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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
NCAA rules UVa QB Phillip Sims eligible

By Heather Dinich

Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims, who transferred from Alabama, has been granted a waiver from the NCAA and is eligible to play this fall, the school announced on Wednesday. Sims will not be required to sit out one season per the NCAA's bylaws regarding undergraduate transfers. Sims transferred to UVa after spending the past two years at Alabama. He redshirted the 2010 season and played as a backup in 2011.

Sims will have three years of eligibility at Virginia starting this season. He has been enrolled since June.

"I am pleased we were able to work with the NCAA to get a resolution regarding this matter," coach Mike London said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to having Phillip and the rest of our team in camp this August."

Virginia's quarterback situation just got much more interesting. After asserting himself as the starter last season, Michael Rocco will now be pushed more than ever before. Rocco started 13 games last year and showed progress as the year went on, but Sims will obviously be given a chance to compete for the job. London was not available for further comment, but has said that Sims' arrival has forced the other quarterbacks to raise their games.

"Mike is our starting quarterback, and I’ve said that time and time again and I think hopefully we’re at a point in the program where players who come in, not only Phillip Sims, but the incoming freshmen class want to compete for opportunities," London told ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson in May at the ACC spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla. "When you have players who want to compete for opportunities, then everybody gets better at that position. The quarterback is a high profile position. We don’t talk about the defensive ends or the corners coming in that are going to be competing for playing time as well. But that’s the mind-set you want to set for the team.

"Every year the team has to be re-formed and reborn. Hopefully, the guys who have been in the system have a comfort level and say,' Hey, I don’t care who you bring in. This is my job.' If we have that type of mind-set, I think we’ll be OK."