The sudden retirement of Virginia women's basketball coach Joanne Boyle was triggered by an ongoing battle to finalize the adoption of her Senegalese daughter, she told The Washington Post.
Boyle needs to take Ngoty, 6, back to Senegal to complete the adoption process, which could take years based on the required paperwork.
"It hit me like a ton of bricks," Boyle told the Post. "I didn't fathom that would be a part of this journey."
If her and her daughter's case is granted preliminary approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, they would return to Senegal for final approval at the American consulate in a process that would take months. Without that preliminary OK, additional paperwork could drag their case out for years.
After obtaining legal guardianship of Ngoty, Boyle initially brought her daughter to the United States in 2014 on a tourist visa. Ngoty overstayed the visa after she fell ill, Boyle told the Post.
"The kid's sick," Boyle said. "It's not like you keep taking a sick kid back."
Even so, that could also complicate the process of approving Ngoty's citizenship.
Boyle's lawyer Irene Steffas told the Post that federal officials have thus far denied the preliminary approval because Ngoty is already in the United States.
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has advocated on the Boyles' behalf for Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve the paperwork. A Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman would not comment on the case to the Post due to privacy laws.
Boyle resigned March 20 after the Cavaliers were knocked out of the NCAA tournament with a second-round loss to defending national champion South Carolina.
At the time of the resignation, Boyle said it was due to a "family matter" but did not elaborate.
The 54-year-old Boyle spent seven seasons at Virginia, compiling a 129-98 record, including 19-14 this season. The NCAA appearance was the program's first in nine seasons. She previously served as the head coach at Cal and Richmond.
Boyle told the Post she has spent more than $100,000 on the adoption process.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.