LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley was happy to entertain more questions about three of his players kneeling during the national anthem and the backlash from state officials after practice on Thursday.
Riley said that if it came down to it, he’d probably kneel, or do something similar, for an issue he was passionate about.
“Right now, it’s a great time to think of what’s right and wrong,” Riley said.
The story of senior linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey’s statement on Monday became national news, but Riley said he hasn’t seen any difference in his team’s preparation for Illinois on Saturday.
“Gosh, I love that about this team,” Riley said. “I think they’re very good at compartmentalizing.”
In a way, Riley said, he likes when things like this happen because then he gets to teach about life.
“When you’re in education, or around young people, you’re going to deal with life,” Riley said. “And that’s what this is. It’s life.”
Some more notes from practice:
- Riley announced senior WR Alonzo Moore and sophomore guard Tanner Farmer will both be out for the game Saturday. Moore has been nursing a shoulder injury most of this season. Farmer suffered a high-ankle sprain during the Northwestern game last week.
- At some point in every season, Riley said, the “next man up” mentality takes over the team. Riley said right now is that time. He expects senior Corey Whitaker and sophomore Cole Conrad to take plenty of reps at Farmer’s vacant position, and said he feels confident in both of them.
- With Nebraska’s big recruiting weekend coming up, Riley said it’s crucial to get top recruits to Lincoln to see Nebraska. He said he doesn’t think it is the ultimate reason why recruits sign at Nebraska but said it’s an important step in the process.