Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Night Sprite: Huskers Behaving Badly

After three separate incidents with Husker football players, a beer is the last thing I need.

Friday night, junior linebacker Nick Covey was ticketed was ticketed for being a minor in possession of alcohol. Covey turns 21 in May.

Saturday night, former Huskers Maurice Purify and Carl Nicks, along with sophomore offensive lineman Mike Smith and sophomore defensive lineman Ben Martin, were ticketed for a "disorderly house" after a loud party. Lincoln police ended up arresting Nicks, adding a charge of failure to disperse after refusing to leave. Purify's arrest is especially troubling, as this is Purify's fourth incident involving alcohol in the past year (argument with bouncer at bar, disorderly conduct after getting into a fight with that same bouncer at another bar, driving under the influence). This most recent incident will only magnify the NFL's concerns about Purify off-the-field.

The most troubling incident involved offensive lineman Andy Christensen, who was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and resisting arrest over an incident at a Lincoln bar around midnight Saturday night. Bond today was set at a half million dollars, emphasizing the seriousness of the charges that face Christensen. It took several officers to arrest him as he resisted as he dented a Chevy Tahoe police vehicle and had to be restrained once he got to jail. Christensen might have been up for an additional year of eligibility after suffering a season ending injury against USC, but now his football career is the least of his worries.

The guys over at "Big Red Network" have dubbed it "Bad News Season", but really, once the season ends, most any news during the offseason is usually bad news. (Especially if you exclude the silly season known as "recruiting signing day" since it's not really news!)

Ah, but it's not all bad news around these parts. Nebraska basketball continued it's impressive play as of late by blasting Colorado on Aleks Maric senior day. Today, the Associated Press named Maric first-team All-Big XII, and Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik predicted that Maric will be in the NBA next season. Insane, you say? Well, Bzdelik spent 16 years coaching in the NBA including 2 1/2 seasons as head coach of the Denver Nuggets.

Nebraska's play against Texas, A&M, and Kansas State in recent weeks is putting Husker hoops into position to extend their season into March. Yeah, probably NIT. But that's progress for the program.

The rise of Husker hoops is causing a dilemma for Tom Osborne's priorities as athletic director. Plans for upgrading the academic facilities were already on the drawing board when he came to office, with the Huskers investigating the potential of a new Haymarket arena for Husker basketball. But can Nebrasketball afford to wait for Lincoln to finalize their plans, what with the current arms race for basketball facilities? Doc Sadler is diplomatic about it, but is pushing behind the scenes to get some sort of commitment to get the basketball facilities upgraded.

Finally a correction...seems that Yale beat Rensselaer in triple overtime on Friday night, so last night's UNO-Alaska epic battle is only the ninth longest college hockey game. Tell that to the bleary eyed Mav fans and players who had something other than daylight savings time to curse this morning.

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