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Report: Former USC QB Max Wittek won't graduate on time

There may finally be some clarity on why the Horns reportedly backed away earlier in the week.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC Trojans quarterback Max Wittek won't be eligible to play this fall, according to a report from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which sheds light on why the Texas Longhorns reportedly moved on from the former four-star prospect earlier in the week.

For several days, the true cause of the decision by the Texas staff to part ways with Wittek was unclear, with rumors swirling about potential off-the-field problems. If the report out of Hawai'i is correct, the 6'4, 235-pounder was merely unable to graduate on time, a situation that will keep him from enrolling at a FBS school this fall, as he will evidently have to finish up his course work in December.

If he does not graduate to gain immediate eligibility, Wittek could drop down a level to the FCS and play immediately or transfer to a junior college in hopes of landing somewhere else in 2015.

Either way, his future plans have taken a serious hit.

Likewise have the plans at quarterback for the Horns, as Wittek was supposed to come in and quickly earn the back-up role to prospective starter David Ash, with the possibility of starting if Ash isn't healthy by the start of the season or suffers another injury setback.

Instead, Texas is left without any experienced quarterbacks behind Ash and may not be able to redshirt sophomore Tyrone Swoopes and incoming freshman Jerrod Heard. In fact, if something happens with Ash, Heard may end up earning the starting role only months after stepping foot on campus as a summer enrollee.

The big question throughout the last several months has been whether Wittek would choose the Horns, a concern alleviated greatly by the injury to Ash and three trips to Austin. Instead, the greater question should have been whether Wittek would graduate on time.

And the unfortunate answer to that question has put Texas in another precarious quarterback situation.