UK defensive end Jeremy Jarmon is now a "former" UK defensive end, thanks to the NCAA's recent ruling that the junior is ineligible, testing positive for a banned substance. While admitting he ultimately was responsible, it's a sad ending to a stellar career for one of UK's most charismatic players.
With 17.5 quarterback sacks, Jarmon leaves as the third all-time leading sack man at UK. But more importantly, Jarmon leaves Lexington as one of the classiest Cats to hit the field.
In the mold of Keenan Burton, Jacob Tamme and others, Jarmon is a stand-up guy, witness the press conference called by the UK Athletics Association on Saturday morning. Jarmon wanted to set the record straight, tell the Big Blue Nation that he never meant to break any rules. "I don't need to cheat to be successful," Jarmon said, before tearfully saying goodbye to Wildcat fans.
Jarmon was preparing for his senior season by going on a new diet, one designed to lose a little weight, while shedding body fat. The native of Collierville, Tenn. said it was working. He went to a supplemental store looking for amino acids and ended up buying an additional supplement, on the advice of a store clerk.
The two-time All-SEC performer said he began taking the supplements, but didn't seek counsel from the UK training staff until two weeks later. Told to stop taking the second supplement, the NCAA came into town days later and administered a random drug test involving several UK athletes. Jarmon was selected from the football roster.
He was informed the test was positive for a banned substance, which he declined to name. A follow-up test by the NCAA showed Jarmon had passed the substance from his body -- the second test was negative.
Athletics director Mitch Barnhart was at Jarmon's side during the announcement. Barnhart told the assembled media that Jarmon had been tested several times before, including random tests, per UK policy, and never had failed a test.
Already, Jarmon had completed his work towards a degree in political science and in the coming days was embarking on a 5-week stint in France, as part of the work he started on a second degree.
It's that same dedication and determination that has made Jarmon one of the media's favorite players. He's charismatic and charming.
As a testament to the respect he commands, nearly every member of the media, including yours truly, made a bee line to Jarmon before he left Memorial Coliseum. Handshakes and hugs were in order, the first time I can ever remember the press seeking out a player to offer heartfelt thanks for making the job easier.
Jarmon will be missed by fans and us alike. Here's hoping he remains upbeat and finds a silver lining to his mistake.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.