Apologetic Nicks says he let down Nebraska
New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Carl Nicks made a surprise
visit to Nebraska’s practice on Wednesday to apologize to coach Bo
Pelini and athletic director Tom Osborne for bad behavior when he
was a Cornhusker.
“I was proud of my school, but I know my school wasn’t proud of
me, so that was important to me,” Nicks said. “I’m
Nicks said his class attendance was spotty and his work ethic
lax during his senior season in 2007. Then, the weekend before the
Cornhuskers’ pro day in March 2008, he got drunk and was arrested
for refusing to leave a disorderly house party.
Though Pelini, hired in December 2007, never coached Nicks, he
banned him from the on-campus workout in front of NFL scouts.
Pelini’s decision initially angered Nicks.
“First thing I said was that I don’t even know this guy and he
doesn’t know me,” Nicks said.
But after thinking about it more, Nicks said, the punishment was
justified. In fact, Nicks said Pelini’s decision inspired him to
work “10 times harder.” He was drafted in the fifth round in 2008
and is a two-year starter at left guard for the Saints.
“I’m not who I was then,” he said. “It just kind of hurts, to
know I made a fool of myself.”
Dressed in shorts and a Kobe Bryant Lakers’ jersey, Nicks
approached Pelini after the coach’s post-practice session with
reporters. They talked for a few minutes and shook hands.
“I wouldn’t be true to Nebraska if I didn’t try to apologize to
Bo, even though I didn’t play for him,” Nicks said. “He’s the
face of Nebraska. I have to make it right with him, Mr. Osborne and
everyone I did wrong when I was here.”
Osborne surprised Nicks by greeting him as Carl – “I didn’t
think he knew my name” – and then told him to learn from his
mistakes and finish his college degree as soon as possible.
“I basically apologized to them for being an irresponsible
athlete,” Nicks said. “I didn’t really have to do it, but I felt
I needed to do it.”