OMAHA, Neb-- Mutual of Omaha, acting on a formal request from the NCAA, will make benefit modifications that will allow San Jose State football player Neil Parry to return to the gridiron.
Parry, whose right leg was amputated below the knee after a football injury two years ago, has been working out with the San Jose State Spartans and planned to return to the field.
Under the terms of the NCAA's policy, designed by the NCAA and insured through Mutual of Omaha, being certified medically eligible to return to intercollegiate athletics would mark an athlete's recovery and close his or her claim.
"This is an extraordinary case. That's why we immediately sought and granted the NCAA's request for benefit modifications on Mr. Parry's behalf.
We at Mutual of Omaha and our partners at the NCAA fully appreciate this young man's desire to return to the game he loves," said Mutual Chairman and CEO Jack Weekly.
"Neil Parry's courageous efforts to return to the football field after such a devastating injury are a true inspiration.
We wish him the best of luck on the football field and in all his endeavors," Weekly said.
(This news is not yet "officially" confirmed, but check back at this site for the "official" word).
Here is last week's story on Parry from ESPN The Magazine:
It may seem funny that the warmest, fuzziest, soft-as-cashmere story in college football this season will take place in the semi-obscurity of the WAC.
On a team that won only three games a year ago, and, if all goes well, at a modest 30,456-seat stadium that hasn't had a sellout since 1990.
San Jose St.'s Neil Parry, stretching with his prosthetic leg (Pictured above), is the comeback of any year.
If you haven't heard of San Jose State's Neil Parry, you will. We wrote about him in last season's preview column, and we'll keep writing about him because he's 177 pounds of inspiration and makes Notre Dame's Rudy look like a slacker.
His story drew a visit from Hall of Famer-in waiting Jerry Rice and a promise of sorts from former president Bill Clinton.
While playing on special teams during an October 2000 home game against UTEP, Parry suffered a compound fracture of his right leg. So severe was the injury that doctors later had to amputate just below the knee.
Twenty surgeries and a few prosthetic legs later (he got his latest one Aug. 13), Parry could make his long-awaited return to the field Sept. 28 at Spartan Stadium ... on special teams ... against UTEP. Weird symmetry.
If it happens -- it's Parry's call on the comeback timetable -- then someone is going to have to find a seat for Clinton, who was told by Parry months and months ago to keep his calendar flexible in the fall.
If Clinton's schedule is open, the ex-POTUS has said he'll try to be there for the big moment. Parry only gets four comp tickets -- and those will go to his mom, dad, brother and sister -- so Clinton might want to contact the Spartan ticket office.
Meanwhile, San Jose State officials might want to consider a BYOC Night promotion (Bring Your Own Chamois).
You'll need one to wipe away the tears.