Nebraska coach Scott Frost confirmed Wednesday that sophomore running back Maurice Washington will not play in Saturday’s Red-White Spring Game.
That doesn’t come as a surprise, considering Washington was formally arraigned Wednesday afternoon during a court appearance in Santa Clara County, California.
Washington, a San Jose native, is facing two charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly sent a sexually explicit video of an underage girl — a former high school girlfriend of his — to her and said, “Remember this hoe.”
Washington, surrounded by family and friends, filed a formal waiver of arraignment and was referred to the public defender's office because of a technical issue about his representation. He declined comment to a reporter outside the Hall of Justice.
His next appearance is scheduled for May 13.
Lincoln-based attorney John C. Ball, who represents Washington, told the Journal Star that the sides are working through an issue related to local counsel in California, which is part of the reason Washington did not formally enter a plea at the arraignment hearing.
"He is grateful that all of his family, friends, and supporters are also committed to standing with him to the conclusion of this matter," Ball said.
Santa Clara County's state Superior Court spokesman Benjamin Rada told the Journal Star that the waiver of arraignment is, "in essence an acknowledgement of charges against him and a temporary plea of not guilty" until the May 13 date.
Washington has been a “limited participant” for the Huskers this spring and will end up having missed at least a handful of NU’s 15 practices since the beginning of March.
Frost on Wednesday said the talented sophomore has handled the past months the way the staff hoped he would.
“He’s been doing well,” Frost said. “I’m pleased to report our team in the spring had the highest GPA since we’ve been keeping track of it as a football team. We had over a 3.0 GPA as a team. He’s a part of that. He’s been doing well in school.
“Overall, I think Maurice has done a good job of trying to stick to the norm and what practice he has done he’s looked good.”
Washington is certainly a talented player. As a freshman, he finished third on the team in rushing yards and third in receiving yards, finishing with 676 offensive yards and four touchdowns in 11 games.
Redshirt freshman defensive back Cam Taylor is close with Washington and interacts with him daily.
“He’s doing great, I can say that,” Taylor said. “He knows he has a responsibility right now and he has to handle that first. I told him, he gets this situation out of the way and we’re back to it. We’re trying to win as many games as we can and I told him we’re going to need him.
“So he’s got to keep his head on straight and I told him I’m right there every step of the way with him. If he needs me, I’m here for anything.”
In the meantime, the Huskers are in a holding pattern as the legal proceedings in California continue.
“We’re just going to sit back and let the process play out and see where it lands,” Frost said.