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Thursday, April 4, 2013
An appeal is under way that would enable ex-Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco to play for the University of Richmond next fall.
The Spiders originally were rejected when they requested a waiver from the NCAA.
Normally, transfers are able to move down from the Football Bowl Subdivision (previously Division I-A) and play immediately in the Football Playoff Subdivision (I-AA) if they have graduated.
At the time he requested his release from Virginia, Rocco was on track to graduate in four years but had only been in school for five semesters.
"Most kids who find themselves in this situation have redshirted somewhere along the way," Richmond coach Danny Rocco said. "If a kid plays three straight years, like Mike did, he's not usually on the transfer market.
"In no way was [the waiver request] an attempt to beat the system."
Rocco played briefly at Virginia as a true freshman in 2010, then started 21 of 26 games over the next two seasons. He elected to transfer because of uncertainty over his future in a program that had five scholarship quarterbacks.
"We took 28 transfers when I was the coach at Liberty and never had a situation like this," said Danny Rocco, who is Michael Rocco's uncle. "But there was a rules change in 2006 that made it harder to transfer from an FBS school to an FCS school with one season of eligibility.
"I guess there was a mass exodus of transfers at that point and I think they implemented this rule to make that navigation a little more challenging."
It is Danny Rocco's understanding that the appeal will not be heard by the same group that received the original waiver request. Even if the appeal is declined, Michael Rocco would still have access to a fourth season of eligibility in 2015.
"Michael's initial plan was to go FBS," Danny Rocco said. "Once he started looking at FCS, I alerted Michael and [father] Frank that he might be declared ineligible. But even then, we thought a waiver was a real strong possibility."
On second thought
Chris Rowsey, father of Timesland boys basketball player of the year Andrew Rowsey from Rockbridge County, said Wednesday afternoon that his phone "hasn't stopped ringing" since the announcement that UNC-Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach was resigning to take an assistant's position at UNC-Wilmington.
"He had told us that, if the occasion ever arose where he could go back to N.C. State [Biedenbach's alma mater] or if he could go to Wilmington, where his daughters live, that would be the only reason he would ever leave Asheville," Chris Rowsey said. "I never would have thought he would have taken an assistant's job."
The best-case scenario for the Rowseys would be if one of Biedenbach's UNC-A assistants got the job, "but if somebody else took it on and they'd never seen Andrew play, I don't know what that would be like," Rowsey's dad said. "We've already built a relationship with the ones that are there."
Liberty has announced that football player Aldreakis Allen, who rushed for 1,019 yards and was the second-leading rusher in the Big South in 2012, has been suspended after a violation of team policy.
The Lynchburg News & Advance reported that Allen was arrested on charges of malicious wounding and robbery following an incident March 3. Allen earlier had been suspended for the entire 2010 season for underage alcohol consumption and consensual off-campus sex.
Concord in Athens, W.Va., has taken an oral commitment from ex-Patrick Henry wing B.J. Hamlett, who played this past season for Massanutten Military Academy, where he shot 41 percent on 3-pointers and averaged close to 7.0 points for a team that finished 30-4.
Former Cave Spring standout Amin Abuhawwas also played at Massanutten and has Division I dreams as well as some D-II interest, according to head coach Chad Myers, a former Roanoker. Massanutten is sending players to Kansas, Utah, Miami and Boston College.
The UVa women's tennis program defeated a No. 1-ranked team for the first time in program history when it outlasted North Carolina 4-3 on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. One day earlier, then-No. 27 UVa had lost to seventh-ranked Duke, 4-3, in Durham, N.C.
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