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College football

Husker charged after pep club member hit

By wire services
Published November 20, 2004

NORMAN, Okla. - Nebraska offensive lineman Darren DeLone was charged with aggravated assault and battery for injuring a member of Oklahoma's spirit group before last week's Oklahoma-Nebraska game.

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for DeLone, accused of driving his helmet into the face of Oklahoma student Adam Merritt, the Cleveland County district attorney's office said.

The charge against DeLone carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Nebraska spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the university was cooperating with authorities.

Merritt, a member of the spirit group Ruf/Neks, lost two teeth in the encounter.

The University of Oklahoma Police Department recommended prosecution of DeLone and a second 'Husker, Wali Muhammad, but Cleveland County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said there was not enough evidence to file charges against Muhammad.

Members of the Ruf/Neks spirit group were near the north end zone before the game. Kuykendall said witnesses reported that DeLone pointed to the Ruf/Neks and ran his thumb across his throat in a threatening motion before he and Muhammad executed a drill in which they ran toward the group.

"DeLone hit the victim 12 feet outside the playing field with such force that it sent Merritt back into a brick retaining wall and metal gate," Kuykendall said. "It knocked him about 8 feet, resulting in his injuries."

Merritt, 19, received a concussion. He was treated and released from the hospital.

DeLone, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound senior, was not detained by campus police and played in the 30-3 loss to Oklahoma.

ABC out of BCS bidding

The Bowl Championship Series won't be on ABC after next season. The network has shown college football's four major bowl games since the system for crowning a national champion was implemented in 1998 but has pulled out of contract negotiations for rights to the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls.

The national title game rotates between those and the Rose Bowl, which negotiates its own deal and has re-signed with ABC through 2014. ABC has paid about $25-million a year for the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange.

The BCS' move to five bowls in 2006 was the breaking point for ABC, which didn't want another game.

"Frankly it's adding another game that just doesn't matter in the national championship race," Loren Matthews, senior vice president for programming for ABC Sports, told the Associated Press on Friday.

ARKANSAS STATE: School officials said a neck injury Josh Williams sustained against North Texas left no serious damage. Williams was carried from the field in Thursday night's game and taken to a hospital.

EAST CAROLINA: Coach John Thompson, who resigned under pressure this week, will be paid until Jan. 1, 2008, under the terms of a settlement with the school. If he doesn't take another job, Thompson receives $150,000 a year. Thompson agreed Wednesday to quit at the end of the season after he was told he would be fired.

TENNESSEE TECH: Drew Hixon, a receiver who suffered a severe brain injury against South Florida in the season opener, is walking with a cane and is ready for discharge from the University of Virginia facility where he been undergoing rehab.

[Last modified November 20, 2004, 01:05:22]


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