Husker New's,Stories,and Info at SHARKFEET.
6-1 to 7-1
Lincoln - Nebraska's overstocked I-back position has lost one contender to a
Southeastern Conference school and another young runner to
a new spot in the NU backfield.
Chris Butler, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound redshirt
freshman from Hoover, Ala., plans a transfer to home-state Auburn,
his mother Rosie Butler, said Tuesday.
The Tigers offered Butler a full scholarship. He earned a one-semester scholarship
in January at Nebraska but
would have returned to walk-on status in the fall. As a reserve I-back, Butler
rushed for a game-high 118 yards
and two touchdowns on 16 carries for the White Team in the April 15 Red-
"I think the overriding factor is that he wanted to be closer to home," Gillespie
said. "There's some illness in his family, and he feels it's important for
him to be there. We're losing an outstanding person and a good player.
"You always hate for that to happen, but we understand his desire."
In addition, Coach Frank Solich said, redshirt freshman Robin Miller of Kent,
Wash., plans to move at least temporarily from I-back to fullback when fall
camp opens in early August. Miller, 5-11 and 225 pounds, was listed as
the co-No. 5 I-back with Butler and Josh Davis on the post-spring depth
including veterans Dan Alexander, Correll Buckhalter and Dahrran Diedrick.
It also adds touted junior-college transfer Thunder Collins.
working itself out, and we still have to be concerned about the possibility of
during the past year. Solich said Miller will stay familiar with both positions.
out last fall and was bothered by a case of athletic pubalgia during the spring
season. He underwent surgery to correct the problem April 17.
of full speed.
He regularly ranked among the team's leaders in performance testing over
of the injury," Gillespie said. "He had a nice spring game, but there'sbr> much
more than one (scrimmage) to that time of year. Just to play with that injury,
Chris showed a lot of courage to make it through."
or four weeks ago.
to get closer to home."
said the 100-mile drive to Auburn, Ala., from her home near
our trips there, but this is a situation Chris feels more comfortable
he has moved a step closer toward returning to Lincoln to ready
exam in a music-appreciation course at West Los Angeles College
with his transfer from junior college. Since that time, he has studied at Southeast
Community College in Lincoln and at home this summer in California.
has gone real well. I've gotten good grades, and right now I'm
I've got all kinds of football stuff running through my head.
AUSTIN (AP) -- The starting time for Nebraska's home football game against Colorado has been moved back.
The game that is traditionally an afternoon contest will now start at 11 a.m. It will be part of a doubleheader that also includes Texas-Texas A&M.
The Texas-Texas A&M matchup will be the 106th meeting between the schools, the third-longest rivalry in NCAA history.
No baseball for Vic
In other college footall news, Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick has balked at a pro baseball career.
The Colorado Rockies selected Vick in the 30th round of the major league draft this month, even though he hasn't played baseball since the eighth grade.
But Vick, an option specialist who guided Virginia Tech to the Sugar Bowl showdown against Florida State, declined to pursue being a two-sport
LINCOLN (AP) -- His shoulder feels fine.
"It's doing great, actually," Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch says.
His 6-foot-1 frame tips the scale at 200 pounds, seven more than last season's playing weight. Seven more pounds of muscle.
His upper body is taking on the look of a linebacker's. But what about his speed?
"You know what?" he says. "I think my speed is actually better than last year." And life in general? Well, Crouch, by all appearances, has the world by the chinstrap.
"I'm floating right now," Crouch said. "And when the season comes, I'm going to feel that much better."
So much unbridled optimism.
For Crouch, it's a summer of complete contentment. Yes, he is the man. In the eyes of many, he's the man who next season will lead Nebraska to the national title. If he dazzles in game two at Notre Dame, on national television, he will be added to everyone's Heisman Trophy lists.
Crouch takes comfort in a Husker offensive line that could flatten defenses into a colossal pancake. The Husker schedule, while no cupcake, is on the soft side until late-season Big 12 brawls at Oklahoma and Kansas State.
Yes, it's only June. But those annual prediction magazines hit the racks recently. And what more can you say about Tiger and the Lakers?
