There’s bad breaks three weeks before the start of a new season, then there’s this.
New Mexico State announced via a press release Friday that top wide receiver Austin Franklin has been declared academically ineligible and will not play in 2013. The 6-0, 184-pound Franklin will take a redshirt for this season and would still have a year of eligibility in 2014, although he could also opt for next year’s NFL draft as well.
The move is not exactly unexpected as Franklin did not participate in spring practice so he could concentrate on issues in the classroom. Suffice to say, that academic tack was unsuccessful.
“After taking over the football program in January I was made aware of Austin’s academic status, which stemmed from the 2012 fall semester,” first-year head coach Doug Martin said in a statement. “This is why I held him out of spring practice, to allow him a chance to possibly recover academically. In the end, Austin did not live up to the Aggie Football standards and his academic responsibilities.
“Austin will remain with the team during season and is expected to participate in all team activities including practice.”
Suffice to say, the loss of Franklin is a significant blow to an Aggies’ offense already coming off a 2012 season in which they played a significant role in a one-win debacle.
In 2012, Franklin far and away led the team in receptions (78) receiving yards (1,245) and receiving touchdowns (nine). Following that breakout campaign, Franklin was named first-team All-WAC and a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award.