Coach Solich ended up talking about the Missouri game, but not before he had to answer a bevy of questions regarding the incident where Jammal Lord and Greichaly Cepero were both taken into custody following complaints of too much noise. An apparent argument was occurring between both Cepero and Lord when police were called to the vicinity. Both were subsequently taken into custody and transported to a detox center where they were released the following day with citations in hand.
The situation seems ill-timed to say the least as NU has had one of it's firs real happy moments to talk about in some time. But, that's the way it is and after Solich briefly commented on today's practice, the questions came in a deluge inquiring as to what happened early Sunday morning. "He (Jammal) has received a ticket for disturbing the peace." Solich stated. "The fact that he has that ticket does not automatically do anything to him at this point. It does bring into play our point system which always occurs in any situation that we are dealing with when a player is concerned and we will continue to look at it, see if any other points should be assessed and deal with the matter immediately after."
The point system Solich indicates is a system not much unlike that of your drivers' license. Any one incident, depending on what it was has a point value assessed to it. Misdemeanors, Felonies and Academic issues (to name just a few) all are given their own values, 5 points being the maximum allowable value, which prompts immediate suspension from the team. This system is utilized by the Unity Council that bears final say in just how many points each particular scenario is worth unless the coach decided that stepping in and overriding the decision is deemed necessary.
Lord's status as the starting quarterback for this weekend's game against Oklahoma State is being determined by the investigation.
As to the matter as a whole, Solich remarked that this like any other time is disappointing that it ever happened in the first place. "I think you are always disappointed anytime a ticket of any nature is received by a player." Solich stated. "The bottom line is that as a coach, you have to deal with that and your squad has to deal with that."
Back to the timing issue of this "event", some would see it as hard to find worse timing than that of the week after NU comes off what is considered to be their best game this year. There's always a fear of something like this taking the focus of players away and Solich stated that it's an issue, but one everybody has to deal with. "The timing is never good on an incidents of his nature." Solich stated. "There is no picking and choosing (however), when it comes to the timing of good things or unfortunate things. The bottom line about being involved in athletics, you learn to move forward. That's what to a degree this is all about. Helping guys grow and hopefully from this, there are positive steps that do come from it."
Because this incident with Lord allegedly involved alcohol, that begged the question concerning NU's policy on the consumption of alcoholic beverages by it's athletes. As you could imagine, a policy like that would be near impossible to enforce, but it's something the coaches keep their eye on to the degree that they can. "We address the alcohol problem that exists in this country." Solich stated. "But, every phase of life on college campuses, that's the number one problem that every administrator faces and I am sure that's the number one problem that ever coach faces. So, you are constantly addressing that issues with your players."
"Do we condone it? No. Do we discourage it? Yes."
As with any incident involving high profile persons, you can have what would appear to be a relatively minor issue and have it balloon to major proportions. Having a party at your own house and getting in an argument most certainly is perceived quite differently then when it happens to someone considered to have "celebrity" status. With Lord and Cepero, they fit the criteria, but this isn't the first time for this type of incident, nor will it be the last. As coach Frank Solich stated, it simply comes with the territory. "As a head coach at any program regardless of the sport, you are continually visiting with your players about what it takes to have it work for them as individuals as they go through the system where they are under the microscope. And we certainly want them to make the decisions that are the right decisions in terms of what's best for them and for everybody around them. And what's what we have tried to do."
Jammal Lord continues to practice as he has and based on the results of the findings by the university, you can expect a firm decision within the next couple of days. Mike Stuntz wasn't reported to have taken any additional snaps nor has third string QB, Joe Chrisman.
Josh Davis, Chris Kelsay and T.J. Hollowell all did not practice today, but good news for Husker fans, ALL of them are expected to be ready to go for this weekend's road game against Oklahoma State.
You can reach Steve Ryan at email@example.com or 402-730-5619