What’s next for UVA football after shootings? Coach shares next steps.


CHARLOTTESVILLE — In addition to supporting a distraught locker room after the deadly shootings of three Virginia football gamers, Cavaliers Coach Tony Elliott additionally needed to be a father. Those duties included speaking along with his two younger sons in regards to the tragic occasions that unfolded Sunday evening.

Elliott’s oldest boy, AJ, was particularly shut with Lavel Davis Jr., an ebullient junior vast receiver who died after a gunman opened fireplace on a bus in an on-campus storage, additionally killing D’Sean Perry, a junior linebacker, and Devin Chandler, a junior vast receiver.

One dialog with AJ, 9, underlined for Elliott the ache of unimaginable loss. It was when AJ informed his father that he understood Davis was not coming again.

Remembering the three football gamers killed in U-Va.’s campus capturing

“The robust a part of that is my boys and my 9-year-old,” Elliott stated Tuesday afternoon, choking again tears, his voice cracking, then trailing off. “I imply, he considers these guys his associates, and that is what’s robust, and each time I see him, I take into consideration the 125 guys that I obtained, and that is how their mothers see them.

“We’re taking it someday at a time, making an attempt to show a 9-year-old in regards to the actuality of life on a stage that he can perceive it. We’re simply placing our arms round him, loving him, supporting him and making an attempt to show him as a lot as he can perceive.”

The visceral feelings from these moments have spilled over into the locker room, the place Elliott spoke in particular person with all his gamers for the primary time Monday morning shortly after a shelter-in-place order had been lifted.

Elliott needed to pause to gather himself Tuesday in relaying among the particulars of that tackle on the college’s football facility, including no choice has been reached as as to whether the Cavaliers will play their remaining house sport of the season Saturday towards Coastal Carolina.

How a U-Va. class journey led to gunfire and demise: ‘Get off the bus!’

“We’ll make it collectively,” Virginia Athletic Director Carla Williams stated in regards to the choice. “It’ll be a dialogue with Coach and the group. Obviously, they are going by loads. We wish to be certain that they’re concerned as properly, and so we’ll use our greatest judgment, however it’ll be quickly. We’ll decide quickly.”

Elliott arrived roughly quarter-hour late for Tuesday’s information convention, marking his first public statements for the reason that tragedy, as a result of he was on the hospital visiting Michael Hollins Jr. The junior working again had a bullet eliminated after being shot in his again, underwent a second surgical procedure Tuesday and is off a ventilator, in response to his father, Mike Sr.

Elliott declined to supply an replace on Hollins, however in response to an individual with data of his scenario, the prognosis is optimistic, though Hollins stays in critical situation. Hollins’s mom, Brenda, in the meantime, has been posting updates about her son on social media.

Neither Elliott, employed in December following the sudden and sudden resignation of Bronco Mendenhall, nor Williams addressed in-depth what, if any, relationship the accused shooter, a walk-on for a semester in 2018, in response to Williams, had with the slain or present group members.

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of second-degree homicide.

“I do not imagine — there was no overlap,” Williams stated of Jones’ time on the group and people of Davis, Perry and Chandler, a switch from Wisconsin. “So I do not know if there was any interplay outdoors of the category.”

Jones had joined about 25 different college students Sunday on a college journey to Washington, the place they attended a play and ate collectively, the college’s chief of police, Timothy Longo Sr., stated Monday at a information convention. When the scholars returned to campus, Jones allegedly opened fireplace about 10:30 pm Sunday for causes that stay unknown.

Accused U-Va. The gunman was scrutinized by the menace evaluation group for weapons

The elder Hollins stated officers informed him Jones introduced the gun onto the bus, waited till he returned to campus and began capturing.

“We have actually centered on our gamers and their households,” Williams stated. “It’s so stunning that you simply simply wish to love on our gamers, so that is what we have — that is the place we have spent our energies. That’s the place we have spent our time. I believe that is what we have to proceed to do.”

Elliott and Williams spoke for roughly half an hour within the media workroom at John Paul Jones Arena earlier than departing to be with gamers and workers members to plan the next steps, each on the sphere and with regard to the logistics of getting a complete group to memorial companies.

Williams indicated the NCAA guidelines for attending such occasions are “permissive,” offering quite a lot of latitude for gamers to journey and obtain compensation for bills.

“My preliminary ideas are to be delicate to regardless of the younger males need to do because it pertains to their teammates,” Elliott stated. “Per Carla’s response from an NCAA standpoint, I will not stand in the best way of that as a result of that is method larger than football. This is a life scenario right here.”

Nick Anderson, William Wan, Laura Vozzella, John Woodrow Cox, Justin Jouvenal, Karina Elwood, Susan Svrluga, Emily Davies and Keith L. Alexander contributed to this report.

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