The University of Virginia said it would honor the memory of lacrosse player Yeardley Love by participating in postseason tournaments. Love’s ex-boyfriend, a member of the men’s team, was charged in her death.
“A part of their healing will be getting our students back into some of their routines,” Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage said last night in a statement. “In the case of the women’s and men’s programs, our lacrosse teams will honor Yeardley by continuing their seasons.”
Love, a 22-year-old senior, was found dead in the bedroom of her Charlottesville, Virginia, apartment two days ago, her head face-down in a pool of blood on her pillow.
George Huguely, also 22, told police the two had an altercation during which he “shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall,” according to an affidavit released yesterday.
Huguely, a reserve midfielder for Virginia’s top-ranked men’s team, withdrew from school and will remain at Albermarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
“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,” Littlepage said. “Our primary focus now will be on Yeardley’s family and the young women and young men on our lacrosse teams.”
The Virginia men’s team leads the national polls with a 14-1 record and captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship this season. The Cavaliers are preparing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament and will host a first-round game on May 16.
The women’s team, ranked fifth with a 13-5 mark, is also likely to be selected for the NCAA tournament.
“We anticipate both teams will be selected for the NCAA tournaments and they will represent the University of Virginia as they always have,” Littlepage said.
Huguely appeared in all 15 games for the Cavaliers, with four goals and three assists. He had a goal and an assist in Virginia’s lone loss, 13-9 at home against ACC rival Duke University on April 17. Love played defense and started three games.
Huguely told police investigators that he entered Love’s apartment through an unlocked front door and then kicked open the door to her bedroom. He said in the affidavit that a verbal altercation escalated and Love’s head struck the wall when he shook her. The right side of Love’s face was bruised, her right eye was swollen shut and her chin was bruised and scraped.
Huguely’s lawyer, Fran Lawrence, said yesterday that Love’s death was unintentional.