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September 14, 2009Eugene Jarvis' bid to become Kent State's all-time leading rusher is over, at least for now.
Jarvis, a 5-foot-5, 170-pound fifth-year senior running back, needs just 563 rushing yards to surpass Astron Whatley's career record of 3,989 yards set between 1994-1997. But, a lacerated kidney suffered in the first half of Saturday's 34-7 loss at Boston College has sidelined Jarvis for the remainder of the year.
Kent State head coach Doug Martin said the Golden Flashes would petition the NCAA to grant Jarvis a sixth year of eligibility.
"That's a terrible tragedy for Eugene, but we can apply for a sixth year of eligibility for him and I'm going to tell you right now, that is a slam-dunk that that kid should get a sixth year," Martin said. "If he doesn't, then somebody's not doing their job or the NCAA doesn't care about kids."
This isn't the first time Kent State will ask the NCAA to grant an additional year of eligibility for one of its players. Former defensive back Abe Elam, now with the Cleveland Browns, missed a year of action due to legal problems he incurred before transferring from Notre Dame and current redshirt sophomore quarterback Giorgio Morgan played in just over one game during the 2007 season before an injury cut short his freshman year.
The NCAA denied both requests.
Martin and his staff already have documented cases of other players across the country that have been granted a sixth year.
"Here's about six or seven articles, examples of guys that have gotten six years and it's everything from guys that had legal problems and missed a whole year and got a sixth year; guys that had an injury and got a sixth year; guys that redshirted their freshman year, didn't play at all and still got a sixth year; so I don't want to hear any excuses about why this kid doesn't get a sixth year," Martin said. "People here are going to work our tails off to make sure he gets that year if I have to drag everybody kicking and screaming to get it done."
Martin said he already has the support of Kent State's athletics director.
"I know Laing Kennedy is behind me on this and he will be right there dragging and kicking and screaming with me, I promise you," Martin said. "We're going to get this kid a sixth year, period. That's the way that's going to go."
Jarvis, whose 3,268 rushing yards ranked second among FBS active career leaders, entered last week's game leading the nation with 265 all-purpose yards. He was held to just 17 yards on 10 carries before leaving the game at Boston College.