LINCOLN – Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss is off the football team for the 2014 season – and not by his choice or a decision made by coach Bo Pelini.
After a Lancaster County Court hearing Monday in which he pleaded no contest to a count of public indecency, Moss confirmed he’s been banned from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus until at least Dec. 31. The World-Herald learned Friday through UNL Dean of Students Dr. Matthew Hecker and UNL Campus Police Chief Owen Yardley of the ban. Moss, who missed the Gator Bowl, lost his appeal of the one-year ban earlier in January.
The process allows Moss one more appeal – in December 2014 — before a four-year campus ban is imposed. Moss said he’s considering that final appeal and finishing his career at Nebraska. That would mean taking a year off from being a UNL student or practicing with the team.
“Obviously, I don’t agree with it,” Moss said of the ban. “I want to come back to Nebraska, but everything’s up in the air. I want to stay a Husker as long as I can. I want to graduate here. But that’s up in the air due to how they’re (banning) me from campus. If I do decide to stay, I’ll come back and play. But I don’t know if I’m going to stay a year.”
In a text, Pelini declined comment and referred all queries to “university administration.”
Yardley and Hecker said Friday that student privacy laws prevent them from giving reasons for the ban, but Moss confirmed it’s related to the public indecency charge. In mid-December 2012, according to a UNL police report, Moss exposed himself to a 22-year-old UNL student worker inside a UNL residence hall convenience store.
For 2013, Moss said he was allowed on most parts of campus, but not residence halls. At some point he returned to the residence halls in December. Moss said a misunderstanding of when he could return triggered the ban.
“It was a procedural screw-up,” Moss said. “It had nothing to do with me acting out again…they wanted me to do something and I misinterpreted it. I thought I was allowed to go back into the residence halls after a academic year – that’s what it seemed like at first – and afterward it was presumed to be whenever Dr. Hecker said so.”
Friday, Hecker said he doesn’t discuss football players’ student affairs issues with Pelini, but with NU associate athletic director Jamie Vaughn. Hecker described his relationship with the athletic department as “excellent.” Yardley said that one of his officers made the call on the campus ban, but that he agreed with the decision. Yardley said campus bans are not usually publicized unless there’s a belief the student body is in “imminent danger.”
Since the late 2012 incident, Moss has been in counseling, said his lawyer Brad Roth.
“He’s done everything I’ve asked of him,” Roth said.
As a redshirt freshman, Moss finished with 36 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 4 ½ sacks in 2013. He also had an interception return for a touchdown in NU’s 27-24 win over Northwestern. Moss he’s “been browsing around at a bunch of schools” but is still considering staying at Nebraska.