Billings Out of Action for Four Games

Auburn senior wide receiver Montez Billings will open the season watching from the sideline.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn senior wide receiver Montez Billings will not be able to play in the first four games of the 2009 season due to an academic issue, will miss the first four games of the 2009 season due to an academic issue.

"This is unfortunate for Montez, but we've exhausted all avenues to get him on the field as soon as possible," Senior Associate Athletic Director Rich McGlynn said on Thursday. "While we don't necessarily agree with the NCAA's ruling, we have to respect and abide by their decision."

The 6-2, 185 senior from Pelham High School caught 24 passes for 277 yards last season in 11 starts.

He caught 28 passes for 321 yards in 2007 after catching three passes for 47 yards in 2006.

Billings missed spring practice this year, but had played well enough in preseason drills to win praise from his new wide receiver coach, Trooper Taylor.

Head coach Gene Chizik would not comment on the specifics of the situation following Thursday evening's practice, but said that the senior is doing a "great" job of handling the disappointing news.

Chizik added the wide receiver will continue to work with the wide receivers so he will be ready to go for game five.

Wide receiver coach Trooper Taylor said he wasn't sure of the details, but noted that Billings was in the mix for a starting spot prior to Thursday's news. Taylor added that he has been pleased with the work ethic Billings has shown throughout preseason drills.

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