Crouch admits it's easy to get carried away daydreaming about the 2000 football season. He avoids going overboard by reminding himself that if he sweats the big stuff the national crown, the Heisman hyperbole, he'll forget the small stuff.
"I don't want to overlook anything, so I take it day-by-day," he said. "Winning the national championship and the Heisman Trophy are deep in my mind, deep in the back somewhere. But it's nothing that would really ever surface and nothing I'd really want to talk about."
Crouch no doubt feels his star rising, but he understands how quickly it can fall. A celebrity? He isn't buying it.
"I just take a snap and run around a field. That's all I do," he says. "And people like me for it. I'm just glad I get the support I do."
Meanwhile, his cap collection grows. He pulls the bill of his caps a little low sometimes, as a means of cover in public places, such as grocery stores. The ploy sometimes fails.
"You can pull that hat up, we know it's you," a lady in line told him the other day.
People are happy to see him. Crouch is unfailingly pleasant and carries no trace of pretentiousness. He proudly admits he's never turned down an autograph seeker.
Crouch sleeps well these days, which is a switch from last season, when his aching right shoulder kept him awake nights. Even with soreness, he passed for 1,269 yards while rushing for 889.
"It's going to be amazing to throw without pain," he says. "Just thinking about it excites me."
It was mid-afternoon, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Nothing could dampen Crouch's enthusiasm.
"You never thought all this (good fortune) would happen," Crouch says. "You're living out a dream. Not too many people get an opportunity to live out a dream. You have to enjoy it, that's the bottom line. You can't think negatively about the situation, no matter what happens.
"That's been my whole mindset since I've been here, you just try to be positive about every situation, and good will come out of it. If not, you try to make the best of it."
Nebraska, behind the leadership of Athletic Director Bill Byrne, put together one of its best years of athletics ever. The Huskers finished third in the Sears Director Cup standings, which rates the top athletic programs from around the nation. Stanford was first and Michigan second.
Just consider this:
Football -- The Nebraska football team goes 12-1 despite leading the nation in fumbles. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Frank Solich's second NU team. There were some close calls -- like a 20-13 win over Southern Mississippi, a 24-17 victory at Kansas and a miracle OT win over Colorado.
But the Huskers finished the season on a strong note by wiping out Texas 22-6 in the Big 12 Championship Game and downing Tennessee 31-21 in the Fiesta Bowl.
And remember how the Huskers closed the season with 23 straight running plays. That was definitely a clue as to what's to come this season.
Volleyball -- The Huskers finished the season 25-5. NU struggled early, losing its first two matches and dropping Big 12 decisions at home to Kansas State, at Texas A&M and at Texas.
But NU won its final 10 Big 12 matches to clinch the conference championship, then advanced into regional competition before losing to the University of Cal-Santa Barbara.
The Huskers recently completed a successful tour of China. It was a trip that should help the team develop into a national title contender again this season under first-year head coach John Cook.
Women's basketball -- The Huskers were up and down much of the season, but finished the year 18-13 and 10-6 in Big 12 Conference play.
It probably wasn't quite what coach Paul Sanderford had hoped for, but it wasn't bad. The Huskers did put together a string of six straight wins, including the last four in the regular season and two straight in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
Women's soccer -- The Huskers finished a 22-1-2 season with a loss on penalty kicks to Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament play. That game was played in front of a NU record crowd of 3,702.
Notre Dame went on the NCAA championship game before losing to 15-time champion North Carolina. Coach John Walker, in six years at Nebraska, has transformed the team into a national championship contender.
Wrestling -- The NU wrestling team produced a solid season which ended with an eighth-place showing at the NCAA Championships. Junior Brad Vering brought home the seventh individual title in Nebraska history with a victory at 197.
Coach Tim Neumann resigned on April 18. He was later replaced by Northern Iowa coach Mark Manning.
Track -- It was a banner season for coach Gary Pepin's track teams. First, the men and women swept the Big 12 Indoor titles back in March.
Then they proved that was no fluke by sweeping the Big 12 Outdoors. The Husker women outdistanced Texas 169-146 while the men edged the Longhorns 134-127.
