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Unable to finish career at Brown, LI's Rich Ciufo Jr. will transfer to Richmond for extra year

Shortstop Rich Ciufo Jr. will not be able

Shortstop Rich Ciufo Jr. will not be able to continue at Brown next season because the Ivy League is not offering an extra year of eligibility to spring athletes.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS/Gary McCullough

Rich Ciufo Jr. is a Spider.

He made it official Tuesday that he’ll play  for the University of Richmond in the spring of 2021. The Spiders, who play in the Atlantic 10, were one of 11 Division I schools interested in the slick-fielding shortstop, who was hitting .333 when the season was halted.

Ciufo, of Medford, took advantage of the NCAA’s ruling that granted all spring sports student-athletes an additional year of eligibility after the COVID-19 outbreak forced the cancellation of all intercollegiate sports.

Ciufo, the starting shortstop at Brown, was denied the opportunity to finish his career for the Bears when the Ivy League released a statement last Thursday that the league’s existing eligibility policies will remain in place, including its long-standing practice that athletic opportunities are for undergraduates.

“The Richmond staff was very up front with me and said they needed me to come in and play right away,” Ciufo said. “They were my first choice all along. And the players that I know at Richmond from summer ball had nothing but great things to say about the coaches and the program. I’m excited about the next chapter of my career and the opportunity that it represents.”

Ciufo added that he received scholarship money for full tuition and fees but will have to pay for residency at the school.

“I’m obviously disappointed at the way my career had to end at Brown,” he said. “Those coaches treated me so well. And I made lifelong friendships.”

Ciufo, who will turn 23 next week, said he has so much to look forward to.

“As of right now, the graduation from Brown is going to be sometime in October,” he said. “And I’ll get my masters in non-profit studies at Richmond.”

Ciufo relishes the chance to play against Georgetown, whose starting shortstop is his younger brother Andrew.

“It’s all worked out,” Ciufo said. “My family is very happy.”

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