Former Missouri Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk has signed a financial-aid agreement with Eastern Kentucky, EKU athletics spokesman Kevin Britton announced on Saturday, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch initially reported the move on Friday. Kennedy Hardman of WTVQ in Lexington, Kentucky, first reported that Mauk had committed to joining the team on May 17, though he hadn't signed the financial-aid agreement at that time.
Mauk played three years for Missouri, appearing in 28 games and throwing for 4,373 yards, 42 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He ran into trouble during his junior year, with then-head coach Gary Pinkel suspending him twice over the course of the season. The second suspension ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign in November.
In January, current head coach Barry Odom dismissed Mauk from the team altogether shortly after a video surfaced appearing to show Mauk snorting white powder off a table. According to the Kansas City Star's Tod Palmer, Mauk's father Mike said the video was two years old.
Mauk posted a photo of a letter he wrote following his dismissal:
On May 17, he celebrated his graduation from the school:
Mauk will have some competition for Eastern Kentucky's starting job. Bennie Coney threw for 2,471 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2015. In April, head coach Mark Elder talked up the rising senior, per Josh Sullivan of the Lexington Herald-Leader:
There’s no harder position for a transition than the quarterback position. I don’t think the casual fan understands how much has to go into their brain to perform at a high level. We saw Bennie get better and better as the spring went along. I think the first day he threw to the wrong color a few times, as you expect to happen, but to see him progress and get more comfortable was great.
Mauk is more proven at a higher level, though, and Coney isn't necessarily at a big advantage, as the incumbent since Elder just joined the school in December.
If Mauk can return to the level he displayed during his sophomore year with Missouri, the Colonels could be major contenders in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2016.