Of course Pepin was named Big 12 coach of the year.
Softball -- The NU softball team advanced to the finals of the NCAA Regionals before falling to No. 2 ranked Arizona. The Huskers finished their season 52-21.
The highlight of the season came at the Big 12 Tournament when the Huskers downed Texas A&M in the championship game to set a school record for victories. But the big win came when NU downed Oklahoma in the semifinals.
The Sooners went on to win the national title.
Baseball -- The Nebraska baseball team set a school record with 51 victories and came within one game of advancing to its first College World Series.
Pitcher Shane Komine was a first-team All-American pick and led an outstanding NU pitching staff which led the nation with a 3.10 earned run average.
Women's gymnastics -- NU had one of its best seasons ever with a fourth-place finish at the national meet.
Five Huskers earned All-America honors while Heather Brink won the Honda Award as the nation's top gymnast and became NU's first female NCAA all-around champion.
Women's golf -- Elizabeth Bahensky tied the school record for an individual round with a 68 on the third day of the NCAA Tournament. Bahensky ended up with a four-day total of 301 to lead NU to a 19th place finish as a team.
6-08-2000 Texas leads Big Twelve with highest sports budget.
Big Twelve sports budget's ,Texas has the Highest.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Once again, the University of Texas at Austin owns the runaway richest budget in the Big 12 Conference. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is second among conference schools.
Texas' wealth is nothing new. The university drew $36.1 million in football revenue and $17.5 million in fund-raising for fiscal year 1999. That year, Fortune magazine reported, Texas owned the fifth-richest budget in the nation in 1999 ($41.2 million) behind No. 1 Ohio State ($64.9 million).
UT's 2001 budget, which ranks it ahead of Nebraska ($37.5 million), Texas A&M ($30 million), Colorado ($27.4 million) and Oklahoma ($25.3 million), according to information obtained by the Avalanche-Journal.
The rest of the Big 12 schools all fall within $3.9 million of each other, with Oklahoma State ranking 12th at a $19 million projection for 2001.
Texas Tech's recently approved $20-million athletic department budget for 2001 ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference, despite an increase of more than $7 million since 1996.
"I would like to be first, but we're not," Tech Chancellor John Montford said. "The bottom line with Tech is that we've done a pretty good job of not getting into deficit spending. That's the bottom line with me. We're under responsible budgeting. We don't want to get too carried away, but we can make sure we budget what we can pay for."
Tech's 1999 budget of $16.5 million ranked near the bottom of the Big 12 before jumping to $18.5 million for 2000, putting Tech ahead of just one other team in the conference, Oklahoma State.
6-8-2000 Nebraska fans can't get enough ticket's to the Notre Dame Game.
LINCOLN (AP) -- Nebraska is facing a brick wall in terms of trying to fill ticket requests for the Sept. 9 game at Notre Dame. The NU ticket office received about 28,000 requests, but has only 4,000 tickets to offer. That is the amount Notre Dame is making available. Tickets were assigned using the priority point system. Those with 800 or more points were allowed to purchase up to four tickets. Three priority points are accumulated for every $100 that has been donated. Fans who donated in the past are given one point for every $100 given. Former NU letterwinners also get priority. Notre Dame and Nebraska haven't met since the Orange Bowl following the 1972 season. This year's game will be televised by NBC.It will be billed as one of the premier games of the season,but it remains to be seen if the Fighting Irish can improve enough in the polls to merrit the hype NBC is sure to bombard us with. Garry's pre-season prediction(subject to change once the season has started). Nebraska 34 Notre Dame 17 Even Hail Mary's wont help the Irish the Huskers should be able to controll the Fighting Irish at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.The Irish will be held to under 100 yards rushing,and being forced to pass almost exclusively will be their downfall.Well that and the fact that they will have no answer to the mighty Husker offense.
