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Neb. Defensive End Wistrom Cleared

December 12, 1997

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ All-America defensive end Grant Wistrom will not face criminal charges for a disturbance he was involved in last weekend at a pizzeria, a city prosecutor said.

Witnesses to the scuffle gave conflicting accounts, so no charges will be filed in the case, city attorney Norm Langemach said Thursday. ``I’m not able to say who started it and who was defending themselves.″

Police cited Wistrom, 21, and Conrad Hymer, 25, for disturbing the peace at Lazzari’s Pizza in downtown Lincoln early Sunday. Police reports said that Hymer apparently hit a woman with a pool cue, and then Wistrom shoved Hymer, who then hit Wistrom.

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

The evidence in the case does not support any scenario beyond a reasonable doubt, Langemach said. He said misdemeanor charges for fights frequently are dropped because of insufficient evidence.

``If we went to court on every shoving match in the city, we’d have nothing else to do,″ Langemach said. ``I’m not saying this is just a little shoving match. This involved some injuries.″

Wistrom, a two-time Big 12 defensive player of the year, suffered several cuts to his face.

Wistrom said Thursday he was happy to have his name cleared, but he believes damage from bad publicity already has been done. Wednesday night in Houston, Wistrom accepted the Lombardi Award with his face marked with the wounds left from the fight.

``I truly didn’t feel like I did anything wrong,″ Wistrom said Thursday. ``I just wish it hadn’t happened.″

Wistrom has had a clean slate with police in the past, while Hymer was cleared of disturbing the peace in separate case. His only convictions are three misdemeanor charges for operating a vehicle without a license.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne has said he will not discipline Wistrom for the incident because he believed his star player was not at fault.

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