This article about former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V, who is accused of killing classmate Yeardley Love, incorrectly said that Michael Mullally is a business associate of Huguely's father. Mullally is a business associate of the Galliher & Huguely lumberyard and is a friend of members of the Huguely family, but he does not know George Huguely IV.
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George Huguely, accused in Yeardley Love's death, was a man of privilege, rage
Huguely finished the eighth grade at Mater Dei School in Bethesda and matriculated to nearby Landon School, an elite boys' private school. He did not want for confidence. Thrust into a football game as a freshman, he promised a coach he would make a big play -- in exchange for a kiss from the coach's fiancee, according to a Washington Post profile in 2006. Huguely promptly intercepted a pass, then walked off the field to ask for the fiancee's number.
He was the starting quarterback in his senior year and led Landon to a conference title. In lacrosse, he amassed the fifth-largest goal total in school history.
Huguely also displayed an irreverent side. Once he stole his coach's car keys from his office, pulled his car onto the lacrosse field and, from the driver's seat, struck up a conversation with the coach. The team burst out laughing, according to Huguely's account.
That same year, Huguely spoke about accusations of rape -- later refuted -- against the Duke University lacrosse team, whose roster included five players from Landon. Although Huguely had no connection to the incident, he told The Post: "I sympathize for the team," he said. "In this country, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty."
Huguely went to U-Va. to play lacrosse, but he was not the star he was at Landon. He was more the team jester, although his humor could be sharp. He had a running joke about the fixation other players had with the "flow" of their hair as it trailed beneath their lacrosse helmets.
He was still cocky but lacked some of his teammates' discipline. He let his 6-1, 200-pound body go soft. Teammates branded him "Fuguely," a mashup of his name and a common vulgarity.
"You'd see him walk in . . . with other lacrosse players, and you'd think, 'Oh, there goes a bunch of lacrosse players and some other guy,' " said a bartender at a popular Charlottesville bar. "He just seemed like kind of an overgrown big kid."
Huguely hosted friends at his family's five-bedroom beach house on North Carolina's Outer Banks and on his father's 40-foot yacht, the Reel Deal. The elder Huguely often took lacrosse players on fishing trips and was a regular presence in Charlottesville and at team parties.
"I view them in the same way," one former player said. "Mr. Huguely was the same as George."
There was occasional discord between father and son. On winter break during Huguely's junior year, while vacationing at the family home in the affluent Palm Beach community of Manalapan, Huguely leapt from the Reel Deal into the water after a loud argument with his father. Huguely refused to return to the boat and a passing vessel picked him up, according to a sheriff's report.
But on campus and off, Huguely lived mostly within a bubble of privilege. The lacrosse team had a record unparalleled in men's athletics at U-Va., having captured national titles in 1999, 2003 and 2006. Within their circle of coaches and alumni, boosters and bartenders, the players were treated as local heroes even as alcohol fueled brushes with the law.
Eight of the 41 players on the men's roster this spring had been charged with alcohol-related offenses during their time at the university, according to court records; two were found not guilty. A ninth had been charged before joining the team. A 10th had a charge related to marijuana possession.