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September 13, 1995 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-13

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14 -- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 13, 1995

Nebraska's Phillips
pleads innocent to
charges of assault

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)-Lawrence
Phillips pleaded innocent Tuesday to
a charge that he struck his former
girlfriend, and coach Tom Osborne
said he thought the Nebraska star ini-
ti ally~was so distraught he might harm
himsef.
In a case that has rocked the de-
foriding national champions, the
former Heisman Trophy contender
also pleaded innocent to misdemeanor
charges of trespassing and destruc-
tion of property.
"Not guilty," Phillips said calmly
when asked for his plea at Lancaster
Cpunty Court in an appearance that
lasted less than five minutes.
No further court date was set.
Phillips' attorney, Hal Anderson, said
it likely would be in October, and
there probably would be a trial.
Phillips, who is free on bond, was
ordered to have no contact with sopho-
more basketball player Kate McEwen
or transfer quarterback Scott Frost.
He is accused of climbing to Frost's
third-floor apartment early Sunday
and bitting McEwen.
Osborne dismissed Phillips from
the team within hours of his arrest
Stnday night but later said the junior
from West Covina, Calif., was sus-
pended indefinitely. He said Tuesday
he never intended for "dismissed" to
mean forever.
'At his weekly news conference
Tuesday, Osborne said Phillips was
devastated when told he was dis-
missed.
"Frankly, on Sunday, I thought I
might never see him again," Osborne
said. "I was afraid of what he might
do to'himself because I knew he
tiought he'd blown it."
Phillips' attorney declined to com-
nment on Osborne's remark.
Osborne said he does not want to
entirely cut Phillips loose and be-
lieves he has more control over the
situation if he holds out the possibil-
ity that Phillips could return to the
team. He went so far as to say Phillips
could be back on the team yet this

season.
He said that action still sent a stern
message to Phillips.
"When you've got a chance to win
the Heisman Trophy, and you're not
playing football, that sends a pretty
powerful message," Osborne said.
Phillips was the nation's third-lead-
ing rusher last year with 1,722 yards.
Hours before the alleged assault,
Phillips rushed for206 yards and four
touchdowns against Michigan State.
Lancaster County attorney Gary
Lacey said the misdemeanor assault
charge alleges Phillips "did unlaw-
fully strike, beat or wound" McEwen.
"cFranklyon
Sunday, I thought I
might never see
(Lawrence
Phillips) again. I
Was afraid of what
he migt do to
himself because I
Knew he thought
he'd blown it
- Tom Osborne
Nebraska football coach
"He hit her," said Lacey, who would
not say how many times Phillips al-
legedly struck her. "I don't want to
get into all of that;'
He said the property charge alleges
Phillips damaged mailboxes on his
way out of the apartment building,
causing $327 in damage.
"He hit them with his fist or part of
his body," Lacey said.
Lacey said he has not spoken with
McEwen. Police said she has left Ne-

Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne fielded questions relating to his indefinite
suspension of star tailback Lawrence Phillips at a press conference yesterday.
Phillips pleaded not guilty to a charge that he struck his former girlfriend.

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zsvzceuztAoMds orPhiz4~s
've got a book idea for Tom been charged with attempted second-
Osborne - a little 200-300 degree murder. And yes, he's still
pager called "Crime and Punish- with the team.
nent: The Cornhusker's Official Apparently some different stan-
Guide." dards exist for Phillips and his
For those of us who have no teammates. That could be because
association with Nebraska football, Phillips has been scrutinized for more
t would be an informative look at than just his play lately.
he morals and ethics of the The NCAA investigated Phillips
Cornhusker football coach. earlier in the season because of his
But for those who play for the contact with a sports agent. He has
eam, it would be nothing short of a since been cleared of any wrongdoing
urvival guide. there, but the NCAA was also
Osborne made yet another erratic investigating him for a couple of
moral judgment other matters, one being a 1995
Sunday night Mustang he's been driving.
when he threw Still, all of these allegations are just
Lawrence that - allegations. The NCAA, just
Phillips off the like the Lancaster County, Neb.,
eam. The star district attorney's-office, hasn't
ailback was proven that Phillips has done
rrested Sunday anything wrong.
night for I sincerely hope that a bunch of
allegedly allegations haven't cost Phillips his
triking his ex- career. Not only would that be wrong,
girlfriend. it also wouldn't be fair - supposi-
Now, beating tions and accusations haven't hurt
an ex-girlfriend DARREN Washington or Benning.
- or anyone - EVERSON And those two aren't pro prospects
s a terrible like Phillips is. Playing for the
crime. How- tDarreno be Cornhuskers isn't an extracurricular
ever, Phillips activity. It's an opportunity to prepare
currently isn't himself for his next job, which will be
guilty of any crime. He pleaded in the NFL.
nnocent yesterday. Maybe the promise of an NFL career
Damon Benning, Phillips' backup, doesn't exist for you and me, but for
was arrested Saturday on suspicion of Phillips, it's a reality. He was third in'
assaulting an ex-girlfriend. Like the nation in rushing yards last year,
Phillips, Benning maintains his and this season he has 359 yards in two
nnocence, but unlike Phillips, games. In a season that began without a
Benning is still on the team. clear-cut Heisman Trophy favorite,
Phillips should still be with the Phillips is now the front-runner.
lub as well, not just because Benning Or at least he was. Osborne said
s, but because there's no reason to yesterday that Phillips was so upset,
oot either of them just yet. he was "afraid pf what he might do to
'Innocent until proven guilty' has himself." That's understandable,
ecome a cliche, but it still makes since it appears this incident could
ense. You shouldn't take action ruin him.
gainst someone solely because of an And it should - if he's guilty.
llegation - one that could be false. Osborne ought to wait and find out
Osborne seems to adhere to this for sure, like he has with his other
hilosophy when it comes to most players.
nyone besides Phillips. Riley -Darren Everson can be reached
Washington, a Nebraska receiver, has at evey@umich.edu

