Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss pled no contest to a charge of public indeceny resulting from a December 2012 incident in a campus convenience store where Moss exposed his genitals to a student worker. As a result of the incident, Moss was not allowed in campus residence halls, but was allowed to continue as a student and athlete. At some point in December, Moss thought the ban was no longer in effect and visited a residence hall.
He was wrong. Dean of Students Dr. Matthew Hecker and Campus Police Chief Owen Yardley then banned him from the entire campus for four years. Moss appealed the ban earlier this month, which was denied. Moss can appeal the ban again in December 2014, but until that time, Moss cannot attend class or even use athletic department facilities.
Bo Pelini declined comment on the situation and referred reports to "university administration."
Moss told Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald Monday that he still would like to return to Nebraska, but that he's looking at all options:
"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."
Moss' attorney, Brad Roth, said that Moss has been in counseling ever since the 2012 incident. Apparently that wasn't sufficient for NU officials.
From a football perspective, Moss will be sorely missed. He finished the season with 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks, plus an interception return for a touchdown against Northwestern. That being said, football shouldn't have any influence on the ultimate decision as to whether Moss can return to Lincoln or not.
It's clear that NU officials do not feel that Moss' counseling is sufficient, and the escalation of the ban to campus-wide makes it seem unlikely that Moss would ever be allowed back on campus. In the meantime, it's also unclear what Moss' next move is. I suspect that a junior college route would make the most sense; Moss is only 3 semesters into his college studies and won't be able to attend classes in Lincoln for another year.
Moss redshirted in the 2012 football season, so if Moss transfers to a division 1-A school, he'd have to sit out the 2014 season and wouldn't be able to play until 2015 as a junior. So the juco route would allow Moss to play as a sophomore and would leave all of his division 1-A options open. He could even appeal the Nebraska decision in December, and still have options to attend any other school in 2015, should he wish.
Since Pelini has not made any definitive statements on Moss' status, I suspect that Pelini's door is still open; it appears that the decision will be made by the administration, not the athletic department in this situation. But can Moss find a way to get himself reinstated to the University? That's the open question.