Phillip Sims removed from Virginia roster

Quarterback ruled ineligible for academic reasons, will leave University


Sophomore quarterback Phillip Sims finished 8-for-10 for 115 yards with one passing touchdown during the team’s Nov. 3 romp against N.C. State. It was his final start in a Virginia uniform.

Jenna Truong | The Cavalier Daily

Phillip Sims is no longer on the Virginia football roster and will leave the University after completion of his summer school session, coach Mike London announced Friday. The Chesapeake, Va. native appeared in all 12 games at quarterback during his sophomore season after transferring from Alabama.

“The thing we tell the young men who come to the University of Virginia to receive a world-class education and play for our football program is pretty simple,” London said. “Go to class. Show class and treat people with dignity and respect… Phillip Sims did not make the commitment he needed to succeed here.”

The former five-star recruit completed 56.2 percent of his passes and threw for nine touchdowns and four interceptions while making four starts. Sims showed flashes of his vast potential after supplanting then-junior quarterback Michael Rocco as the starter in the team’s sixth game against Duke.

“I appreciate his efforts last season,” London said. “He is a very talented young man who is blessed with some extraordinary athletic abilities. I still believe Phillip Sims can and will be a successful person. We will do what we can to assist Phillip in continuing his academic and athletic opportunities elsewhere.”

Rocco regained his starting role for the final three games of the season with Sims rotating in based on what London termed a “random rotation.” After the season, Rocco announced his intention to transfer from the University and will complete his final year of eligibility with his hometown Richmond Spiders in 2014.

Sims’ departure seemingly leaves the Cavaliers with a two-man competition under center. Redshirt sophomore David Watford and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert, who were listed alongside Sims atop the post-spring depth released April 22, will likely battle for the starting job this fall.

“The young men who remain with this football program are committed and have done a great job in the classroom, in the weight room and on the practice fields,” London said. “Our team spring semester grade point average is the highest it has been in the past 10 years and we understand that for us to be successful on Saturdays in the fall, it will require that everyone involved in the program do what is necessary each and every day to prepare to win.”

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