There’s an on-field update to note as it pertains to Maurice Washington‘s off-field issue.
Tuesday, Scott Frost revealed that Washington will be what the head coach described as a “limited participant” when Nebraska kicks off spring practice this month. “I don’t know if he’ll be at each practice,” Frost said when explaining what being a “limited participant” meant, referring to the ongoing criminal investigation involving the player.
In mid-February, a Santa Clara County (Calif.) judge signed a warrant filed a couple of days earlier that sought the arrest of the Nebraska running back for alleged violation of that state’s revenge-porn law. It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.
Washington has already been charged with a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.
While the university and the NU football program were aware that authorities in California as well as the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office were actively seeking to speak to Washington, and were made aware of some type of situation involving the player in mid-September of last year, they have steadfastly maintained that they were not privy to the details of the situation until Feb. 8 of this year.
It’s expected that Washington will turn himself in to authorities, although the when remains uncertain.
“I’m troubled anytime anybody that’s involved with our team conducts himself in a way that sheds a negative light on our team or university. We take that seriously,” the head coach said in quotes distributed by the school. “Our players and everybody involved in our program needs to understand that they just don’t represent themselves, they represent our team, the University of Nebraska, the athletic department and the whole state. That’s a lot of responsibility, but there’s a lot of benefits that come along with being a player at the University of Nebraska, too. I’m disappointed anytime there’s a negative shown in any piece of our athletic department.
“In regards to Maurice specifically, we hope we gain a lot more clarity on the matter real soon. To my knowledge, that process is moving along. Hopefully, we’ll get more clarity soon. We’re trying to keep him as close to a normal routine as a student as we can in the meantime. I think anytime anybody on our team behaves in a way that isn’t consistent with the values of our team or our university, they run the risk of losing playing time or putting their status on the team in jeopardy, but to me, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the situation before that decision is made. And just to be clear, that decision isn’t made by me, it’s made by myself in conjunction with administration and the university. So, that’s where we stand right now. I don’t know a whole lot more about it.
After some academic uncertainty throughout the offseason, Washington was cleared to join the Cornhuskers football team in early August of last year. As a true freshman, and despite the off-field cloud hanging over him from the start of the season, Washington rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns, numbers that were both good for third on the team. His 24 receptions were also third-best, while his 221 receiving yards were fourth.