Solich reviewing tape of Nebraska player hitting MU fan
Story last updated at 12:01 p.m. Tuesday, October 14, 2003
By The Associated Press
OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska football coach Frank Solich said he will further review videotape and talk to witnesses before taking any action against a player who hit a Missouri fan after Saturday’s game in Columbia, Mo.
The incident occurred as fans stormed Faurot Field after Missouri’s 41-24 upset of the Cornhuskers. Video by Omaha television station KMTV and Columbia, Mo., television station KOMU shows Nebraska’s Kellen Huston knocking down the fan while running off the field. Huston, a junior from Ankeny, Iowa, is the team’s place-kick holder.
Solich said after Monday’s practice that he had spoken with Huston about the incident. He said he was reviewing the tape frame by frame and talking to people who may have seen it happen.
Huston is not the type of player who would instigate a confrontation like what is shown on tape, Solich said. No disciplinary action has been taken but the matter will be dealt with quickly, Solich said. KMTV’s tape shows a male fan running toward Huston and pointing at him moments before Huston lifts his right arm and hits the fan in the face.
KOMU managing editor Randy Reeves said his station’s video shows the player “decking” the fan when the two crossed paths on the field.
Both tapes show Huston continuing to run toward the Nebraska locker room after knocking down the fan while Missouri quarterback Brad Smith stops to help the fan get up. No arrest was made and no complaint had been filed in the matter, said Jack Watring, University of Missouri police chief.
Solich said during Monday’s Big 12 conference call with reporters that there was mass confusion on the field after the game and that emotions were running high. He said he tried to hurry his players off the field and that he regretted it if a fan was hurt.
“It was a situation where there were a lot of people moving a lot of different directions,” he said. “Any time people charge the field, you do, as a coach, get concerned for the safety of your other coaches. You get concerned for the safety of your players. I certainly was in that mode.” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Smith told him what he saw and that Smith was visibly upset.
“I don’t know more about that other than that he (Smith) saw the number of the guy who did it,” Pinkel said.