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Assault Victim Kate McEwen Won’t Play at Nebraska

August 30, 1996 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Kate McEwen, who gained national attention as the victim of football star Lawrence Phillips’ assault last fall, said she will not return to the Nebraska women’s basketball team, although she has two years of eligibility remaining.

McEwen, a 5-foot-8 guard, told Nebraska women’s coach Angela Beck, however, that she will stay in school.

``She said she had no hard feelings with the basketball program,″ Beck told the Omaha World-Herald from Lincoln. ``She likes the program but she doesn’t have any desire to play this year. She wants to focus on her degree and graduate in May.″

McEwen played in six games as a freshman after back surgery, was granted a medical hardship and played as a reserve in 22 games during the 1994-95 season, averaging less than a rebound and point per game.

Phillips admitted to assaulting McEwen last fall, resulting in a multi-game suspension from the Nebraska football team. Phillips returned for a standout performance in the Fiesta Bowl, and was a first-round NFL draft pick by the St. Louis Rams.

His probation sentence for the assault is scheduled to end Nov. 29.

Beck said McEwen had thought through the decision. ``She’s looking forward to having a good year and getting her focus back on her grades,″ the coach said. ``She seems to be her old self.″

In a statement released through the sports information office, McEwen said, ``I have made a decision to remain at the University of Nebraska and complete my degree next season. And although I will no longer play basketball, I will continue to support the team and the program.″