Austin Long's forgettable Georgia football career came to an end Thursday, the result of an academic issue that will deem him ineligible to play in 2013, according to multiple media reports.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the story:
The beleaguered senior offensive lineman from Memphis has lost his academic eligibility, persons familiar with the situation told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Long has not practiced with the Bulldogs during preseason camp while appealing his matter. Word came late Wednesday that his appeal was unsuccessful.
Gentry Estes of 247Sports later confirmed it:
And with that came the end of Long's career, one of Georgia's most unfortunate and highly disappointing in recent memory.
The son of former NFL lineman Tim Long, Austin was a blue-chip recruit in the class of 2009, ranking 63rd on 247Sports' composite. He was the fifth-ranked tackle in that class, trailing successful college linemen luch as D.J. Fluker of the San Diego Chargers (via Alabama) and Xavier Su'a-Filo of UCLA (who has since switched to guard).
But Long never made a tangible impact in Athens, derailed early in his career by multiple back surgeries (along with other, smaller maladies) and later by the academic problems in question.
Per Towers' piece, he actually finished the spring as Georgia's first-team right guard (taking the place of since-returned Chris Burnette after his shoulder surgery). But when his eligibility issue came to light in the summer, Long was removed from action and hasn't been able to practice in fall camp.
There's been no confirmation from the University of Georgia, which has been evasive about Long's issues ever since they arose. According to an earlier piece from Towers, head coach Mark Richt declined to comment when asked directly about what was keeping Long sidelined.
Long ends his once-promising career with 15 appearances and zero starts.