WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Justin Siller's dismissal from Purdue opens the competition for starting quarterback that could stretch beyond spring practice into the fall between fifth-year senior Joey Elliott and redshirt freshman Caleb TerBush.
Siller, a sophomore who started three games last season, was kicked out of school through the 2009-10 year for an undisclosed violation of the university's academic policy. Coach Danny Hope wouldn't elaborate on the violation, but he said it changes the Boilermakers' plans at that crucial position for next season.
"It changes because Justin is a heck of a player and figured into things and was competing to be a starter," Hope said. "He would've played next year whether he was a starter or not."
Siller led Purdue to a win over Michigan last season, and Elliott was effective before he was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
TerBush was introduced to Purdue at a football camp in the summer of 2007 and impressed the coaches with his intelligence, arm strength and athletic ability. In his final year of high school, he passed for 1,575 yards and 16 touchdowns and ran for 859 yards with 16 scores while leading Metamora Township to the Illinois 5A championship. He was redshirted last season at Purdue.
"Caleb has done a great job this spring," Hope said. "He's been very accurate with his passes. He's the best natural passer we have on our football team. He has a great upside. He'll be forced into more reps, which will be good for his development."
Whoever gets the job will replace four-year starter Curtis Painter.
Hope said he was made aware of Siller's situation a couple of weeks ago but allowed Siller to continue to practice while going through a university appeal process.
"He received a three-semester sentence and that appeal was denied," Hope said. "We have to press on and focus on our football team."
The 6-foot-4 Siller played in six other games besides his three starts. The Detroit native completed 59 of 106 passes for 496 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed 60 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns.
Hope called the dismissal from school "very disappointing."
"Our heart goes out to Justin and his family. He made one poor decision and received a severe penalty and one that terminates his immediate future at Purdue as a student and as an athlete," Hope said.
But Hope, who replaced the retired Joe Tiller at the end of last season, said he would welcome Siller back to the team if he fulfills all of his academic requirements. If not, he said Siller still has other options.
"He can transfer to a I-AA school and be immediately eligible as long as he makes up the hours that he'll lose this semester," he said. "He could go to a I-A school and sit out for a year and establish residency. ... That's something he and his family have to sit down and discuss. I'm sure that will be way down the road because he has a lot of work to make up academically."
Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com