My next question: How is @doublegfor3 for going to find another year of eligibility between now and Oct? Perhaps a Leon Sandcastle gambit?
— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) April 25, 2013
Please excuse the self-referencing tweet, but it is not a brag. Indeed, it was supposed to be a joke. I didn't think there was any chance Grant Gibbs could find a sixth year of eligibility lurking somewhere in his NCAA ledger. Sad as it was, I figured dude's career was over.
Turns out that might not be the case. Gibbs has actually had a rather complex career. He spent two seasons at Gonzaga before transferring to Creighton, but the first year at Gonzaga, a redshirt year, coincided with an injury that would have kept him off the floor anyway. And when he sat out the customary transfer year at Creighton, he also had knee surgery. So, as Gibbs told the Omaha World-Herald, Creighton may yet try to find him one more year of play somewhere in the NCAA's ever-byzantine and occasionally flexible eligibility rules.
Gibbs said Creighton has begun a process that might end with him getting a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA. The school has sent Gibbs’ records to a law firm that specializes in dealing with NCAA issues. “If they indicate it’s worth it,” Gibbs said, “we’ll probably pursue it.”
Of course, it's a long shot, longer than most. I can't remember an instance (in recent history, at least) where a player's early-career injuries caused the NCAA to allow him to keep playing after his five-year clock had run its course. The NCAA has shown some willingness to be flexible in general, but typically borne of complicated extenuating circumstances. And such appeals usually involve medical redshirts taken in a fifth year, for example.
Still, as Gibbs says, there is a chance. Maybe we haven't seen the last perfect Gibbs-to-McDermott spinning bounce pass after all.