ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes announced Friday that senior post Peter Jurkin has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
Jurkin, a 7-foot, 245-pound center, was granted a medical waiver by the Big 10 Conference for the 2012-13 season due to severe medical injuries. These injuries continued on during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, which led to Jurkin receiving an additional year of eligibility due to a loss of opportunity to participate and an extension of his eligibility clock to include a sixth year of competition.
“I’m very excited and I want to thank ETSU and the NCAA for granting my sixth year,” Jurkin said. “I’m looking forward to leading our team on and off the court. I want to have an important role in what we accomplish this year.”
Forbes said he was excited for Jurkin.
“I’m very happy for Peter,” Forbes said. “He deserves this opportunity. He has endured and overcome a lot of physical pain since he stepped foot on campus as a freshman at Indiana. He now has a chance to enjoy a pain free senior year.”
ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander praised Forbes and the rest of the staff that made this possible.
“This is an example of the commitment Coach Forbes and our entire staff have to our student-athletes,” Sander said. “Other people would not have kept fighting and persevered in a situation like this, but we did.”
Forbes also said he was grateful to those individuals who worked tirelessly to reach this conclusion.
“A lot of people worked very hard to help make this happen for Peter,” Forbes said. “Kay Lennon, Associate AD for Student-Athlete Welfare and Compliance, did a phenomenal job preparing and presenting his case. She stayed the course throughout this process and never relented on Peter’s behalf. This wouldn’t have happened without her diligence and hard work. Our medical team of athletic trainer Brett Lewis, Dr. Ralph Mills and Dr. Reagan Parr have provided Peter with tremendous medical care since his arrival at ETSU. They were very instrumental in the positive outcome he received today.
“The NCAA deserves a lot of credit for this decision as well. They were very helpful throughout the process and they showed they were truly concerned about what was best for Peter.”
Jurkin will now take one scholarship away from the 2017 recruiting class that recently added versatile wing Andre Edwards, a 6-foot-6 swingman who played his past two seasons at Lee Junior College in Baytown, Texas, averaged 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds in his first year at Lee.
Edwards joins guard Bo Hodges (Nashville), forward James Harrison (Dallas, Texas), forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) and post Mladen Armus (Belgrade, Serberia) as part of the Bucs’ 2017-18 recruiting class. The Bucs also added Kendrick Gray (Burlington, Vermont), a 6-foot-7 wing who is expected to walk-on the team. This means that Bucs could add one more player to the 2017 recruiting class.