Dirk Katstra arrived at Virginia in 1987 as a basketball recruit and hasn’t left. He played four seasons with the Cavaliers, interned in the athletic department’s promotions office after graduation and then joined the Virginia Athletics Foundation staff in 1992. This is his 22nd year leading the VAF as executive director, his fifth as a senior associate athletic director. Katstra’s three continuous decades in Charlottesville encompass three ADs Copeland, Holland and Littlepage and give him insight into the community, university and department that few can match. Katstra is leading the VAF’s “All In For Excellence” drive that aims to raise more than $24 million in 2017, including $18.3 million for scholarships and $4 million toward an endowment that’s already at $70 million. Katstra’s father, Richard, played basketball at Virginia in the early 1960s and his son Austin is a freshman walk on this season for Tony Bennett’s squad.
DeLamielleure is fairly certain he has CTE, the brain disease that was first diagnosed in the late Mike Webster, the Hall of Fame center from the Steelers whose physical and psychological unraveling was chronicled in “League Of Denial.” Webster suffered from dementia and was homeless when he died of a heart attack in 2002.
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Levy chalks up his teammates quizzical reactions to the hard driving, highly regimented world of pro football. “You expected to be one way,” he says. “And if you outside of that, they think something wrong with you.” When the Lions flew to London in November 2015 to play the Chiefs, his attempt to get teammates to join him on a trip to Stonehenge was met with stony indifference. “It was like, the fuck you wanna go look at rocks in a field for? he says.