May 4, 2010

UVA Lacrosse Teams Will Continue Seasons

from staff reports

Despite the alleged homicide of a women's lacrosse player and murder charges against a men's lacrosse player, the University of Virginia lacrosse teams will make their anticipated NCAA tournament appearances, athletic director Craig Littlepage said in a statement Tuesday.

Yeardley Love, 22, was found dead Monday morning by Charlottesville police, who declared it a homicide and shortly thereafter arrested George Huguely, with whom Love had a previous relationship. The teams met late Monday and discussed the possibility of pulling out of their respective postseasons, according to reports.

"A part of their healing will be getting our students back into some of their routines," Littlepage said in the statement. "In the case of the women's and men's programs, our lacrosse teams will honor Yeardley by continuing their seasons."

According to an affidavit, Huguely admitted to police that he shook love during a dispute and that her head repeatedly hit the wall. Police found evidence of significant physical trauma after responding to a potential alcohol overdose call by Love's roommate.

A Charlottesville attorney representing Huguely contended Tuesday that Love's death was tragic, but accidental. Investigations are ongoing.

Littlepage's full statement follows:

"The loss of any young person is tragic. When that young person has the talent, personality, and potential of someone like Yeardley Love, the loss goes much deeper.

Yesterday President Casteen wrote a moving message about Yeardley to the University community.  His thoughts were presented eloquently and powerfully, summarizing the uniquely talented student that Yeardley Love was.  In comments made by her teammates and friends, Yeardley was described as an 'angel' and the type of person who would light up any room. She was a dedicated student-athlete and a natural leader.

We are all heartbroken that we will not see the full potential that this wonderful young woman would have brought to our lives and to our community. Our primary focus now will be on Yeardley's family and the young women and young men on our lacrosse teams.

The students are under tremendous stress and have experienced a huge loss. Our students' welfare will be continually observed over the coming days and weeks so that we are poised to ensure they are healing and coping as best as can be expected. Beginning with the early morning hours on Monday, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, and Counseling and
Psychological Services deployed staff to assist our lacrosse student-athletes.

A part of their healing will be getting our students back into some of their routines. In the case of the women's and men's programs, our lacrosse teams will honor Yeardley by continuing their seasons. We anticipate both teams will be selected for the NCAA Tournaments and they will represent the University of Virginia as they always have.

In the past 24 hours numerous individuals throughout college athletics and higher education have expressed their concern and support for the University of Virginia. Their thoughtful words are appreciated at this difficult time.

I am proud of the dignified way in which our students and coaches have responded to such a traumatic situation. The parents of our students also have my appreciation for the way in which they mobilized, and joined us as plans were put together to assist the teams. Finally, it is comforting to see how the University community has rallied in support of all who have been
touched by Yeardley's life and her passing."

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