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ECU’s Harvey denied fifth year of eligibility by NCAA

East Carolina’s Nate Harvey (40) rushes against North Carolina State’s Tyler Jones (53) and Terronne Prescod (70) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
East Carolina’s Nate Harvey (40) rushes against North Carolina State’s Tyler Jones (53) and Terronne Prescod (70) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. AP

East Carolina announced Saturday that the NCAA has denied Nate Harvey’s waiver request for a fifth year of eligibility.

New ECU coach Mike Houston had been optimistic Harvey, the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, would receive a favorable ruling based on early feedback from the NCAA on information that had been supplied. The case was based on Harvey not playing as a freshman at Georgia Military College in 2015.

“When I took the job here, I didn’t even know who Nate Harvey was,” Houston told the media after Saturday’s practice. “”Over the last three months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I received a call last night denying his appeal with the NCAA. We respect the decision of the NCAA, but at the same time, we are disappointed.”

The Knightdale High alum transferred to ECU from GMC, a junior college, for the 2017 season. He was limited to special teams until his breakthrough senior season at defensive end. He led the nation with 25.5 sacks, setting an AAC season record.

Harvey will now try to improve his stock as an NFL draft pick or free agent.

“I’m trying to work my tail off,” Harvey said while meeting the media along with Houston. “Sure, I wanted to be out there playing with this team, this year, but I’m going to work my tail off.”

NFL scouts began studying the 6-1, 225-pounder in the second half of the 2018 season.

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