no decision has been made yet about the team's remaining two games. Williams said the decision will be made with the coaches and team and will come soon.
Elliott described a group of student athletes that was still grieving and stunned. "I've just been focused on loving these players and consoling the families," Elliott said. "For me, the focus is not past today. I'm just trying to figure a way to get everybody back together this evening and see them again and spend some time. And in due time we'll collaborate on the path moving forward."
Elliott said as soon as the staff had clearance to tell the team about the deaths, they gathered players, pooled counselors and worked to make sure no one was left isolated. "The first meeting was really, really tough," Elliott said as he choked back emotion. "Today was much better. We were able to transition from the pain to finding a little bit of the joy and celebrating the lives of Lavel and D'Sean and Devin." Elliott said the team was on the road to healing "but it's going to take some time."
The team is scheduled to play Coastal Carolina in Charlottesville on Saturday and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on November 26th. During his weekly news conference, Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry said he had been in touch with Elliott and noted Virginia Tech's own experience with tragedy during the 2007 shooting on that campus. “UVA was here for us in 2007 and we are here for them now. It’s bigger than football,” Pry said.
Also Tuesday, Governor Glenn Youngkin stopped at the impromptu memorial site that has been created outside Scott Stadium. The visit was not announced on Youngkin’s public schedule. He said he just wanted to pause and pay his respects. "As a dad, and a Virginian, we’re all broken today,” he told a few reporters who met him at the stadium.
This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.