March 8, 2000
Seattle - The NCAA informed the University of Washington today that it has denied the Huskies' appeal for an eligibility extension request for senior wide receiver Gerald Harris. Washington had appealed an earlier decision by the NCAA's Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement to deny Harris a sixth year or eligibility. In January, Washington petitioned for a sixth year of eligibility for Harris based on two medical injuries he incurred during his career at Washington.
As a freshman, in 1995, Harris was sidelined during fall two-a-day practices with a thumb injury that prevented him from participating in early-season action and he redshirted the season. During fall practice prior to the 1997 season, Harris was sidelined with a severe knee injury. Harris only appeared in the 1996, 1998 and 1999 seasons for the Huskies. He caught 68 passes during his career for 935 yards and eight touchdowns. The 1999 campaign was his most productive. Harris caught 37 passes for 571 yards and four scores while appearing in nine games. He did not play in the final two regular-season contests in 1999 due to a thigh injury.
"It certainly would have been nice to come back and play again next season," Harris said. "I think it would have been a fun season. Since the bowl game, I have prepared myself for this to be a possibility. Knowing I may not be granted a sixth year has forced me to work very hard since the season ended to prepare the NFL tryouts. I have not just sat around and wasted my time."
"Gerald is a really quality individual and we wish he was going to be a part of next year's team," said Husky coach Rick Neuheisel. "We'll miss those sticky hands of his and his positive attitude. We wish him the best and will do everything we can to make sure the NFL teams take a good look at him."