6-8-2000 Crouch back on team
LINCOLN (AP) -- Eric Crouch is back on the Nebraska football team after paying for a plane ride and ham sandwich he recently received that raised some questions with the NCAA.The team's starting quarterback was temporarily suspended from the team after the university learned he had not paid for the ride and sandwich, which is not permitted under NCAA rules.Nebraska director of compliance Bob Burton said Crouch's mistake was rectified when the quarterback recently wrote a check to charity for the amount of $22.77.With the NCAA's clearance, Crouch was reinstated on the team Tuesday."He did not intend to break the rule about extra benefits," Burton told the Lincoln Journal Star. "He has made restitution and the issue is resolved."
The NCAA called the university about two weeks ago asking if it knew Crouch participated in a campaign trip for NU Board of Regents candidate Jay Matzke, and that Crouch possibly received extra benefits not allowed under NCAA rules. Nebraska investigated the incident and reported to the NCAA that Crouch flew with Matzke on a private plane to Seward, Beatrice, Hastings and York in early May. Crouch also received a ham sandwich at the home of a friend of Matzke's in Hastings. The value of the flight was set at $67 for fuel and oil. Because of federal rules, the pilot was not allowed to charge beyond fuel, oil and landing fees. The NCAA determined that Crouch owed $18.77 for the trip. He also had to cover the sandwich's cost, set at $4 ."Since Eric had asked us about the campaign before he left and since the NCAA said there was no problem as long as he did not represent the university, the whole incident was seen as very innocent," Burton said. "We had to self-report and, technically, suspend Crouch until the NCAA ruled otherwise."Crouch was unavailable for comment. Burton said he did not know who originally called the NCAA, which does not forward that information.Matzke, a Seward physician and Crouch's friend, said he was relieved that Crouch was cleared."It got to the point where my kids and my friends were making ham sandwich jokes all the time," Matzke said.
Crouch shared Big 12 Conference offensive player of the year honors last season with Texas quarterback Major Applewhite. Crouch took over as Nebraska's starting quarterback two games into the season and guided the Huskers to a 12-1 record.
6-6-2000 Polk makes it into Playboy
Polk selected pre-season all american.
Nebraska senior Carlos Polk, a first-team All-Big 12 middle linebacker last season, is a Playboy magazine preseason All-American for 2000.
Gil Brandt, former general manager of the Dallas Cowboys who helps coordinate the Playboy team, said Tuesday that Polk attended a photo session in Phoenix about 10 days ago.
"He's a great kid," Brandt said. "We really enjoyed being around him."
Polk was second at NU last season in total tackles (83), tackles for loss (12 for 56 yards) and sacks (6.5 for 47 yards). The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder from Rockford, Ill., also had 21 quarterback hurries.
2000 Spring Game ends in a tie.
2000 Red White Spring Game
The outcome of Saturday's Red-White game produced a fitting ending to Nebraska's spring football practice.
No winner, no loser, no startling developments.
The Whites rallied for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the last one coming on a 46-yard pass from converted split end Brett Lindstrom to Ryan Ommert with 2:24 remaining, to tie the Reds 21-21 before 22,415 at Memorial Stadium. The no-decision marked the first time since 1950 that the game that marks the end of spring practice ended in a tie.
Given the circumstances, Nebraska Coach Frank Solich said, the game went about as well as one might expect from a contest that pitted teams led by three inexperienced quarterbacks. Two of them Lindstrom and Kelly Cook were split ends until pressed into service because of injuries to Eric Crouch and Jammal Lord, the Huskers scholarship quarterbacks.
I was generally pleased with it, Solich said. I thought the execution was decent. There wasn't a lot of mistakes or foolish penalties or things that leave coaches pulling their hair out. That's not always easy when you're running in and out as many players as you do in a spring game.
We're only operating with one quarterback that's been a true quarterback, and he's a very young player in our system. If those guys cant operate with some efficiency, you're not going to get anything done. But I thought they played well, and that allowed us to get a few things done offensively.
That's not to say that Saturday produced a glut of overwhelming offensive performances. The Red team, which included the No. 1 offense under the direction of redshirt freshman Joe Chrisman, gained 215 yards on 60 plays, an average of 3.6 yards per attempt. The White squad finished with 284 yards on 68 snaps, an average of 4.2 yards.
