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UTEP Football Loses Star Tight End M.J. McFarland

UTEP head coach Sean Kugler informed the media today that El Pasoan and former University of Texas tight end MJ McFarland would not be on the UTEP football team this fall.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports


McFarland tweeted on an explanation on the failed drug test via Twitter, saying he took a banned substance to recover from his concussion.

Original story

According to Sean Kugler, former El Dorado High School football star M.J. McFarland will not be part of the UTEP football program this year. The coach cited a failed drug test as the reasoning.

"M.J. will not be with our team this year, he's ineligible." Kugler said. "He failed an NCAA drug test. I feel sorry for the young man, he's an excellent young man, he made a poor decision.  I going to miss M.J., I really loved the kid, he's an outstanding kid that made a poor choice."

McFarland had practiced early on in Spring ball, but missed the majority of it due to what was deemed concussion symptoms. It is unclear whether or not the failed drug test had anything to do with the missed practice time.

Sean Kugler stated that because of the failed drug test, McFarland would be declared ineligible by the NCAA. It is unclear whether or not the results of the test or the decision by the NCAA was disputed in any way, but the tight end is no longer a part of the football program.

McFarland played sparingly at Texas, having his best season in his redshirt freshman year when he tallied 8 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. He would have had one year of eligibility remaining with the Miners.

Because of this, former UTEP basketball star Cedrick Lang has been moved from defensive end over to tight end, and incoming freshman Cole Ford will not be grayshirted.

We'll see if any other moves will be made but the Miners do still have a number of tight ends available, including Boise State transfer Hayden Plinke, Cole Rogers, and sophomore Sterling Napier, among others.

We'll continue to monitor the situation and bring you any updates at they become available.

Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for coverage of all things UTEP sports. Also, make sure to on Twitter and as always don't forget to like our Facebook Page. Picks Up, and Go Miners!