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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE NATION

McNown in Running for O'Brien Award

October 23, 1998|From Associated Press

UCLA's Cade McNown, Kentucky's Tim Couch and Ohio State's Joe Germaine head a list of 10 semifinalists for this year's Davey O'Brien Award, presented annually to the best quarterback in college football.

The other nominees are: Central Florida's Daunte Culpepper, Kansas State's Michael Bishop, Missouri's Corby Jones, Syracuse's Donovan McNabb, Tulane's Shaun King, Oregon's Akili Smith and Marshall's Chad Pennington.

All the semifinalists are seniors except for juniors Couch and Pennington.

A 24-member selection committee of college football reporters will select three finalists in late November and choose a winner on Dec. 10 in Orlando, Fla.

Peyton Manning of Tennessee was last year's winner.

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David Neill, Nevada's star freshman quarterback, was reinstated Thursday after Reno prosecutors reduced his felony fraud charge to a misdemeanor.

His reinstatement came shortly after District Attorney Dick Gammick said that Neill's involvement in the break-in and destruction last month of a telephone debit card machine at a campus dormitory was limited to his use of some of the stolen cards.

The charge against Neill was reduced to obtaining services without payment for an amount less than $250, which under Nevada law is a misdemeanor.

"Once we reviewed the facts . . . we did not feel he had been charged appropriately," Gammick said of the allegations University of Nevada police made when Neill was arrested.

Nevada Coach Jeff Tisdel said Neill will be placed on written probation for a year, and "if there's any trouble with the law again, he would be dismissed immediately."

Two Wolf Pack freshmen wide receivers who allegedly broke the vending machine and stole the cards, Neill's roommate Mark Marcos and Chris Haagenson, still face one felony charge each of grand larceny. Under athletic department rules, they will remain suspended until the case is resolved.

More than 50 stolen cards have been recovered, and prosecutors are still trying to determine whether other players or students were involved.

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Brock Huard might be counting the days to the next NFL draft.

Sounding like a quarterback with a lot to accomplish in a short period of time, Huard will return to Washington's starting lineup when the Huskies play Oregon State at Seattle on Saturday.

"Every week flies by," Huard said. "These next five weeks will be faster than any five weeks in any of our lives."

Huard strongly considered entering the draft after his sophomore season. He has said he'll make his decision about 1999 after this season is finished.

After missing 2 1/2 games because of a separated left shoulder, the 6-foot-5 junior will replace Marques Tuiasosopo for the Huskies (4-2, 2-1 Pacific 10) against the Beavers (4-3, 1-3).

It will be Washington's homecoming game and the Huskies will be facing an opponent that they've beaten 20 of 21 times, including 10 in a row.

Although Tuiasosopo helped the Huskies go 2-0 in his first starts of the season, Washington Coach Jim Lambright is hoping Huard's return will mean Washington can finally get its running game going. Jason Harris and Willie Hurst, Washington's tailbacks, had 66 yards in 29 carries against California last week.

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Mark Smaha has treated Washington State athletes' injuries for 28 years. Now, he is taking a leave of absence to deal with his health problems.

Smaha, 52, will miss the rest of the football season to deal with long-term spine problems.

He missed the last two games, against Oregon and USC, the first games he has missed since joining the staff.

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