Forty-three years after he was convicted of felony larceny for his role in an armed robbery, 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers is seeking a pardon from the state of Nebraska.
On Thursday he’ll go before the state’s Board of Pardons and ask to have his conviction pardoned. He is eligible to be granted the pardon because at least 10 years have passed without any convictions or law enforcement issues by the former Cornhusker.
Rodgers and a couple of his buddies robbed a Lincoln, Neb., gas station in 1970, near the end of his freshman year. They got away with $90, which they split three ways. Two years later, Rodgers won the school’s first Heisman Trophy.
Rodgers went on to earn two degrees from his alma mater, in journalism and advertising. But the stigma of being an ex-felon has been a burden on him all this time.
“I have a history of 43 years now of rather decent things happening,” Rodgers said. “I’ve done and accomplished more things after I had a felony charge than most people ever do.”
Rodgers is getting support in his pardon effort from former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne, who was Rodgers’ position coach at the time. Osborne wrote to the Pardons Board on his behalf.
“He has done many good things the last 40 years,” Osborne said, noting Rodgers’ work with charities and youth.
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).
It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.
On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program. Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.
Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before. It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.
Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina. He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.
The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.