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Creighton’s Grant Gibbs may petition NCAA for sixth year of eligibility

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Grant Gibbs (Getty Images)

In addition to Doug McDermott, another Creighton standout may be returning for one more year.

Grant Gibbs, Creighton's third-leading scorer and assists leader, told the Omaha World-Herald the school has hired a law firm to look into the feasibility of him petitioning the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility.

Although Gibbs' five-year clock expired this year, his injury history enables him to make a case to extend his college career. He did not play a minute in two of his five seasons, the first as a result of a shoulder injury as a true freshman at Gonzaga and the second when he sat out after transferring to Creighton in 2010.

“[The law firm] indicated we should have an answer any day now,” Gibbs told the World-Herald. “If they indicate it would be worth pursuing, I would sit down with [coach Greg McDermott] and [Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen] and discuss it.

"If it’s something they would want to pursue, I’d be more than willing."

It's safe to assume Gibbs would have no trouble swaying McDermott or Rasmussen since Creighton would surely be elated to have him back for one more season. The playmaking guard thrived from long range and creating off the dribble this past season, averaging 8.5 points and 5.8 assists and shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the arc.

The bigger question is whether the NCAA would consider granting Gibbs' petition.

In the past, the NCAA has granted a sixth year to players like Drexel's Chris Fouch, who have missed two full seasons because of injury. Gibbs' situation is murkier because the second season he sat out was a result of his transfer, though he likely couldn't have played at all anyway had he remained at Gonzaga as a result of undergoing knee surgery.

If Gibbs were to win his petition, Creighton suddenly would have everyone besides top big man Gregory Echenique back from last year's 28-win team that lost in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. The Bluejays will contend in the new Big East regardless, but Gibbs would make them even more of a threat.

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