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September 18, 2008One week after benching starting quarterback Peter Lalich for its game against UConn, the University of Virginia has benched the sophomore signal caller permanently.
Sources close to the Lalich family have confirmed to CavsCorner that Lalich was informed early Thursday afternoon by UVa athletic director Craig Littlepage that he was being dismissed from the football program.
CavsCorner has also learned that should Lalich decide to stay at Virginia he would remain on scholarship for the remainder of the 2008-09 calendar year, although it is almost a certainty that he will look to transfer to another program.
According to one source close to the situation, Lalich had yet to speak with UVa head coach Al Groh about the matter as of 7:30 p.m., however the University of Virginia issued the following statements on the matter Thursday night.
Said Littlepage: "Peter Lalich is no longer a member of the University of Virginia football team. We have supported Peter, but believe today a point has been reached where it's best for all concerned that he no longer participate on the team. This is my decision and it has the support of head football coach Al Groh. We wish Peter the best in the future. We will have no further comment."
Added Groh: "Any time a situation doesn't work out in the most positive way for any player it's regrettable, but we stand united with this decision."
In a court appearance this morning, which had been moved up from Sept. 26, Lalich admitted to drinking alcohol during his probation, which stemmed from being cited for underage possession in July.
However, the judge chose not to revoke Lalich's probation, meaning that if he adhered to all conditions going forward that the legal charges against him would have been dropped in July of 2009.
Based on that news, it was believed by those close to Lalich that he would not only not face any additional punishment from UVa but that he would return as the Cavaliers' starting quarterback against Duke on Sept. 27.
Lalich had returned to practice on Sunday and was taking reps with the first-team offense.
Multiple sources had previously told CavsCorner that members of the athletic administration staff had mandated that Lalich be punished by the football program, which led to him not making the trip to UConn.
According to those same sources, that decision was made as a result of photos that had been posted on Lalich's Facebook page, which had since been removed.
Lalich was one of the most highly rated players to commit to Groh during his tenure. The four-star quarterback picked the Cavaliers over offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Florida State, Miami, Michigan and UCLA.
Lalich passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns and in eight appearances as a true freshman, and this season he started Virginia's opening two games, completing 39 of 74 passes for 358 yards and three interceptions.
Lalich's future plans as they relate to continuing his football career are unknown.
Stay tuned to CavsCorner for more on this breaking story.