The heralded transfer from Alabama is ineligible to play and will leave the university after completing his current summer school session, coach Mike London announced Friday. London said in a statement released by the school that "Phillip did not make the commitment he needed to succeed here."
Sims, once one of the nation's most highly rated high school quarterbacks at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, played in all 12 games for the Cavaliers last season. He started four, as a redshirt sophomore. He completed 132 of 231 passes for 1,426 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Sims was competing with David Watford and Greyson Lambert for the starting job next season, and was listed third on the depth chart London released after the conclusion of spring practice.
"The thing we tell the young men who come to the University of Virginia to receive a world-class education and play for our football program is pretty simple," London said in the release. "Go to class. Show class and treat people with dignity and respect. Those directions are pretty easy to follow and they will lead you on a path of success. When an individual strays from those directions, it is very disappointing to me."
Sims, who redshirted at Alabama as a freshman, then played sparingly as the backup to A.J. McCarron in the Crimson Tide's national championship season of 2011, said he sought a transfer to be closer to his family and was declared eligible to play immediately by the NCAA.
Known for a big arm that accounted helped him set state records with 10,725 yards passing and 119 touchdown passes in high school, he led Oscar Smith to one state championship and a 48-4 record over four seasons. In transferring to Virginia, he was reunited with high school teammates tailback Perry Jones and wide receiver Tim Smith, but never quite gained command of the Cavaliers offense. He was brilliant in stretches, but struggled mightily at other times.
"I appreciate his efforts last season," London said. "He is a very talented young man who is blessed with some extraordinary athletic abilities. I still believe Phillip Sims can and will be a successful person. We will do what we can to assist Phillip in continuing his academic and athletic opportunities elsewhere."