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The NCAA does have a heart after all. LSU defensive end Kirston Pittman was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school announced Monday.
Pittman, who missed all the Tigers' 2005 and 2006 seasons with foot and ankle injuries, formally applied for an extension in early January. After reviewing Pittman's documentation, the NCAA granted the additional year of eligibility. "Kirston is very deserving of this ruling after what he's been through as far as injuries are concerned during his LSU career," coach Les Miles said. "He's very fortunate that there's a good rule in place that allows a guy who has missed extensive time with injuries the opportunity to get a year back."
Pittman signed with the Tigers in February 2003 and saw action in 13 games as a freshman during LSU's run to the national title that year. Pittman played in 12 games as a sophomore in 2004 before missing the next two seasons because of injuries. Pittman returned to the field in 2007 to again help lead the Tigers to a national title. He started all 14 games for LSU this past season, leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss. Pittman, who earned his college diploma in December, is one of five returning starters on the defense.