The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 13, 1993, Page 7, Image 7

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Wednesday, October 13,1993
uhammad denies being a gang member
By Mitch Sherman
Staff Reporter
Nebraska wingback Abdul
Muhammad denied on Tuesday an
ESPN report that said the junior from
Compton, Cal if., was a gang member.
“After viewing what the ESPN
thing showed about me, I feel I need
to speak out,” Muhammad said, read
ing from a prepared statement during
Nebraska’s weekly press conference
Tuesday. “Much of what was said
about me was taken out of context.
“Although 1 have friends who arc
gang members and grew up in area
where gangs are common, 1 am not a
member of a gang, as ESPN and the
reporter said.”
During a preview of Nebraska’s
game witn Oklahoma State on Thurs
day night, ESPN’s Shelley Smith re
ported that Muhammad was a mem
ber of the Bloods, a prominent gang in
Southern California.
Muhammad said Tuesday that he
had friends who were in gangs. But a
comment in the ESPN report in which
Muhammad said his friends watched
out for him was taken out of context to
imply that he also was a gang mem
ber, he said.
“It is true that my friends watch out
for me, but that is not because I am a
member of a gang,” Muhammad said.
“It’s because they are my friends.”
Attempts to reach Smith failed
But ESPN managing editor Steve
Anderson, who oversees the produc
tion of all broadcast material, said in
a statement Tuesday that the station
stood behind its report.
“We understand the sensitivities
surrounding the issue and took great
pains to address them in the presenta
tion of this story,” he said. “After
reviewing the piece and discussing it
with the reporter, we are confident
that we accurately reported the infor
mation reported to us.”
Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said
that Muhammad, who was shot in the
buttock in July by gang members, told
Smith ofT-camera that he was not a
gang member.
Osborne also said that while most
of the questions Smith asked
Muhammad pertained to recruiting,
the majority of those questions were
cut from the story.
“I wasn’t real enthused about any
body from the outside coming in here
in the first place,” he said. “Apparent
ly most of the questions they asked
Coach (George) Dari ington and Abdul
were about recruiting.
“(Mqhammad) supposedly was
asked by the interviewer if he was a
gang member and he said he wasn’t.”
Osborne said the coaching staff
reviewed the tape before drawing any
contusions. ESPN again aired the
scgmepi on the Saturday morning
coirege football preview show.
“As a coaching staff, we looked at
the tape,” he said, “and naturally we
weren’t too excited about the way it
came off. It didn’t go anywhere near
like we’d been led to believe.
“You can take an individual, and
by what kind of questions you ask,
you can make him into a saint or you
can make him into a bum.”
Osborne said Muhammad got a
bum rap and deserved an apology
from ESPN.
“I think it would be nice if some
See ESPN on 8
William Lauar/DN
Nebraska linebacker Ed Stewart warms up during a recent practice. Stewart is coming off an 11-tackle
performance in the Comhuskers’ win over Oklahoma State Thursday night.
Forgotten linebacker makes his move
By Jeff Griesch
Senior Reporter
After spending the first four games as the
forgotten man in Nebraska’s new 4-3 de
fense, Ed Stewart said he was ready to make
an impact for the Comhuskcrs.
While Butkus Award candidates Trev
Alberts and Mike Anderson stepped into the
spotlight by making big plays in Nebraska’s
new 4-3 defensive scheme, Stewart strug
gled to adjust to the system.
“I think |he first couple of games I was
kind of slowed down by the new system
because 1 wasn’t really comfortable with it ”
Stewart said.
Stewart, a 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound jun
ior from Chicago, had only 16 tackles through
the first four games but broke out of his
slump by leading the Huskcr defense against
Oklahoma State.
Stewart recorded 12 total tackles, includ
ing five unassisted tackles and one tackle for
loss in the Huskers’ 27-13 win over the
“Right now, I am a lot more comfortable
with tin; defense, and I have a good feel of
my responsibilities,” Stewart said. “But I
See STEWART on 8
Huskers9 Sunshine State rivals deserve crushing dejeat
As I sat on my beloved couch on
Saturday afternoon, watching Florida
State systematically dismantle the
M iami Hurricanes, I real ized by about
halftime that I had seen this game
The game did not remind me of
any of Florida State's games with
Miami in the past, when helpless Sem
inole kickers were forced to carry the
weight of missing field goals wide to
the right.
No, this game reminded me of
other one-sided games that were sup
posed to be classic matchups.
The games that came to my mind
were Nebraska bowl games against
both Florida State and Miami.
Five of Nebraska's last six bowl
games have been played against the
gridiron goliaths from Florida.
