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Breaking: Virginia Football Players With Expiring Eligibility Granted Extra Year By NCAA

Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

Seniors on the 2022 Virginia football team have been granted an extra season of eligibility by the NCAA.

The Virginia football team's decision to cancel the final two games of its season following the death of three players last month made sense.

But at the time, it also appeared to abruptly end the careers of the team's seniors.

Now, the NCAA has come through with some relief for those players.

Greg Madia of the Charlottesville Daily Progress reported Wednesday that the NCAA has approved a request to grant all Cavalier players whose eligibility was set to expire this season an extra year.

"Breaking now: The NCAA is granting any #UVa football player whose eligibility expires in 2022 an extra season to play," Madia tweeted. "The decision comes in the aftermath of the tragic shooting on grounds that killed Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry."

Wide receivers Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. and linebacker D'Sean Perry were shot and killed by former teammate Christopher Jones Jr. on Nov. 13. Running back Mike Hollins was injured, as well, but survived.

As a result, the team canceled its matchups against Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech, scheduled for Nov. 19 and 26. The team instead gathered for a public memorial service for the slain players on Nov. 19 and traveled to private funerals the following week.

Virginia finished its season 3-7.

The decision from the NCAA will impact seven players who were set to exhaust their eligibility in 2022, according to Madia's story. They are wide receivers Billy Kemp IV and Keytaon Thompson, defensive backs Darrius Bratton and Anthony Johnson, defensive ends Kam Butler and Jack Camper, and defensive tackle Devontae Davis.

Not all are expected to take advantage of the extra season. Johnson and Kemp have declared for the NFL Draft.

The move is not unprecedented, although this might be the first time the NCAA has made such a ruling for just one team. Following the 2020 season that saw several teams play a partial season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA granted all players nationally an extra season of eligibility.

The NCAA is a popular punching bag these days, but good on it for allowing Virginia's seniors the choice to play for their fallen teammates next season and end their careers with a Senior Day celebration.