LINCOLN, Neb. – Mickey Joseph, Nebraska's interim football coach for nine games after Scott Frost's firing, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of strangulation and third-degree domestic assault.
Police went to a Lincoln residence in the afternoon after a report of a domestic disturbance. Following an investigation, the 54-year-old Joseph was arrested at another location. He was being held at Lancaster Country Jail.
“While the Lincoln Police Department does not normally provide a news release for a domestic-related arrest, due to the high-profile nature of the person involved and, in an effort, to provide transparency on an arrest involving a public figure, notification of the arrest is being made,” police said in a statement.
Further details weren't released.
Matt Rhule was introduced as the Cornhuskers' head coach Monday. Athletic director Trev Alberts had said he spoke with Joseph about the job before Rhule's hiring.
Rhule had not announced whether Joseph would be retained on his staff. Rhule declined comment through an athletic department spokesman Wednesday night.
Joseph was a quarterback for the Cornhuskers from 1988-91 and had run-ins with police during his playing days.
He was arrested in September 1990 on suspicion of criminal mischief for allegedly breaking an exterior window and damaging an inner window while trying to enter his girlfriend’s apartment. According to police reports, the girlfriend’s roommate told officers there had been a domestic dispute going on for several hours before the incident occurred. No charges were filed in that case because of uncooperative witnesses.
Joseph also was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Lincoln in 1989 and suspended for one game.
Joseph's 25-year coaching career has taken him to all levels of the college game. Rivals.com named him one of the nation's top 25 recruiters in 2019, and he developed four receivers selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft in five years at LSU.
He returned to Nebraska last December as receivers coach and was named interim head coach Sept. 11 after Alberts fired Frost. The Huskers were 3-6 under Joseph and finished the season 4-8.
“I was made aware of the charges against Coach Joseph and given the nature of the allegations and based on University policy he has been placed on administrative leave," Alberts said in a statement. "We will have no additional comment at this time.”
Joseph had said at his first news conference as interim coach that he wanted the job full-time. He extended scholarship offers to several prospects during his 10 weeks on the job, and he vowed in September to leave the program in better shape than he found it.
“We’re going to do the job the right way,” he said. “We’re not going to sabotage the place.”
When asked Monday by The Associated Press how Joseph reacted when told Rhule would be hired, Alberts said, “He took it really good.”
Alberts did not answer directly Monday when asked if Joseph were a serious candidate. Alberts has repeatedly lauded Joseph for creating positive energy around the team and motivating players to play hard.
“Mickey's an outstanding coach, and he's obviously got a huge and bright future in the business, and we'll see whether it continues here,” Alberts said Monday. “Coach Rhule wants to sit down with him. I have so much respect for Mickey Joseph and what he's done for our program, and our players do as well.”
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