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Nebraska defensive end Wistrom cited for disturbing peace

December 10, 1997

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ After Tom Osborne heard that one of his star defensive players, Grant Wistrom, had been ticketed for disturbing the peace, the Nebraska coach wasn’t sure what course to take.

``Do I discipline him? Do I run him around the field? Do I suspend him from a game? Do I pat him on the back? What do I do?″ Osborne asked Tuesday.

After Osborne’s initial investigation, Wistrom got a pat on the back. Osborne said he won’t discipline Wistrom after the All-America defensive end was ticketed for disturbing the peace in a crowded pizza restaurant.

Wistrom, the two-time Big 12 defensive player of the year, was cited after a confrontation with another man at a Lincoln restaurant early Sunday. Wistrom has said he will contest the ticket.

Osborne said he discussed the matter with Wistrom, who was traveling to receive an award and unavailable for comment. He said three witnesses offered their accounts, and he was satisfied that Wistrom was not at fault.

``All four stories I’ve heard have all lined up pretty much precisely,″ Osborne said. ``I’m not going to discipline him right now at all. I think there’s a pretty good chance that he showed remarkable restraint under the circumstances.″

The incident occurred after the Cornhuskers returned late Saturday from San Antonio, where Nebraska beat Texas A&M 54-15 in the Big 12 championship game.

In a statement released by the university, Wistrom said he was punched, but did not retaliate during the argument at Lazzari’s Pizza. The man, Conrad Hymer, also was ticketed for disturbing the peace.

There was no listing in the Lincoln telephone directory or the Nebraska student directory for Hymer.

Police said Hymer hit a woman with a pool cue during a game of billiards and that Wistrom shoved him. Hymer responded by hitting Wistrom, police Capt. Steve Imes said.

Wistrom gave a different version, saying he asked ``What’s the problem?″ when he heard an argument that began when Hymer bumped the woman with his cue stick in the crowded restaurant. Wistrom said Hymer responded with a punch.

``I never threw a punch. I only said something because I thought he was harassing one of my friends,″ Wistrom said.

Wistrom, who said he would find a lawyer to challenge the citation, was in New York on Tuesday to accept an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame banquet.

Also Tuesday, Wistrom was named first-team All America and also to the GTE Academic All-America first team. A senior from Webb City, Mo., Wistrom has a 3.43 grade-point average in pre-pharmacy.

Osborne said he didn’t solicit information from authorities about the Wistrom matter. He said he was concerned that doing so might have made it seem he wanted to influence the situation.

``If I do make a decision or call people up and get them to my office to talk to me, then I guess that’s dirty pool,″ Osborne said. ``I don’t know how I’m supposed to operate otherwise. I’ve got to make a decision.″

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