CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Coastal Carolina’s football game Saturday at the University of Virginia has been canceled in the aftermath of Sunday night’s deadly shooting that resulted in the deaths of three football players on the school’s campus.

“As much as we love gameday and the spirit it brings, there is a time when the sanctity of life and sustaining of a community take precedence,” Matt Hogue, CCU’s vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics and University Recreation, said in a statement. “We fully support the decision and will continue offering our assistance and contribute however we can toward the healing of our friends and colleagues at UVA.”

CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell said the focus is on those affected by the tragedy.

“Our program is heartbroken for the University of Virginia, the victims’ families, loved ones, friends, and the entire community of Charlottesville,” he said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “While our football team was looking forward to competing against the University of Virginia, we support their decision not to play. Our program will continue to uplift their program, University, and community in our prayers as they continue to navigate this difficult time. We all stand in solidarity with UVA.

Later Wednesday, during CCU’s weekly news conference, Chadwell said he got word of the cancellation at about 7:45 a.m. and that he has been in touch with Virginia head coach Tony Elliott throughout the week to offer condolences, prayers and support.

Chadwell said the shooting has weighed on his players and that the team met on Monday to talk about what happened.

“Life is short,” he said. “That there’s evil that exists and it’s OK to ask why stuff like that happened. We don’t have the answer to why it happened, but we do know there is evil that exists.”

Saturday’s game was supposed to have been the first of a three-game series with the Cavaliers, and Chadwell said he expects “that we’ll try to figure out how to play it again down the line at some point. Whenever that may be, we’ll be happy to figure … finish the contract out or whatever it may be from that standpoint.”

For now, CCU is scheduled to host Virginia in 2023 and travel to play in Charlottesville in 2025.

Those who bought tickets to Saturday’s game through the Chanticleer Athletics Ticket office will receive a refund. Fans are asked to allow three to five business days for refunds to be processed.

One of those killed in the shooting was starting wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. of Dorchester County.

Wilson High School football coach Rodney Mooney coached Davis at Woodland High School in the Lowcountry.

“And the nonsense continues!” Mooney tweeted. “Another young man loses his life for no reason. Such a bright future and an incredible young man. You’ll be missed ‘Big Show’ (The original). What a pleasure you were to coach at Woodland. Prayers up for the Davis family and Woodland community.”

Virginia officials have confirmed that the shooting occurred on a bus full of students returning back to the university campus after a field trip. Football players Devin Chandler, from the Charlotte area, and D’Sean Perry, from Miami, were also confirmed to have been killed in the shooting.

Two other victims were taken to the hospital with injuries, including one who was in critical condition and one who was in good condition, according to the school.

WRIC and WFXR contributed to this report.

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