braska for her own protection.
Women's basketball coach Angela
Beck said McEwen was still on the
team. The coach said it has not been
decided if McEwen will return to the
university. She said McEwen was do-
ing as well as can be expected.
"I fully support coach Osborne's
immediate action in dismissing
Lawrence Phillips," Beck said.
While Osborne was swift to disci-
pline Phillips, the coach took no disci-
plinary action against backup tailback
Damon Benning, who was arrested one
day before Phillips on suspicion of as-
saulting a former girlfriend.
Lacey said he had not yet reviewed
the police reports in the Benning case
and has not decided whether to file
charges against Benning.
Benning said he is innocent. He
said the 19-year-old woman came to
his home, demanded photographs and

threatened to damage his car. He said
he tried to defend himself, a claim
Osborne believes.
University officials said Phillips,
who has had three brushes with the
law, was dismissed from the team
because he violated an agreement with
the coach.
"My understanding is that he was
told, 'Any more problems and that's
it,"' Herb Howe, an associate to the
chancellor, told the Omaha World-
Herald.
On a radio talk show, Sports Day
Mid-America, athletic director Bill
Byrne said: "Lawrence has an agree-
ment with Tom as far as what his
behavior is going to be. And once he
violates that depending on the under-
standing, there's going to be conse-
quences. And the consequences in this
case were that Lawrence Phillips was
dismissed from the football team."

IRON MAN
continued from page 13
Zhang, 30, who is working on a
Ph.D. in pharmaceuticals, has proven
in the past that he is physically and
emtionally fit.
In the past year, he has qualified for
the Boston Marathon as a first time
partcipant, completed the Revco
Ckveland Marathon in 2 hours and
57┬░inutes, and finished 66th at the
Sylvania Bud Light Triathlon.
Ae has also had to balance a train-
ing~ schedule with attending school
arid working in research to obtain his
degree, which he expects to receive in
December.
Still a citizen of his native China,
Zhng decided to compete in the event
aftr qualifying for the Boston Mara-
th'00. Zhang received the title of the
toptriathlete in China, therefore quali-
fying him to contend in the Ironman

competition.
Due to his amateur status, however,
Zhang will not be entitled to any prize
money from the competition.
"I'm doing it for pride,"Zhang said.
Zhang will not be competing in the
event just for personal pride, but also
because he hopes to be an ambassador
of the triathlon to the Chinese. He is the
first person from China to be selected to
participate in the championship. His
main goal is to just finish the event.
"I want to be the first Chinese
ironman," Zhang said. "By represent-
ing my country, I hope to promote
endurance sports in China."
In order to fulfill his goal of finish-
ing the competition, Zhang has trained
for the past four months on the week-
ends by swimming at the Central Cam-
pus Recreation Building (CCRB), run-
ning in Nichols Arboretum, and bik-
ing 100 to 120 miles. All of this takes
about six to seven hours a day.

Zhang's training schedule suffers
during the week because of his respon-
sibilities as a student. He makes time to
train by waking up at 7a.m. to swim and
going to the Arboretum at lunch to run.
Zhang's diet is very strict. He con-
sumes 40 percent carbohydrates, 30
percent protein, and 30 percent fat.
He contends that he is very diligent
about what he eats.
"I have to be careful so I can be in
top shape," he said.
With all the pressures of training and
completing his degree, Zhang has had a
lot of support from the Michigan cy-
cling team, with whom he trains, the
local Chinese community, and the Cycle
Cellar bike shop, which sponsors him.
"They've all been really helpful,"
Zhang said.
Zhang expressed the difficulty of
training while in school and is look-
ing forward to the time when he will
be able to say that he competed in the

Ironman Triathlon.
"I'm glad it's almost over," he said.
"I'll start tapering my practices by
mid-September."
Zhang is realistic about his chances
of finishing among the top athletes.
Since he is an amateur and a student,
he realizes that he cannot compete
against people who train longer with
coaches and better equipment.
However, Zhang has his eyes fixed
on completing something that is no
small accomplishment, finishing the
Ironman.
"I just want to fulfill my dream and
finish," he said. "That is my ultimate
goal."
When he returns from the champi-
onship, Zhang will defend his thesis
and begin his search for a job.
If Zhang can compete in the
Ironman Triathlon, it is likely that he
will be able to compete very well in
the job market.

GRIDDES!
You just have to do Griddes! Drop off your picks for this week at the Daily
sports desk on the second floor of the Student Publications Building at 420
Maynard. Deadline is 4 p.m, Friday. Best entry will receive a $15 gift
certificate to Steve and Barry's University Sportswear on State Street.
Contestants are limited to five entries per week.

1. Michigan at Boston College
2. Temple at Penn State
3. Arizona at Illinois
4. Kentucky at Indiana
5. Iowa at Iowa State.
6. Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern
7. Washington at Ohio State
8. Michigan State at Louisville
9. Wisconsin at Stanford
10. Ball State at Minnesota
11. No. Carolina St. at Florida St.
12. Tennessee at Florida
13. Arkansas at Alabama
14. Arizona State at Nebraska
15. Auburn at Lousiana State
16. Oregon at UCLA,

17. New Mexico State at Georgia
18. Georgia Tech at Virginia
19. Houston at Southern Cal
20. Tulsa at Texas A&M
21. West Virginia at Maryland
22. So. Methodist at Oklahoma
23. Cincinnati at Virginia Tech
24. Colorado State at Air Force
25. Dartmouth at Pennsylvania
Tiebreaker - Michigan at Boston
College, total points:
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