The teams produced 368 of the 499 total yards and scored 35 points after halftime. The No. 1 offense scored both of its touchdowns against the No. 1 defense in the third period, with fullback Judd Davies running 1 and 21 yards for the scores.
We adjusted a little bit in the second half and picked up the intensity, said Chrisman, who like the other quarterbacks wore a green jersey that supposedly left them off-limits to contact. “We got a little more confident in ourselves. Thats the way we know we can play and we should play.
Of course, much more will be expected next fall with the return of Crouch, limited to non-contact drills this spring because of January shoulder surgery. The extent of Crouch's activity Saturday was to deliver the anti-drug pledge to young students at the on-the-field rally during halftime.
I-back Dan Alexander and defensive tackle Loran Kaiser were other starters from last season's 12-1 team that missed Saturday's game. Several other projected starters also sat, and two players with game-breaking talents had to leave because of injury.
Wingback Bobby Newcombe suffered a dislocated left elbow while returning a punt in the second quarter, and linebacker Randy Stella suffered a shoulder stinger (nerve problem) while making a first-quarter tackle. Solich said the initial diagnosis is that surgery will not be required for Newcombe, who might figure into the quarterback picture next fall.
A fumble by Nebraska's other top punt returner, Joe Walker, led to the Reds first-half touchdown. Jerrell Pippens, a freshman free safety, stripped Walker of the football, which allowed the Reds to take over at the Whites 29-yard line.
Cook got the touchdown nine plays later on a 1-yard run. The Reds raised their lead to 14-0 early in the third quarter when Chrisman led the top offensive unit on a 55-yard drive against the No. 1 defense. Davies got the score on a 1-yard run with 9:43 left in the period.
Chris Butler pulled the White team within a touchdown on a 40-yard run with 6:51 remaining in the quarter. Butler later scored on a 1-yard run and finished as the leading rusher in the game with 118 yards on 16 carries (7.4-yard average).
Å“He also had an excellent spring game last year, Solich said. its two years in a row, and that's good to see. We have excellent depth at the I-back spot, and what Chris did today shows he is capable of being an excellent I-back.
Butlers second touchdown came in the fourth quarter, shortly after Davies had put the Red team ahead 21-7 with a 21-yard run. Chace Long missed the point-after kick following Butlers second touchdown, leaving the White team trailing 21-13.
The Whites tied the game with 2:24 to play when Lindstrom completed his scoring pass to Ommert, a 175-pound freshman from Cambridge, Neb. The completion was one of just 11 in the game as the two teams combined to throw just 27 times for 163 yards.
“We were cut back in terms of what we'd do offensively and defensively, Solich said.“We were hampered on both sides of the ball. Yet, that allowed us to continue the evaluation process. Its easy to do that when you dont see a lot of blitzing and you see a player going one-on-one.
One player who wasnt hampered by the restrictions was rush end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who had three sacks that produced 28 yards in losses. Demoine Adams, the other first-unit rush end, had one sack and one tackle for a loss among his three total tackles.
“The thing I was most impressed with today was our flank rush, said Craig Bohl, Nebraskas defensive coordinator. “I thought Kyle and Demoine really did a great job coming off the end. With how we predicate our defense, those flank rush guys have to be great players.
“We were pleased with their play. I also thought there were times today when we were playing the style of defense that weve become accustomed to here in regard to establishing the line of scrimmage. There were other times where I thought we had some work to do, but I think we¢re moving in the right direction.
One of Vanden Boschs sacks produced an 11-yard loss as he dropped Chrisman on the Reds 1-yard line just before halftime. Not everyone was convinced that Chrisman managed to avoid a safety.
“That could have been a safety,said Reds offensive guard Russ Hochstein, rolling his eyes. “It was close.
The Whites got the two points that tied the game after Ommerts touchdown when Tim Reese ran for the conversion that left the score 21-21. Neither team could move the ball on its remaining possessions as the game ended in its first time since the Varsity tied the Alumni 13-13 in 1950.
That was long before the days when overtime came into play. Even though thats now an option, no one wanted to play Saturdays game out after the 60-minute mark.