Purdue seeks sixth year for Keith Smith


Although Purdue still has a chance to become bowl eligible this season, many are looking ahead to 2011 and, hopefully, better fortunes on the injury front.

The Boilers are trying to ensure that star receiver Keith Smith is part of the plan next fall.

As expected, Purdue is petitioning the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for Smith, who tore two ligaments in his knee Sept. 11 against Western Illinois and underwent surgery last month. Although Smith didn't say whether he'd seek a sixth year in his last media appearance, it seemed likely.

The NCAA likely won't rule on Smith's status until February, but Purdue has fared well in recent applications for sixth years of eligibility. Linebacker Jason Werner received one last winter and safety Torri Williams was successful the previous year.

Smith, a first-team All-Big Ten receiver in 2009, would be a big help as Purdue restores its offense next fall. The Boilers should get quarterbacks Robert Marve and Caleb TerBush, running back Ralph Bolden, receiver Justin Siller and others back in the fold.

Here's hoping Smith is successful in his application. He's not only one of the Big Ten's best players but one of the league's classiest people.