The other shoe dropped as they say, Bill Callahan announcing today that
yesterday he had indefinitely suspended Nebraska’s starting center and a
pre-season All-American candidate, Richie Incognito.
Callahan was not specific to the reason for this suspension, citing only that
it was yet another offense by the interior lineman and as to his possible
return, Callahan said he didn’t know. "We’re going to look at that very hard."
He said. "We still haven’t decided on the parameters for his return, but we are
going to look at that and examine that very closely."
Incognito was already considered one of the four players Callahan announced
on Tuesday as having to sit for the home opener against Western Illinois. This
stemming from an off-season incident where the Incognito was convicted due to
events that occurred during an altercation at a party.
The loss of Incognito puts the center position in dire straits from an
experience standpoint, the listed starter Kurt Mann going into just his
Sophomore year. The current situation, however, isn’t one that the team is
instantly impacted at as Incognito has been absent for most of training camp.
"They competed through the duration of training camp without Richie." Callahan
said. "They’ve gotten a lot of reps, they’ve maximized their time out on the
field and in the meeting room and I think coach Wagner has done a great job at
getting Kurt Mann and Gary Pike ready to play."
"I can’t make any guarantees or promises, but I am very confident that they
will play hard. It’s unfortunate, but as I said, it’s a privilege to play
football here at the University of Nebraska. It’s not a right."
The loss of Incognito will no doubt be the most significant loss for a team
not even into the regular season. A line that was sorely depleted coming in with
the center position as the only place the starter seemed to be a "lock", now the
entire face of the line could easily change week to week.
That’s hardly the scope of the problems or even the least of them for a new
head coach and staff and for Callahan himself, he stated that it was unfortunate
it got to this point at all. "I’m disappointed because he’s a very good player."
Callahan said. "But, like I’ve told the team, no one is bigger than the
Nebraska will kick off the game against Western Illinois at 6:00 p.m. central
time and can be viewed on Fox Sports Net via Pay Per View.