Junior forward Austin Nichols has been dismissed from the Virginia men’s basketball team, coach Tony Bennett announced in a press release Friday evening.
A transfer from Memphis, Nichols sat out last season per NCAA rules. In 2014-15, he was named first team All-American Athletic Conference for the Tigers. That season, he ranked third nationally with 3.4 blocks per game.
Nichols was suspended for a violation of team rules for the team’s two preseason scrimmages and the opener against UNC-Greensboro.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of this program, and Austin has lost that privilege,” Bennett said. “We have standards for our student-athletes, and when those standards aren’t met, there are consequences and this is the unfortunate consequence.”
Nichols made his season debut Tuesday against St. Francis Brooklyn. Coming off the bench, the Collierville, Tenn. native flashed his talent, scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and grabbing three rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Nichols’ dismissal will open the door for more minutes in the low post for sophomore center Jack Salt and sophomore forward Jarred Reuter — both of whom also played 16 minutes Saturday — along with redshirt freshman forward Mamadi Diakite. The extra roster spot also could lead Bennett to take the redshirt off of freshman forward Jay Huff.
Virginia will next play Sunday against Yale. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m at John Paul Jones Arena.