UVA loses Brooks, Franklin and Redd

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    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks and two other defensive players are no longer members of the team, Cavaliers coach Al Groh announced Tuesday on the eve of spring practice.
    Brooks, a second-team All-America as a sophomore two years ago, played in only six games last season because of injuries. Also Safety Tony Franklin was a captain last season and defensive end Vince Redd was expected to compete for a starting spot.
    Groh did not give specifics about the decision.
    "There's certain things that are vital to putting your team together every year, and those things become in sharper focus and are multiplied when you're in a rebuilding circumstance as we are," Groh said.
    "Those thing are focus, commitment, dependability, and so while each one of these players' circumstance is distinctly different, in order to put the team together with some consistency and dependability, I've decided that it's best for us to move on from these circumstances, and it's best for these players to move on."
    Franklin, a senior, and Redd, a junior, were among four players suspended for a game late last season for violating team rules. Franklin was also did not attend the Music City Bowl after he was arrested for marijuana possession.
    Brooks' status has long been the topic of speculation, even after he declined to apply for the NFL draft by the Jan. 15 deadline as an underclassman.
    "I think it's essential that internally or leadership-wise, I think it's essential that we have discipline within our organization that guarantees that things are done the right way and not just to chase talent for talent's sake," Groh said. "That's how you put a team together, and so that's what we're doing."
    Brooks, a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker as a sophomore, was also a finalist for the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker in 2004.
    Virginia won the Music City Bowl, 34-31 over Minnesota, without Brooks and Franklin.
    "It really doesn't change our prospectus very much, particularly when you realize that two of the three players weren't a part of what the team was able to do in Nashville," he said.
    Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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