By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Grambling Standout QB Bruce Eugene Is Granted Extra Year Of Eligibility By NCAA
GRAMBLING, La. – Senior quarterback Bruce Eugene has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA which was officially announced by the Grambling State athletics department on Wednesday morning.
The 6-1, 260-pounder from New Orleans had his 2004 campaign was cut short due to a torn anterior cruciate knee injury that took place in the Tigers’ season opener against Alcorn State on September 4.
The injury occurred near the six-minute mark early in the third quarter on a 39-yard run where he was tackled by a pair of Alcorn State defenders near the Grambling State sideline.
There was a huge shockwave of relief throughout the Grambling State athletics department that was felt even more by the Tigers’ football coaching staff. Head coach Melvin Spears was very excited about the opportunity to coach his two-time Walter Payton Award finalist for another year.
“I’m elated. It is always a blessing when you have the opportunity to get a guy like that back of that caliber,” Spears said. “Certainly all of us are happy about it. Anytime when you get your trigger man back, you just don’t know what it feels like – we are ready to go.”
Eugene himself was also very excited and relieved about finally getting the opportunity to return to the field after waiting several months for this decision to be handed down.
“It is a blessing in disguise, I have been contemplating every night on whether or not the NCAA was going to give it to me or not”, Eugene added. “Now that I have got it, it is going to be hectic around the SWAC.”
His plans for the upcoming season are to get in better shape and to help to lead his team to a SWAC title. “My plans are to keep losing some weight, get toned up and to basically go out an lead the team to a championship next year.”
Eugene for his career has completed 618 passes for 1,201 attempts for 9,122 yards including 84 touchdowns against 32 interceptions. He also has 1,050 yards rushing on 250 carries including 16 touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per rush.
Willie Jeffries, Grambling State’s athletic director was also glad that this process is now complete. “We are all happy because Bruce will be able to play again I know that he will have a great year. I am going to run him around the field a little bit to get him in shape. But right now, he looks pretty good.”
In addition to his accomplishments on the football field, Eugene is currently on course to receive his degree in general recreation in May 2005.