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Solich: Crouch was never leaving

Posted September 1, 1999

By The Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- As disappointed as Eric Crouch was about not being named Nebraska's starting quarterback, coach Frank Solich said Crouch never mentioned anything about leaving the Huskers.

Solich on Tuesday dismissed reports he had to ask Crouch to stay after Bobby Newcombe got the starting job for the No. 5 Huskers.

Crouch, a sophomore from Omaha, was expected to be at Solich's weekly news conference, but did not attend. Solich said Crouch did not want the quarterback situation to become more of a distraction as the Huskers prepare for Saturday's season opener at Iowa.

The Huskers' depth at quarterback got shorter Tuesday when junior Jay Runty has decided to transfer to the NCAA Division I-AA program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Runty, who along with Jeff Parino was expected to back up Newcombe and Crouch, never threw a pass in seven games he played for the Huskers.

This fall is the second straight season Crouch and Newcombe have battled for the starting job, and Newcombe has won both times. Newcombe, who played wingback as a freshman two years ago, tore a knee ligament in last season's opener. He returned three games later, but was not 100 percent and had reconstructive surgery in December.

Crouch, a redshirt freshman, replaced Newcombe and went 4-2 as a starter.

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