May 5, 2015

Death ruled a homicide in ex-Husker Phillips’ prison cell

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

Lawrence Phillips mugshot

The death of a man sharing a prison cell with former Nebraska I-back Lawrence Phillips was ruled a homicide by strangulation, according to a coroner’s report released Thursday.

37 year old Damion Soward was found dead early Saturday in a California prison cell that he shared with the 39 year old Phillips, who is an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison serving a sentence of 31 years and four months.

Phillips was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year drove his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. Soward was sentenced from San Bernardino County to serve 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction.

Lawrence Phillips suspected of killing cellmate in California prison

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips

Lawrence Phillips, the one time St. Louis Rams running back, who was given a chance to turn his troubled life around by then head coach Dick Vermeil, is suspected of murdering Damion Soward, a 37-year-old who was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder.

Phillips is serving 31 years in prison in California for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens.  The alleged killing took place on Saturday morning.

At the University of Nebraska, Phillips was suspended for allegedly dragging his ex-girlfriend by her hair down a flight of stairs. He was, reinstated by the team before the end of the season. Nebraska went on to win a national championship.

The Rams drafted him sixth overall in 1996, less than a year after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

In 2005, Phillips twice choked his girlfriend and then drove his car at teens after a pickup football game.

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football, following large turnout for Spring Game

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Terrell Newby carried a spring game high seven times in the near two and half hour scrimmage (photo/NU Athletics)

Fans are ready for the next era of Nebraska football.  The Mike Riley era opened with an exciting Spring Game debut in front of 76,881 fans at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  The Red held off the White, 24-15, thanks to a 17-0 lead in a game that featured four, 20-minute quarters.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter (Red 10-0)
RED – 14:04 – Adam Taylor 8 run (Drew Brown kick) – 9 plays, 75 yards, 5:56, RED 7-0
RED – 8:00 – Drew Brown 36 FG – 5 plays, 14 yards, 2:57 – RED 14-0

Second Quarter (Red 17-2)
RED – 8:11 – Jamal Turner 29 pass from Zach Darlington (Brown kick) – 5 plays, 79 yards, 3:43, RED 21-0
WHITE – 0:00 – TEAM Safety

Third Quarter (Red 24-2)
RED – 4:36 – DeMornay Pierson-El 32 pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. (Brown kick) – 2 plays, 56 yards, 0:52, RED 24-2

Fourth Quarter (Red 24-15)
WHITE – 16:09 – Jordan Nelson 52 pass from Ryker Fyfe (Spencer Lindsay kick) – 6 plays, 75 yards, 3:51
WHITE – 9:19 – Jariah Tolbert 25 pass from Tyson Broekemeier (2PAT pass failed) – 4 plays, 47 yards, 1:53

NEB Spring Game 2015

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Randy Gregory fails NFL pot test at Combine

Randy Gregory (photo: NU Athletics)

Randy Gregory (photo: NU Athletics)

NFL.com is reporting that former Nebraska star and potential top-ten draft pick, Randy Gregory, tested positive for marijuana in February at the scouting combine.

Gregory admitted to the website that he’s been smoking pot for a long time and almost got kicked off the Husker football team. He said he smoking after graduating high school and tested positive in January 2014 and April 2014 at Nebraska.  Gregory was threatened that he would be kicked off the team if he failed a third test.

“I blame myself,” Gregory told NFL.com in revealing the positive test. “And I know it sounds cliché, but there’s really no one else I can blame.”

Gregory, 6’5, 243-pounds, had 17.5 sacks in his two years at Nebraska.

 

Former Husker coach Kaczenski arrested on domestic assault

Rick Kaczenski

Rick Kaczenski

Former Nebraska defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski, part of Bo Pelini’s staff that was fired in December, was arrested Sunday on a charge of third-degree domestic assault and remains in jail as of Monday morning. Lincoln police arrested the 40-year old Kaczenski Sunday afternoon after they had already responded to a call from someone outside the Kaczenski’s home regarding arguments between he and his wife late Saturday night/early Sunday.

According to the police report, Kaczenski’s 33-year old wife suffered a cut to her forehead and scratches to her face and neck, but did not seek medical treatment at a hospital.  Kaczenski allegedly threw a picture frame at her head.

Suspects arrested on suspicion of domestic assault charges in Lancaster County remain in jail until their arraignment and can’t be released on bond.  He was NU’s defensive line coach for three seasons.  Prior to that he was a defensive line coach at Iowa.