UVA’s football team will be allowed to attend funerals of slain teammates

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Carla Williams

Virginia’s football team will be allowed to attend funerals of their slain teammates, services that will stretch across three states.

“The [NCAA] rules are permissive, so we’ll do whatever it takes that helps our players heal and support the families of our three players,” said UVA director of athletics Carla Williams during Tuesday afternoon’s press conference.

Three of the program’s players, Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler, were shot and killed late Sunday night after returning home from a school field trip to Washington, D.C., to take in a play for a drama class. UVA senior Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a former walk-on from the 2018 team, has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder.

Davis was from Dorchester, S.C., Perry from Miami, and Chandler from Huntersville, N.C.

Coach Tony Elliott said that while there are a lot of logistics involved, he wants to do what his players want in terms of attending those three services. (Should anyone want to contribute to the three players families, see the related story on this site for GoFundMe links for all three).

“My initial thoughts are to be sensitive of whatever the young men desire to do as it relates to their teammates,” Elliott said. “Per Carla’s response from an NCAA standpoint, I won’t stand in the way of that because this is way bigger that football. This is a life situation here.”

Elliott said the school hasn’t been informed of any details regarding services for the three slain players at this time, so he hadn’t given much thought beyond that, taking a day-at-a-time approach to the entire scenario.

“My initial thought is to support them in whatever they decide that they want to do, and support the families.”

The tragedy, Elliott explained, reaches far beyond just the UVA and Charlottesville communities.

“Not only is this community impacted, but I think about the community in North Carolina, the community in Florida and the community in South Carolina that are impacted by this tragic event.”