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The Virginia lacrosse tragedy

A sad and charged conversation is going on among our Readers Who Comment today as they discuss the death of Yeardley Love, the University of Virginia lacrosse player, the arrest of George Huguely, another UVa lacrosse player, the role alcohol plays on college campuses, and the dangers of abusive relationships.

A number of comments question the Post's emphasis on alcohol issues, noting that many college students drink. Others offer advice on abusive relationships and note that they occur at all levels of society. Some rail against the privileges they see college students receiving.

As Matt Bonesteel, Daniel de Vise and Meg Smith write, "The fatal altercation between Huguely and Love early Monday in her Charlottesville apartment may not have been their first violent encounter. Two months before Love's death, two current and one former University of North Carolina lacrosse players intervened to separate Huguely from Love at a party on the U-Va. campus in Charlottesville, according to two sources with knowledge of the incident."

We'll start with Vaiconoclast, who wrote, "As a UVa alum, I have become increasingly more alarmed and ashamed at my alma mater as more facts in this case have evolved. Why wasn't this student expelled after the incident with the Lexington police officer? Wouldn't this constitute a honor code violation?"

DragonRoll wrote, "Huguely tarnishes the reputation of all Wahoos. As an alumni, I find it offensive that UVA admittedd this loser, and kept him at the University after these drunken escapades. Early expulsion could have saved another life at the minimum ......"

And Georgetwoner added, "Fellow Wahoo here -- my thinking exactly. The guy threatens to KILL an officer? That should've been at least a suspension right there. I recall a football player lost his scholarship due to a disciplinary infraction -- how could that infraction have been any worse than getting drunk, blacking out, and fighting with an office and threatening to kill her? I hate to say it, but it sounds like the University blew it in not booting this kid. Or at least yanking his scholarship."

pfallsgirl wrote, "...While I do not in any way condone or excuse Mr. Huguely's behavior, I think there was a systematic failure on the part of his parents, schools and coaches to address his apparent inability to cope with "loss." We have created a society where every kid gets a trophy/is always a winner, with the end result being that children today aren't being taught how to lose, or how to deal appropriately with failure..."

nothiringanyone said, "Is the Post trying to drum up popular support to somehow lay this terrible incident at the feet of the lacrosse team, their coaches, the athletic department, and the school at large? Are they suggesting that a portion of responsibility belongs to anyone other than the indicted? Just maybe, sometimes, senseless acts are senseless... If you pass the blame around you allow people to pass the buck AND unfairly foist blame upon those to whom it does not belong."

robl wrote, "Oh PLEASE!!! They're were in college, everyone drinks or experiments! Do you want to keep everyone in nappies their entire life? Try doing some real journalism."

And Samael asked, "What do the other players have to do with the scumbag who alledgely murdered the girl? It looks like Coach Starsia has the team under control with regard to alcohol..."

While jckdoors said, "Stop coddling these spoiled, self-entitled punks."

purpledog wrote, "Once again, the tt message boards bring out the raging few. Why the hatred for whole classes of people? Why the hatred for "white" or "wealthy" (in this case) or "black" or "muslim" (in most others)? It's tragic, period. The kid committed a crime and he deserves to be punished; it's awful that Miss Love's future has been destroyed. Isn't that enough? It's disrespectful to use these comment areas to further intolerant, hateful platforms. Maybe the Post should start shutting these down."

hokie92 asked, "What is up with the UVa athletic department deciding to let the men's lacrosse team go on to play in the NCAA lax championship? Sure, it's appropriate for the women to play in the women's championship in Ms. Love's honor. But the men's team should show some honor and respect for Love and withdraw from the championship in her honor..."

silentnomore wrote, "Did he accidentally get drunk before he accidentally kicked down her door and accidentally made her hit her head?? Please, Mr. Lawyer, how dumb do you think people are? And yes, UVA men's lacrosse, shame on you for even thinking of playing in the championship. What a sad message that sends to younger kids."

tammany wrote, "The irresponsible and frequently inflamatory posts in this thread really make me question the desirability of these comment sections... The story is only tragic and stupid. It is not a morality play, not an allegory, and reflects on no one except a young man who evidently could not control himself."

