Virginia Football Undecided If It Will Play Saturday - 6 Days After 3 Players Killed

The Virginia football program's plan after three of its players were shot to death Sunday night has not involved a game yet.

"You prepare for this job, and there's no chapter on a situation like this," Virginia coach Tony Elliott said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. "I'm just trying to figure out step by step how to be strong for these young men. I've broken down. I've had those moments in front of the team."

The Cavaliers are scheduled to play a home game Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Coastal Carolina, but practices Monday and Tuesday were canceled. And the status of Wednesday's practice was not known as of Tuesday afternoon.


Junior linebacker D'Sean Perry of Miami, junior receiver Lavel Davis Jr. of Dorchester, S.C., and junior receiver Devin Chandler of Huntersville, S.C., were shot to death at about 10:15 p.m. Sunday after returning to campus from a bus trip to Washington D.C. to see a play.

Christopher Darnell Jones, a native of Petersburg, Virginia, who was on the football team in 2018, was arrested and charged with three counts of second degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in committing a felony. He is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

Elliott was asked if he had thought about the game Saturday at all.

"At this point with the sequence of events and the timing, I've just been focused on loving these players and consoling the families," he said. "The focus is not past today. In due time, we'll collaborate on the path going forward."

Virginia (3-7) is scheduled to end the season on Nov. 26 at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Players And Coaches 'In Shock'

"We'll make (the decision to play or not) together," Virginia athletic director Carla Williams said. "There will be discussion with coach and the team. Obviously, the players are going through a lot, and we want to make sure that they're involved as well. We'll use our best judgment. It'll be soon. We'll make a decision soon."

The players have been meeting with counselors and psychologists from the university since Monday along with team meetings with Elliott and the other coaches.

"Just like many of you all and those close to the situation, we're still in shock and trying to rationalize, but also finding encouragement from the community," Elliott said. He is in his first year as Virginia's head coach following the previous 11 years as an assistant at Clemson.

"It feels like it's a nightmare, to be honest with you," Elliott said. "And I'm ready for someone to pinch me and wake me up and say that this didn't happen."

A fourth Virginia football player who was shot Sunday night has survived after two surgeries. Junior running back Mike Hollins Jr. of Baton Rouge, La., had a bullet removed on Monday and had some small intestines removed in another procedure on Tuesday. His family says he is doing well.

"Mike is a young man who is fully invested in this institution," Elliott said. "And he's a guy that I've seen really start to come into his own from a leadership standpoint. I'm hard on Mike because Mike has a ton of potential."

Elliott choked up twice during the news conference, but managed to speak about each of the fallen players.

"From a team dynamic standpoint, Devin, he was the life of the party," he said. "He always kept everybody entertained. He could keep everybody energized and found a way to make it fun. He brought just a ton of personality. Lavel, man he was one of the big men on campus, so to speak, because everybody knew who he was. And D'Sean was the quiet guy that everybody wanted to know more about because he was a very interesting young man in terms of the depth. We lost three beautiful human beings that had an unbelievable future ahead of them."

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Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.