CHARLOTTESVILLE, FEB. 21 -- Senior guard and team captain John Johnson, suspended from the University of Virginia basketball team Saturday after a positive drug test, will not return to the Cavaliers, Coach Terry Holland said today.
"There are no second chances," Holland said after Virginia's 65-62 Atlantic Coast Conference loss to Clemson in Clemson, S.C. "I've told my players, 'If something like this happens, I will still love you, but you are done as a player.'
"John is still part of our family and we still love him, but there's no possibility he'll play again. I'm not mad at him. I am tremendously disappointed, but certainly not more than John himself."
Holland and other school officials, citing the guaranteed confidentiality of the drug-testing program, refused to specify what type of drug had shown up on the test.
Johnson, a three-year starter, accompanied the team to Clemson Saturday even though he knew of the suspension before leaving here.
He sat on the bench at Littlejohn Coliseum for today's game as freshman John Crotty replaced him in the Cavaliers' lineup.
A team spokesman said Johnson would not comment beyond the statement he released through the Virginia sports information office Saturday.
In it, Johnson said, "I tested positive after a team drug test this week as part of the Virginia athletic department's drug testing program.
"I've made a terrible mistake, and I've hurt many people, including my family, my teammates and coaches and myself. I know Virginia fans, and youngsters in particular, have followed my career. I regret what I've done and I'll do whatever it takes to regain the respect I feel I've lost."
Johnson's suspension comes as the Virginia athletic department is in the process of reviewing its drug-testing policies. Under the current system, the first positive test results in suspension, according to Athletic Director Jim Copeland. At the discretion of the coach and team physician, a suspended player is eligible to return after testing negative on a subsequent test.