NCAA awards Jarvis sixth year of eligibility

Josh Johnston

Eugene Jarvis will suit up in a Kent State uniform next season.

The NCAA has granted the senior running back a rare sixth season of eligibility, the athletic department announced yesterday afternoon.

Five months to the day after the running back was injured, the department received the call from the NCAA on Friday affirming Jarvis would play the entire 2010 season.

“Words can’t explain how I’m feeling right now,” Jarvis said during a press conference this afternoon in the M.A.C. Center. “The NCAA granted my year. I’m happy for not only me but the university, my family, my friends, people who supported me throughout the whole process. This has been a tough process. For them to come out with that verdict, I’m just thankful and blessed.”

Jarvis missed all but the first two games in his senior season after lacerating his kidney during Kent State’s game at Boston College on Sept. 12. Shortly after, the athletic department applied for a waiver with the NCAA to allow Jarvis to regain his senior season.

As far as his health is concerned, Jarvis said he is fully healed from his kidney injury.

“Right now the process is getting my body into game shape,” he said. “That’s going to be another process by itself. I just have to be patient and take things one day at a time.”

Kent State coach Doug Martin said having Jarvis back for another season is a morale boost for the team.

“Just emotionally having Eugene back, whether he was going to play or not, was valuable,” Martin said. “He was the team captain for us last year, voted by the players. He had the most votes of anybody on our team. Obviously our players look up to him and have a great deal of respect for him. And that’s without putting in his athletic ability, which we all know is extraordinary.

“He’s one of the best backs in this conference. Probably one of the best backs in the country, in my opinion.”

Jarvis redshirted his true freshman year before breaking out in his third season with the Flashes. In 2007 he rushed for 1,669 yards, a school single-season record. An ankle injury sidelined Jarvis for three games in 2008.

The Flashes will start their season Sept. 2 at Dix Stadium against Murray State.

— Josh Johnston