Judging from the latest news out of Lincoln, apparently not.
Husker coach Bill "Throat Slash" Callahan is allowing a recruit who was originally charged with sexually abusing two women in a dormitory (before pleading down) to join the Nebraska football team.
DB Major Culbert was sentenced this month in Eugene, Oregon to five years probation and 25 days in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and harassment stemming from his January recruiting trip to the University of Oregon.
And that's good enough for Callahan who said, "The charges against Major in Oregon have been reduced to a misdemeanor, but we take this situation very seriously."
I mean, yeah, if it's just a misdemeanor, by all means, suit him up!
Callahan goes on to say, "We have granted (Culbert) a second chance to be a part of our program, and, accordingly, he will operate under a zero-tolerance policy from this point forward. We believe his willingness to accept these terms reflects positively on his character and commitment to focus on academics and athletics while here at Nebraska."
"Zero tolerance," huh? What complete bullshit. Didn't Culbert already blow that at the dorm in Eugene? So it's not really "zero" tolerance, technically it's more of a "mulligan" tolerance policy.
As for Callahan saying that by accepting the unnamed conditions imposed on Culbert in order to play football, this reflects "positively on (Culbert's) character," give me a fucking break. What was the kid's other choice? Probably not much as I'm
Now, for those of you who say I'm being too harsh or, as Callahan alluded to, "Doesn't the kid deserve a second chance?" I say no. He deserves a second chance at getting his life in order after serving his sentence but he doesn't deserve to play college football. And he certainly shouldn't be getting that "second chance" at Nebraska which got a huge black eye (to go along with their black shirts) when Phillips played for them. It just sends a message that this sort of behavior is to be tolerated...as long as one is a good enough athlete (with a good enough lawyer to get the charges reduced).
And the irony is, that "second chance" rationalization is the same thing former Husker coach Tom Osborne said about Phillips when he was at the helm.
Which gets me thinking...
I guess the Husker program did indeed learn something from the Lawrence Phillips fiasco -- ignore those itty, bitty off-the-field problems against women if a player can potentially help the team win a National Title. Maybe that's the "second chance" coach Callahan is talking about.