5 O'Clock Shadow: Nebraska gets star back

5 O'Clock Shadow: Nebraska gets star back

News you can't leave work without: Nebraska, holding off Illinois in the Big Ten volleyball race, will have its star setter back in the lineup.

Nebraska's Lauren Cook will return to the No. 2-ranked Cornhuskers after reaching an agreement with prosecutors Tuesday that could wipe a felony traffic charge from her record.

The 20-year-old Cook apologized for last month’s traffic accident that left two people injured. She vowed to complete a one-year diversion program that includes community service, avoiding other run-ins with the law and a promise not to drive.

“I truly am very sorry,” Cook said at a news conference at her attorney’s office. “I’ve let a lot of people down — my parents, my teammates and the University of Nebraska. I’ve always worked hard for things in my life, and I’m going to work hard for this. I’m going to work hard to regain the trust, and hope that one day people accept my apology and be able to trust me again as a student, as an athlete and as a driver.”

Cook, the daughter of Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook, spoke shortly after she was charged in Lancaster County Court with leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Her attorney, Terry Dougherty, said prosecutors offered her the opportunity to participate in the pre-trial diversion program. He said he was confident she would start the program within a few days.

Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly said she qualified for diversion because of her otherwise clean criminal record for non-traffic offenses. He said neither drugs nor alcohol were involved and that there was no evidence Cook was using her cell phone at the time of the accident.

Kelly said no one should assume Lauren Cook received preferential treatment because she’s a high-profile volleyball player.

“You would anticipate folks would say that,” he said. “All I can say is that she, by all intents and purposes, appeared to be eligible for pretrial diversion. We’ve honored those guidelines for that program since 1974. We try to run that program in an even-handed manner, whether it’s a case involving someone like this or whether it’s someone no one knows about.”


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