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In wake of Yeardley Love's killing, U-Va. men's and women's lacrosse will finish season

Both the Virginia men's and women's lacrosse teams will compete in their respective NCAA tournaments following the death of former women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, Athletic Director Craig Littlepage announced as part of a Tuesday statement. Former men's lacrosse player George Huguely has been charged with Love's murder.

Littlepage consulted with each team's coaches and with Love's family before announcing the decision, according Jim Daves, a spokesman for school's athletic department.

"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. We anticipate both teams will be selected for the NCAA Tournaments and they will represent the University of Virginia as they always have."

There had been speculation since the details of the murder were released about whether the teams would compete in the postseason. The men's team is ranked No. 1 and the women's team is ranked No. 5. The tournament begins on May 15 and 16 on campus sites.

Read Littlepage's full statement below:

"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 Yeardley¹s 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 students¹ 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 women¹s and men¹s 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 Yeardley¹s life and her passing."

By Zach Berman  |  May 4, 2010; 9:06 PM ET
 
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Next: Virginia-Southern California at 10:30 p.m.

Comments

FYI, it's not correct to say "former women's lacrosse player" when she passed away while currently active on the team. The word "former" should be dropped.

Posted by: elliek2 | May 5, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

The solution is to always to let the games resume. "It's what she would've wanted". "Let's dedicate the rest of the season to Yeardley." "The players should continue w/ their normal routines."'

What a bunch of baloney. The games continue because it's in the best interest of the school to have the games continue. Has a team ever actually cancelled a game to honor a fallen teammate?

Posted by: randysbailin | May 5, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

randysbailin - I'm sure the players want to play. They may not "feel" like playing because they probably don't feel like doing anything as they are overcome with grief. However, once they get out there they will want to play. Also, in most cases I think it is what the deceased person would have wanted.

Check out the ESPN 30 for 30 doc on Loyola Marmount and Hank Gathers' death for proof that in the end players want to play.

Posted by: gkronenberg | May 5, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

randysbailin - I'm sure the players want to play. They may not "feel" like playing because they probably don't feel like doing anything as they are overcome with grief. However, once they get out there they will want to play. Also, in most cases I think it is what the deceased person would have wanted.

Check out the ESPN 30 for 30 doc on Loyola Marmount and Hank Gathers' death for proof that in the end players want to play.

Posted by: gkronenberg | May 5, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Of course both teams will finish the season. Would anyone expect them NOT to finish it? Please!!!!!!!!!!!

Continuing the season is the BEST therapy for both teams. Not to finish it would be an insult to the Yeardly's dedication to her team, not to mention leave her team to delve further into grief with no outlet to keep from falling apart completely.

Play on UVA Lacrosse and good luck to both teams, except if they play the Terps.

Posted by: memyselfI1 | May 5, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely agree; if the teams both met and determined they'd have the capacity and desire to continue the season, then play on.

The Baylor basketball murder and the Loyola Marymount death proved that the best therapy is try to continue a sense of normalcy and play in the memory of the fallen. These students are going through finals and the last thing they need is the additional emotion or pressure of a cancelled season.

Read the other WaPo article, the family of the victim actually met with the women's team before the decision was made. You think the teams would continue to play if the family said they disapproved? With the blessing of the family, the teams will play in her memory.

Think about the resuming of sports after 9-11...sports is an outlet and therapy for not only those personally involved, but also for the fans, students, and community in general.

Posted by: VamosUnited | May 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind."

Bet Huguely was molested by a Roman Catholic priest, or his father, or his grandfather.

Let's get The U. back to The Founder's prophetic wisdom: the Roman Catholic Church is "the real Anti-Christ,""an engine for enslaving mankind."

Posted by: iamerican | May 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this story would have gotten any attention of the victim wasn't cute and white.

Posted by: meiam | May 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 'meiam'...to some extent. It may have received attention but not nearly as much.

I have a problem with this statement:
"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."

To me, this implies that if a young person is athletic and popular, it's more of a tragedy. Two of my children are just a few years younger than this girl and to suggest that their lives are not as valuable is an insult to their families, friends and others who would be greatly affected if their lives suddenly ended.

Posted by: AprilNE | May 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Has a team ever actually cancelled a game to honor a fallen teammate?
randysbailin | May 5, 2010 8:59 AM
====================================

I fail to see how forfeiting a game by not playing it honors the fallen teammate. Care to explain that one?

Maybe the bomb disposal team should not show up for the next bomb threat to honor one of their own who was killed, too.

Posted by: Darr247 | May 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think President Casteen was making any statement, implied or otherwise, about Yeardley Love being more talented, more athletic, more popular, whiter, etc. than the average young person. In my mind, what he was saying was, "she was a student at my school, and her death was a greater tragedy for that fact."

Posted by: jburksva | May 5, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Casteen is an anti-Jefferson, moron philistine. Don't put anything bad past him.

Posted by: iamerican | May 5, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that they should forfeit the rest of their schedule. How about trying to postpone the next game by a week w/o forfeiting so that the players can do some grieving? When I was high school, one of the players on the basketball team and a friend of his who was close to the basketball program was killed in a car wreck. We had a game the next night. The coach thought it best to play the game. We ran up and down the court like a bunch of zombies.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 5, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think this story would have gotten any attention of the victim wasn't cute and white." ... You're not getting any attention because you're stupid and moronic not because of the color / appeal of your skin... Get a clue...and a life...

Posted by: RiSKybizness | May 5, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@randysbailin - the "rest of their schedule" is the NCAA tournament, which I believe starts this weekend. The VA women's team is ranked 5th in the country, right behind Duke, by the way... last year Duke edged them in the first round by a couple goals. They should not meet in the first round this year, though I haven't yet seen the brackets.

Posted by: Darr247 | May 5, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh... it says it right in the article - "The men's team is ranked No. 1 and the women's team is ranked No. 5. The tournament begins on May 15 and 16 on campus sites."

Posted by: Darr247 | May 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, knowing that the teams have decided to go on with the games................... well......... who cares...........her death is meaningless....hey...... let the GAME go on!!!!!!!!!!!!.....SHAME ON YOU ALL............ I HOPE you LOSE...... what ever happened to grief, and respect of human life. but.... I have to thank you..... because her death, (and his tragic end).. really don't bother me anymore....... thank you for that... I'm sad to hear her family wants to "look forward". move on as they say...

Posted by: edv123rn | May 5, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The UVa men's lacrosse team has been through a lot of tragedy recently. It's a good article that I found this morning on the suicide of one of their teammates. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=4959390

Posted by: Reignking | May 6, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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