Job at Coach's Camp Costs Nebraska

Tuesday, June 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two Nebraska players who worked at a coach's basketball camp were declared temporarily ineligible by the NCAA, the Omaha World-Herald reported Tuesday.

Cary Cochran and Rodney Fields took jobs at a camp run by former Nebraska coach Danny Nee before enrolling in school. Nebraska has appealed to the NCAA for their reinstatement, the newspaper said.

Gary Bargen, the school's director of NCAA compliance, did not immediately return messages left at his office Tuesday.

``For me, it's virtually nothing — I'd say under $25,'' said Cochran, a junior from Minden, Iowa, who started 11 games last season. ``All I did was fill in at the scorer's table for one team camp for two days, and it got me in a bind.''

Fields, a senior from Tampa, Fla., who started 19 games last season, told the World-Herald that he worked two or three camps when he came to Nebraska as a junior-college transfer, but could not recall how much he was paid.

Both players said they had no inkling that such preenrollment work violated NCAA rules.

They said they were invited to work by Nee, who was fired in March after 14 years at Neraska, and Nick Joos, the Huskers' former director of basketball operations.

``I didn't know anything was wrong,'' Cochran said. ``I was just coming out of high school. I had never heard of the rule. But I guess it wasn't legal to do it.''

Nee, reached Monday by the World-Herald at his new job as coach at Robert Morris, had no comment.

Nebraska's new coach, Barry Collier, said he knew little about the case.

``It was all before I got here,'' he said. ``About all I can say is it's being handled by our compliance people.''