Tony Temple announces his MU football career is over

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | 4:27 p.m. CST; updated 11:00 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — It turns out Tony Temple's career at Missouri is, in fact, over.

Temple announced Tuesday he will give up on any further appeals for an extra year of eligibility and focus on readying himself for the NFL draft.

"It's time to move on and focus on doing what I need to do to make a positive impression for the next level," Temple said in a statement released through the university.

Temple played in just one game as a freshman in 2004, carrying six times for 13 yards in a loss at Nebraska before injuring his Achilles' tendon. Because of the short stint, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was hopeful he might be granted an extra year of eligibility.

The request was turned down earlier this month by the Big 12. Temple has dropped his appeal to the NCAA.

"It was worth a shot, but I don't want anyone spending any more time on it," Temple said. "Coach Pinkel and I decided before last season that we should approach the 2007 season like it was going to be my last, and I'm glad we did it that way."

Temple certainly went out on a high note, rushing for a Cotton Bowl record of 281 yards and scoring four touchdowns in Missouri's 38-7 win over Arkansas on Jan. 1. The Tigers had one of their best seasons ever, finishing 12-2 and No. 4 in the nation.

After rushing for 1,039 yards in 2007, Temple became the first Missouri running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in more than one season. He rushed for 1,063 yards in 2006. His 2,552 career rushing yards rank sixth on the team's all-time list.

"I think this is the right decision for Tony," Pinkel said in the statement. "If he is going to get ready for the NFL then it's time."

Three running backs will compete for playing time next season, led by Jimmy Jackson, who rushed for 331 yards and seven touchdowns in 2007. Derrick Washington and Earl Goldsmith will also challenge for the starting spot.

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