CHAMPAIGN — The sight of TV cameras picking out Nate Creer in the Memorial Stadium stands has become common the last four years.
Who knows if the father of Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will step foot inside Memorial Stadium — or anywhere on the UI campus — for the next year. Creer was banned from campus for a year after he was arrested for resisting a peace officer after a fight broke out in the stands during Saturday’s homecoming game against Michigan State.
“He was issued a letter of no trespass, which is standard in these types of incidents,” University of Illinois police chief Jeff Christensen said Tuesday. “That letter of no trespass prohibits a person from setting foot on campus.”
It is possible Creer could attend future Illinois games this season. He would need to invoke an appeal process, Christensen said, which Creer has not done at this time.
“We deal with fans in the stadium all the time,” said Christensen, who added about 170 such bans are issued each year when someone who isn’t a student or university employee is suspected of creating trouble on campus. “It was just an incident that our officers responded to.”
Scheelhaase did not meet with the media on Monday afternoon, which he normally does, but discussed the matter on Tuesday evening after practice.
“I’ve kept it as a family matter,” Scheelhaase said. “When you’re a senior, you’ve kind of been through the whole gambit. You know there’s going to be different distractions throughout your career, and the best thing I have is I have a bunch of people in here who are focused on this next game, focused on what we need to do every day. When you’re surrounded by those people that you’ve been around for years now makes life really easy. It was great to get back into the swing of things and kind of get focused on football.”
Scheelhaase said preparing to play at Penn State on Saturday has helped him not get too rattled by the issues his father is facing.
“It hasn’t been bad at all, honestly,” Scheelhaase said. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on, if you have a huge final exam or stuff going on for guys with their girlfriends or things like that. Penn State doesn’t really care about that. Indiana won’t care the next week. The great thing about that is it gives you a chance to just focus in on what you really enjoy.”
Wide receiver Steve Hull roomed with Scheelhaase his freshman year. Ever since then, Scheelhaase has lived alone until this season. He and Morgan, who were married in July and will have a segment about their relationship air tonight at 6 on BTN’s “The Journey,” live off campus in Champaign. Hull was a groomsman in the wedding.
“The really good thing about Nate is he’s very strong,” Hull said. “I think if he was a guy that wasn’t as strong in his faith and now that his wife’s living with him, he’s above and beyond what anyone else would be. We definitely checked on him and we asked how he was doing. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m good,’ and there was nothing else to be said about it.”