Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 7, 1998)
Students, you think you have it
tough with all the rules and bureau
cratic policies at the University of
Well fellow students, be thankful
the NCAA doesn’t have a hand in
our academic future like they do with
The NCAA, the fun-loving
omnipotent rulers of college athlet
ics, has rules that state how much of
an athlete’s degree needs to be com
pleted for the athlete to be eligible for
f or example, stuaent-atmetes
must have 25 percent of their degree
completed before entering their third
year. They must have 50 percent of
their degree completed by their
fourth year. This sounds well-inten
tioned and necessary to keep the stu
dent in student-athlete.
But there are reasons why this
rule harms many student-athletes/’
First, like most students, athletes
often don’t like the majors they first
chose, and they want to switch to a
major they might enjoy.
Say Freddie football player
despises broadcasting and wants to
change to marketing after his third
year. That wouldn’t be a problem for
the average student, but it will proba
bly be too bad for Freddie.
The NCAA will not apply those
broadcasting classes toward his
degree unless they possibly end up in
his elective block.
Because of this, Freddie can’t
change majors. If he did change, the
NCAA police would declare him
ineligible because he doesn’t have 50
percent of his marketing degree
For every student who has
changed majors, imagine the horror
of being stuck in your first major. I
still go into convulsions every time I
remember my actuarial science days.
Forget changing majors. Say you
hate UNL and want to transfer. If you
are an student-athlete, you better
hope your future school accepts most
oi your completed nours. ine
NCAA doesn’t care if you have a 4.0
GPA and are a biological science
major. If the credits don’t transfer,
you would be ineligible.
Try to imagine the dilemma for
the student-athlete. The athlete can
be miserable and play his sport, or he
can transfer and forget about his ath
It is important for the NCAA to
enact academic eligibility rules to
keep student-athletes focused on
academics. Unfortunately, their pre
sumption that everyone is cheating
hurts many student-athletes who
want to further their academic
Be thankful, fellow students. Our
academic future isn’t determined by
James Nicas is a senior mar
keting and management major
and a Daily Nebraskan staff
ERIC JOHNSON, Nebraska’s Will linebacker, suffered the loss of his mother in 1995. He had made a promise to her that he would graduate from college
despite all the challenges he has faced along the way.
Tragedy motivates Johnson
When my mother
passed away; only at
first did I think that
life was unfair. It
was the worst time in
my life. She was
gone, I was on Prop
48, / wzsfl yt playing
football and it was
so cold here.”
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Senior staff writer
The Nebraska linebacker often stared skyward, hop
ing to find answers in the vastness of heaven.
He questioned the Lord for dealing him a losing hand.
His failure to score well on a college-entrance exam side
lined him as a Proposition 48 casualty and an academical
ly ineligible freshman for the Comhuskers in 1995. His
mother, Freeda Johnson, who lived 1,400 miles away, died
of breast cancer only months after he enrolled in school.
He was unconvinced of God’s love for him. Life was
unfair. Eric Johnson was unhappy.
Now a fourth-year junior, Johnson wonders why he
searched the sky. A defensive anchor, he starts every game
at Will linebacker for the No. 2 team in the nation. His
teammates and coaches predict a bright professional
future for Johnson in the NFL.
He always wears a smile. He prays every day. As he
carries the motivating spirit of his mother, Johnson real
izes now that God knew he could win, even with a bad
“When my mother passed away, only at first did I
think that life was unfair,” Johnson said. “It was the worst !
time in my life. She was gone, I was on Prop 48,1 wasn’t
playing football and it was so cold here.
“But I realized I shouldn’t see things that way. My
mother’s death wasn’t a sorrowful thing. I see it as a cele
bration, because the Lord ended her suffering. She’s in a
better place now.”
And somewhere, in the unlimited boundaries of the
sky, lives Eric Johnson’s guardian angel.
A very rare thing .
As a single mother in Carson, Calif., near Los
Angeles, Freeda Johnson strived to shield Eric and his
four older sisters from the dangers of the inner city.
She sent Eric to live with his aunt, uncle and two
cousins in Phoenix when he was 14 years old.
“A lot of things were going on,” Johnson said. “My
father wasn’t around. I was just there with my mom, and
she was scared. She wanted to get me out of there so I did
n’t end up dead or in jail. I think it was a wise thing.”
In Phoenix, Johnson discovered his love for football
Please see JOHNSON on 8
Starter up in the air for A&M
By James Nicas
The second-ranked Nebraska foot
ball team is becoming accustomed to
injuries causing uncertainty at the quar
about who will
start against No.
Newcombe press conference,
Solich said he is
optimistic that quarterbacks Bobby
Newcombe and Eric Crouch will be
healthy for the Aggies, but he still isn’t
entirety confident that will be the case.
“I think there is a chance of
(Newcombe not playing against Texas
A&M),” Solich said. “We want him to
start getting at the point where he is as
close to 100 percent as possible.
‘ ‘Ifhe is able to get that done by lim
ited reps this week and take off one day
of practice, that would be great. If that is
not the case he may have to miss a ball
game, and that is the same for Eric.”
Newcombe still hasn’t recovered
fully from a posterior cruciate ligament
tear in his left knee suffered in the
opening game against Louisiana Tech.
In the third quarter of Saturday’s game
against Oklahoma State, Crouch sus
tained a hip pointer that forced him to
leave die game.
The injuries caused both players to
miss practice Monday, but they prac
ticed in a limited capacity Tuesday.
“You would like than to be out on
the field getting as many reps as possi
ble, but we ’ ve come through die season
where both of those guys have received
a good amount of reps in practice and
games,” Solich said “I don’t see them
sitting out snaps this week as being crit
ical to them playing well.”
The lack of practice time is not a
major concern for Newcombe either.
Newcombe said off-the-fidd prepara
tion will be the most important focus ,5
for the quarterbacks. \
“The main thing is to pick up their
defense and understand the changes we
are making in our audibles,”
Newcombe said. “The different reads
we will have to have are what I need to
stay focused on.”
If both Newcombe and Crouch are
unable to play Saturday, the starting job
would go to third-string quarterback
Monte Christo. Christo led the Huskers
in the second half of the 24-3 victory
over California. He also has seen many
of the repetitions in practice that nor
mally would have gone to either
Please see FOOTBALL on 8
with 10 wins
■ —_■ r'*■:%<. tv-<-.* >'■ ■>
’ The Nebraska softball team occu- j
pied mbch of its fall seasdil searching
to replenish its roster after losing sever
al key players from its 1998 team to
The team struggled through the
Husker Fall Classic on Sept. 25-27
with five straight losses. Two of those
losses included games in which the
Huskers failed to score.
They ended their fall season with a
record of 10-6 but are looking forward
to conditioning this winter.
“We know where we want to be, so
we need to make the best out of winter
Please see SOFTBALL on 8
Powered by Open ONI