Ivin Jasper returns to Navy practice but status still unclear

Bill Wagner
Contact Reporterbwagner@capgaznews.com

Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper’s availability for Saturday’s Army-Navy game is in question after a possible issue arose involving his son’s ongoing medical situation.

Jarren Jasper, who is awaiting a heart transplant, had a regularly scheduled appointment Wednesday and doctors apparently discovered something of concern. The 14-year-old remained at the hospital into the night and Ivin Jasper missed Navy football practice Wednesday afternoon.

Jarren Jasper spent two months at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and that is where he went for Wednesday’s appointment. Contacted early Thursday morning, Navy athletics spokesman Scott Strasemeier stated that Wednesday’s hospital stay was due to a potential complication.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo spoke at the Touchdown Club of Annapolis annual Army-Navy cocktail party on Wednesday night. Niumatalolo and wife Barbara left the event, held in the Akerson Tower of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and drove immediately to the hospital to check on Jarren and support Ivin and Donna Jasper.

Strasemeier provided an update on Thursday afternoon, reporting that Jarren Jasper was allowed to return home, but was being closely monitored. The teenager must have blood drawn daily so the levels can be analyzed because doctors are worried about certain readings that pointed toward a possible clot.

Ivin Jasper was able to attend football practice on Thursday afternoon and the Navy coaching staff will know more about his status after Jarren undergoes additional tests scheduled for Friday. If the elder Jasper is unable to coach in Saturday’s Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, running game coordinator Ashley Ingram would replace him in the press box and serve as play-caller.

Jarren Jasper was discharged from Children’s National Medical Center in early October after doctors determined he was strong enough to be at home while awaiting the heart transplant. Jarren, who has an implanted mechanical device that helps his heart pump blood, watched the Air Force, Central Florida and SMU home games from a private suite in the press box at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and has attended Navy football practice numerous times over the last couple months.

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