Nebraska coach Tim Miles said no single recent incident led to his decision Tuesday to dismiss junior guard Deverell Biggs from the Husker men’s basketball team.
Biggs, a 6-foot guard from Omaha Central, via Seward County (Kan.) Community College, was averaging 9.9 points per game in a reserve role. When he signed in 2012, he became the Huskers’ first scholarship player from Nebraska in 10 years.
“There really wasn’t a straw that broke the camel’s back,” Miles told the Journal Star. “I think Deverell kind of felt like he was behind the eight ball from the first incident and just couldn’t get out of a rut, and it just became one thing after another.”
That first incident occurred in December of 2012, during Biggs’ redshirt season, when he was cited for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. That led to his two-game suspension to start this season.
Biggs was also suspended for a game earlier this season because he was late for a film session, and he was absent from Nebraska’s game Sunday against Minnesota for what Miles said was personal reasons.
Sources said Biggs was late for a film session. Miles wouldn’t discuss the reason, but said Biggs’ absence Sunday wasn’t the sole reason leading to his dismissal.
Biggs was also cited Jan. 5 by University of Nebraska-Lincoln police for driving on a suspended license. He's due in Lancaster County Court on Feb. 5 for the traffic misdemeanor.
“It’s not just one thing,” Miles said. “I just felt like the best thing to do for us was to move on. It’s hard to do. It’s one of the more difficult things to do as a coach.”
Miles said he always consults with his administrators, including athletic director Shawn Eichorst and associate assistant athletic director Marc Boehm, before making personnel decisions, but said the decision to dismiss Biggs was entirely Miles’.
“I made the decision,” he said. “They left it completely to my discretion.”
Miles said he consulted with team captains – Terran Petteway, Ray Gallegos and Shavon Shields – “but I just more or less informed them of what was going on.”
Miles emphasized the importance of holding his student-athletes accountable on the court, off the court and in the classroom.
“Individual accountability affects the entire group,” Miles said. “As a basketball program, we are moving forward, and perhaps a fresh start for Deverell may be beneficial to him as well.”
Miles said Biggs will still have access to Nebraska’s academic resources to maintain his eligibility and progress toward graduation.
Biggs could possibly complete his degree this year by finishing the spring semester and taking summer classes. If he graduates, he’s eligible to transfer to another Division I school and play immediately next season for his final year of eligibility.
Biggs didn’t respond to messages from the Journal Star seeking comment, but did take to Twitter to offer comment Tuesday afternoon:
"I want (to) thank Coach Miles for everything, thank #NebrasketballFan for the support. Sorry it didn't workout. Wish the team the best."
“Deverell is good young man,” Miles said. “My hope is that he remains at Nebraska and finishes his classes this spring and finds another program where he can flourish. We wish him all the best.”
Miles said Nebraska’s Academic Performance Rate didn’t factor into his decision. He said Nebraska had a perfect 1,000 score for last season, although those numbers won’t be officially released until spring.
Biggs’ departure means Nebraska has two open scholarships for its 2014-15 recruiting class, which already includes center Jacob Hammond, who signed in November.
Nebraska on Saturday offered a scholarship to junior college point guard Trey Dickerson, who’s averaging 19.3 points and 5.9 assists for Williston (N.D.) College. Nebraska is his first offer from a major conference program, although Iowa, Arizona State, Creighton, Oklahoma State, Boise State and North Carolina State have been showing interest.
Dickerson missed his team’s game Monday night with an ankle injury but said he’s expected to return 100 percent by this weekend.