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Friday, September 18, 2009

WR Billings leaves football program

AUBURN, Ala. — Senior wide receiver Montez Billings has left the Auburn football team for personal reasons and will not return, the school announced Friday night.

Billings, the Tigers' leading returning receiver with 24 catches for 277 yards, had not played this season after being ruled ineligible for the first four games because of an NCAA-related academic issue.

“Montez has his degree and has decided to leave the Auburn football team to pursue other opportunities,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said in a release. “We appreciate what he gave to the football program during his career and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

The Pelham, Ala., native finished his Auburn career with 55 catches for 645 yards and one touchdown in 34 career games.

Billings had an academic issue that kept him out of practice last spring, but he still graduated in May. He was allowed to practice this August, but the issue hung over his head throughout the preseason. The NCAA released its ruling Aug. 27.

Wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said in mid-August that Billings would be a factor in the offense, listing him as a potential starter at one of the three wide receiver positions.

"He's just got to be consistent about it and this day and the next day," Taylor said Aug. 10. "That's what he's got to learn. And he's got to be selfish. I don't play with dirt kickers. And what I mean by that is if you don't get the ball, I don't need your arms flailing, I don't need you kicking the ground. I need you cheering for your teammates and I need you blocking for the running backs. I need you making plays.

"If he becomes a complete player, you'll see him out there more. If he thinks we're going to lower the bar, that's not going to happen. He's going to have to raise himself to that. And he will or he won't play."

Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery have started both games at wide receiver for Auburn this season. They've combined to catch 14 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns.


shuguley said...

This whole Montez Billings situation just keeps getting stranger, I can'y believe he left the team. I wonder if we will ever get the full true story about the academic issue and why he has left the team.

Basketball Team said...

Andy this is just a weird situation, I'm thinking there mustve been some kind of problem between him & the coaching staff, but you never know. What's your opinion of this?

P.S. Keep up the good work, I check your site & tigerland every day for new info.

War Eagle AC-47 said...

I read at AuburnTron the reason he left is because he dropped a course that put him under the credit requirement for a scholarship athlete, as ruled by the NCAA.


AUsome04 said...

Hate to see the kid leave. He probably had did what it took to get back with the team but wants to play football again. That depth chart and offensive complexity present obstacles. Maybe he can get on somewhere else in grad school. Good luck Montez!