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The quarterback, who started his collegiate career at Alabama, was declared academically ineligible to play for Virginia this season.
ASSOCIATED PRESS | File 2012
Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims (14) steps into the end zone for a score as Miami defensive back Ladarius Gunter (37) tries to make the stop in Charlottesville.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Phillip Sims, declared academically ineligible to play football for Virginia this coming season, has decided to transfer to Division II Winston-Salem State.
It will be the third college for Sims, who began his career at Alabama, where he was the back-up to A.J. McCarron on the Crimson Tide's 2011 national-championship team.
Sims transferred to Virginia this past spring and played in 12 games for the Cavaliers, including four starts. He passed for 1,263 yards and nine touchdowns, compared with four interceptions.
He was rated the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the country by SuperPrep magazine when he was a senior at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake.
Rams' assistant athletic director Kevin Manns said Monday that football coach Connell Maynor has spoken with Sims and can confirm that Sims' intention is to enroll at Winston-Salem State.
Neither Maynor nor Sims was available for comment.
"Since he was declared academically ineligible by Virginia, he would not be eligible to play for Winston-Salem State this year unless he received a waiver," said Manns, who indicated that his school's compliance officer was not on campus Monday.
Sims already has received one waiver from the NCAA, which approved his hardship appeal to have instant eligibility at Virginia based on a family medical situation.
Sims was redshirted as a freshman at Alabama in 2011 and has two years of remaining eligibility in Division I, where there is a five-year eligibility "clock."
In Division II, there is a 10-semester rule that only counts time as a full-time student. Theoretically, Sims could enroll as a part-time student at Winston-Salem State, sit out the 2013 football season and have two more years of eligibility.
If Sims has any NFL aspirations, he most likely would want to wrap up his college career before 2015.
At Winston-Salem State, he will be joining a team that won its first 14 games before losing to Valdosta State 52-7 in the Division II title game.
Quarterback Kameron Smith, who passed for 3,312 yards and 43 touchdowns for the Rams this past season, was a redshirt senior in 2012.
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