The college football world will focus squarely on the annual Army-Navy rivalry game this week but a secondary storyline to the contest is a little more pressing than the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the Midshipmen on Saturday.
The Capital Gazette reports that Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper’s status for the contest is up in the air this week after his son Jarren was hospitalized overnight after doctors found a “potential complication” during a check-up. The 14-year-old has been awaiting a heart transplant for several months following an initial complication that arose after surgery for an abnormally fast heart rhythm.
The elder Jasper missed Wednesday’s practice and no status update was given for the team’s Thursday practice.
The Jaspers’ story has been covered quite a bit this season on the Showtime documentary A Season With Navy Football after Jarren was initially diagnosed during fall camp and all of the subsequent ups and downs that have come since. The family have been a mainstay at the Academy for 18 seasons and Ivin has served as the team’s offensive coordinator for the past decade.
Per the Gazette, if Jasper is unable make it to Philadelphia for the game, running game coordinator Ashley Ingram would move from the sidelines to the Lincoln Financial Field press box and serve as Navy’s play-caller. Hopefully Jarren can recover quickly enough to be able to go home and watch his favorite team close out the regular season on Saturday but, either way, he can probably expect a whole bunch of positive thoughts and prayers from both sidelines of this all important rivalry game.