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Receiver Smith denied sixth year

Keith Smith's Purdue career is over.

Smith was denied a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school announced Monday.

Smith, the team's leading receiver, tore the anterior cruciate and medical collateral ligaments in his right knee in Purdue's second game of the season.

Despite still recovering from knee surgery, Smith attended the NFL Combine this week to participate in interviews. Now, Smith's focus will turn full time to his NFL dreams with returning to Purdue not an option.

"I'm disappointed that I won't be playing in Ross-Ade Stadium in front of (fans) on Saturdays, but my time as a Boilermaker has left me with a lot of great memories," Smith said in a statement.

Though being granted a sixth year was never a guarantee – despite recent Boilermakers Jason Werner and Torri Williams getting it – Smith's loss is a big one.

He led the Big Ten in receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,100) as a junior in 2009. He caught 18 passes for 123 yards in his short senior season.

"The entire Purdue football family is very disappointed for Keith," coach Danny Hope said in a statement. "We're not only losing one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten, but one on the top leaders on our team. We will do everything we can to help Keith continue his football career and get his Purdue degree."