In those five games, the Huskers
are 0-5, with the only close game
■ coming in a 31-28 loss to the Semi
noles in the the 1988 Fiesta Bowl.
Perhaps it is just a coincidence that
before Saturday’s stomping of Mi
ami, Florida Slate had lost five of its
last six games to the Hurricanes.
- Losing to Florida State has never
seemed as degrading or as downright
terrible as losing to those classless
Maybe it’s because I remember the
Huskers losing to Miami in the 1984
Orange Bowl, which was such a crush
ing defeat to me because 1 thought
that the Huskers were the greatest
college football team ever and Miami
had no right to beat them.
Don’t question my logic, I was
only in the sixth grade.
Maybe it’s because the ‘Canes and
their coaches always seemed like
finger-pointing, trash-talking, hot
dogging bad guys, while the ‘Nolcs
andBobby Bowden always beat the
Huskers with a touch of class.
Unlike Miami, which would al
ways bash the Huskers before playing
them, Bobby Bowden always said
how much the Huskers scared him,
how good the Huskers were and what
a great coach Tom Osborne was.
Bowden’s words took a lot of pain
out of the hurt on the scoreboard, and
his players appeared more concerned
with playing football than starting
Perhaps it is just a coincidence that
Bowden appears in the Huskcr media
guide praising Osborne and the Ne
braska football program.
Maybe that’s why 1 was tooting so
hard for the ‘Noles to humiliate the
‘Canes on Saturday and why Miami
looked more like the Huskcr teams
(hat fought hard to keep the 1989 and
1992 Orange Bowl scores with the
Hurricanes respectable.
In those two games, the Husker
offense was nonexistent. Nebraska
lost 23-3 in 1989 and 22-0 in 1992.
In Saturday’s game with Florida
State* the Hurricane offense was
stuffed time after time and the ’Canes
taunting tactics were silenced.
The 28-10 Florida State win was
not nearly big enough to satisfy my
‘Cane-crushing desires. Maybe 35-0
or 42-0 would have been enough to
heal the woundsof frustrating ycarsof
losing to Miami.
Despite the score, Miami was nev
er really in the game, and Frank Costa
proved to me that he will end the
string of great quarterbacks at Miami.
Now that mighty Miami has fallen,
the three Husker losses to Florida
State in the past six years loom large
in my mind.
Most of the joy I had in watching
Charlie Ward run over Miami has
turned to rage. 1 can only hope that the
Seminoles will run into the sharpened
teeth of their other intrastate rival, the
Florida Gators.
If the Seminoles lose, my season
would be made by seeing the two
Nebraska nemeses fall.
If the ‘Notes do lose and Nebraska
manages to go undefeated and travel
to Miami for the Orange Bowl, chanc
es arc the Huskers will face either
Florida State or Miami.
Maybe this time, the Huskers will
turn the tables on the teams from
tourist-terrorism land and get some
serious payback.
Crteich li a Junior aewi-editortal major
and a Daily Nebraikaa *enior reporter and
colu malit.
Volleyball team
refocuses aim
for Colorado
By Tim Pearson
Senior Reporter
The Nebraska volleyball team is in an unfa
miliar position right now.
And the Comhuskcrs hope to get out of it as
quickly as possible.
The team is coming oif its first Big Eight
regular season loss in 62 conference matches.
Oklahoma defeated the Huskers in four games
.The 12th-rankcd Huskers will try to start
another winning streak tonight against Colo
rado in Boulder at 8:30.
Nebraska coach Terry Pettit said the streak’s
end didn’t matter to him.
“That’s a short-term issue,” he said. “The
most important issue is that you get things
going in the olfter direction.
“In other words, I want to see them make
progress. I want them to play harder and better
than they did against Oklahoma. Then on Sat
urday (against Kansas), I want them to play
better than they did against Colorado.”
Pettit said playing right after the loss to the
Sooners would be good for his team.
“I’ve never enjoyed not winning, but I’m
more uncomfortable not playing,” he said.
The Huskcrs lost to the Sooners, Pettit said,
simply because they didn’t execute.
“It was a case of Oklahoma playing well and
us not playing well enough to win,” he said.
“Mentally, we let go at some points.”
Pettit said he wasn’t anxious just because his
team lost a match.
“There’s no reason to panic, and there’s no
reason to focus on two or three matches,” he
But, he said, the players have increased their
intensity in the past two practices.
“The big picture is that our kids and coaches
recognized that we needed to alter things," he
said. “We raised the intensity level inpractice,
and we mentally challenged the players.”
With several injuries early in the season,
Pettit said, the team had been just trying to get
Now, he said, the goal is to keep the players
See PETTIT on 8