Neb. Coach Admits Chance of Impropriety
In light of Oklahoma players saying they took improper gifts and money from Sooner alumni and boosters, Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said it is possible Nebraska football players did the same without the knowledge of Cornhusker coaches.
“I think it certainly can happen,” Osborne said Tuesday. “I guess whenever we’ve felt that maybe there was the possibility of an improper relationship, we’re tried to step in.
“I think there have been three or four times in the last 15 years where I’ve asked someone to stay away from the program.”
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Keith Jackson said Tuesday he had taken improper gifts and money as a college player at Oklahoma.
“I think the players are basically aware of what’s legal and what isn’t, and most fans are aware,” Osborne told the Omaha World-Herald. “A lot of it has to do with the environment surrounding the program. I think here at Nebraska, I haven’t felt it as a common problem. Like I said, I’m sure it must occur occasionally.”
Placed on Probation
The NCAA placed Oklahoma’s football program on a three-year probation Monday with severe sanctions for numerous violations.
Nebraska received a one-year probation without sanctions in 1986.
In the midst of its NCAA investigation, Nebraska ended its Lincoln Parent Program, Osborne said, because of the NCAA’s concern about the potential for players getting extra benefits. The program joined Lincoln sponsors with players from outside the city in an effort to give them a home setting while at Nebraska.
“That was the main reason the Lincoln Parent Program was really scrutinized by the NCAA when it came here,” Osborne said. “Quite often, when a relationship develops between a family and a player, it’s very easy for the parent to begin feeling some bond with the player that exceeds propriety.”