One of SEC’s top punters leaves Auburn

Published 10:49 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

AUBURN — Auburn’s Clinton Durst was one of the best punters in the Southeastern Conference in 2008, but now he’s leaving the team after being denied a scholarship by the new coaching staff.

Durst said Thursday he was promised a scholarship by former coach Tommy Tuberville’s staff, but those plans changed after Gene Chizik was hired. Chizik said Durst might earn a scholarship in the summer.

While Durst said he respected the new coaches’ decision, he felt he deserved a scholarship after his performance last year. The walk-on was third in the Southeastern Conference and 26th nationally in punting, averaging more than 42 yards a kick.

Durst is from Destin, Fla. He said he will remain at Auburn as a student but has to work so he can afford classes.