Phillip Sims, quarterback transfer from Alabama, has been granted a release by the NCAA this evening and will be eligible to play immediately, per a UVA release:
NCAA Grants UVa QB Phillip Sims Transfer Waiver. Alabama Transfer Eligible This Fall— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) July 11, 2012
With NCAA approval, Sims will enter UVA as a redshirt sophomore. Because he had already sat out a year in Tuscaloosa, a waiver denial would have cost him a full year of eligibility.
Days ago, we reported that the NCAA had denied a similar request for Auburn transfer Michael Dyer (though his request was not similar at all, in that Dyer's "hardship" was nowhere to be found). Sims, a Chesapeake native, has stated that he is moving up to Charlottesville to be closer to his ailing father. You may also notice that Brian (Leung) predicted in that post that Sims's request would be approved on this very date, showing the depth of his inside connections (or dumb luck.).
In his freshman campaign with the Crimson Tide, Sims was caught behind starter AJ McCarron, completing just 18 of 28 passes for 163 yards. Looking further back, he was a 4-star rated prospect by Rivals, also coming in as the #2 athlete in the state and #2 quarterback in the nation.
The announcement doesn't come as a shock, as the approval of the waiver has been the prevailing wisdom of media sources. However, it does start to clear up the Virginia QB depth chart...a bit. Despite Sims's impressive recruitment profile and undeniable talent, the experienced Michael Rocco will likely be under center for the Hoos when they take on Richmond this fall. He put together a strong sophomore season, knows the offense well, and will only be improving. However, Sims has a strong chance to rise to the top of a growing list of QBs that includes returners David Watson and Greyson Lambert (who will likely redshirt).
We'll have more as details emerge on this developing situation, and of course plenty to talk about as the 2012 NCAA football season draws closer