bcaka said, "Spoiled arrogant rich kids. Used to be; go to college, get drunk, cause some trouble, if caught, mom and dad will take care of it. Then go on to become politicians and businessmen. Now; go to college, get drunk, cause some trouble, kill people, if caught, mom and dad and daddy's lawyers will take care of it... Mark my words - I bet is this weasel will get off either scott free or with a few hours of 'community service'."

thmas wrote, "I am concerned that nobody counselled Love to get a peace bond on this guy... At least one in five female college students is assaulted. Colleges need to do a better job teaching their students not only their rights, but their resources. At best, a restraining order could have simply kept him away. At worst, she could have kept 911 on a speed dial, and the police would have been alerted that she was especially vulnerable."

reedjohnmiller1 said, "There are a lot of red-herrings in this case- the relative wealth of the defendant and victim, lacrosse, etc... The article suggests the school was not formally aware of this guy's previous criminal record let alone details of the incidents. It doesn't say if the coach or his parents knew and if they did, why he didn't face more severe consequences. After the incident in Lexington, as a condition of not getting jailtime, he should have been suspended from the team at minimum and compelled to do counseling and prove he'd shaped up..."

RVZ555 wrote, "Why is it everyone assumes this murder was the result of a college student being "rich/spoiled/priveledged?" Poor people who don't play lacrosse murder their ex-girlfriends and wives every day across the country in housing projects and trailer parks. What is the reason for those murders? I'm guessing many of you... just want a chance to bash people you hate: sucessful, upper middle class, and (oh the horror), white..."

arlingtonreader wrote, "This story seems like a witch hunt just to find a new (and not really relevant, in my opinion) angle on this case. These were 2 adults of legal drinking age involved in this tragic situation... I think what is relevant is a possible history of domestic violence in this relationship and the accused's criminal history. The rest of the players, who are grieving, need to be left out of it..."

We'll close with KJSHARVARD, who wrote, "...Having dated an emotionally abusive guy, I can understand why a woman would stick with an abusive boyfriend, at least for a while. The person the abused falls in love with initially is not abusive, that happens later in the relationship. Then it takes a while to understand what is happening, how this person could have turned into someone so different and so horrible. Apparently, Ms. Love realized her boyfriend was a fiend and ended the relationship. Unfortunately, as too many before her, she paid for it with her life. So sad."

All comments on this article are here

By Doug Feaver  |  May 6, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
 | Tags: UVa, University of Virginia, Yeardley Love, alcohol, lacrosse  
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Those who suggest the men's team should pull out of the tournament are nuts. You mean you think the young men on that team should be punished for failings that were not their own? Isn't that the modus operandi of the Westboro Baptist Church?

Posted by: UVaWahoo06 | May 6, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

YES - these tragedies can be prevented! We ALL have to share the warning signs of an abusive relationship. How can you be safe if you don't know what to avoid?

It appears that many of these warning signs were present in Yeardley Love's relationship and it appears that she had removed herself from the relationship with the punk that eventually killed her. Unfortunately one of the most DANGEROUS times in a relationship is after it has already ended - the cowards feel they have nothing to lose anymore.

SHARE THE WARNING SIGNS with those you love & care about.
REFUSE to be affected by these cowards.
DO SOMETHING until this information is as commonly known as looking both ways before you cross the street.

(available at

* History of legal or discipline problems.
* Blames you for his / her anger.
* Serious drug or alcohol use.
* History of violent behavior.
* Threatens others regularly.
* Insults you or calls you names.
* Trouble controlling feelings like anger.
* Tells you what to wear, what to do, or how to act.
* Threatens or intimidates you in order to get their way.
* Prevents you from spending time with your friends of family.

* Talk to someone that you trust.
* Plan *in advance* to have a safe place to go.
* Keep money and your cell phone or calling card with you at all times.
* Memorize important numbers in case your phone is taken.
* Establish a code word or sign so family, friends, and co-workers know when to call for help.

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
24/7 Se Habla Espanol

Posted by: jenniferannsgroup | May 6, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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