WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The NCAA has denied Purdue receiver Keith Smith a sixth year of eligibility after a knee injury prematurely ended his 2010 season.

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Smith

Purdue head coach Danny Hope expressed disappointment in a news release from the school on Monday.

"The entire Purdue football family is very disappointed for Keith," head coach Hope said. "We're not only losing one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten, but one of the top leaders on our team. We will do everything we can to help Keith continue his football career and get his Purdue degree."

Smith led the Big Ten with 91 catches during the 2009 season, and he caught 18 passes for 123 yards in two games last season before tearing the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee. He was hurt on a tackle in the fourth quarter of a 31-21 win over Western Illinois and had surgery on Oct. 18.

"I just want to say thank you to all of the Purdue fans that have made my college career so much more enjoyable," Smith said. "I'm disappointed that I won't be in Ross-Ade Stadium playing in front you on Saturdays, but my time as a Boilermaker has left me with a lot of great memories."

Smith, who was recruited as a quarterback and played one season at safety, finished his career with 158 catches for 1,709 yards and eight touchdowns.

Purdue Athletics contributed to this story.