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Mississippi State Dismisses Star Runner

February 18, 2004

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ Mississippi State running back Nick Turner was dismissed from the team Wednesday for what new head coach Sylvester Croom called a failure to meet ``the expectation level″ he has for players.

Turner was placed on three years’ probation Feb. 7 for possession of counterfeit bills. The 19-year-old Turner passed several counterfeit $100 bills Oct. 15, 2002 at a club.

He sat out the remainder of the 2002 season after his arrest. He came back in 2003 to establish a new single-season school record for all-purpose yards against Arkansas on Nov. 22.

Croom was hired as Bulldogs coach in December, succeeding Jackie Sherrill.

In a statement Wednesday, Croom said Turner would remain on scholarship through the end of the spring semester.

``But Nick has not met the expectation level we have for a Mississippi State football playing student-athlete,″ Croom said. ``I wish him the best in the future, and I will assist him in any way I can.″

Turner led the team and ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in all-purpose yardage with 138.7 per game in 2003, when the Bulldogs finished 2-10 overall.

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