Nebraska tight end Mitchell, a sophomore, to enter draft

January 23, 1992

Nebraska's Johnny Mitchell, twice an All-Big Eight tight end, said yesterday that he is placing concern for his family ahead of his academic career and leaving school for professional football.

Mitchell, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound sophomore from Chicago, said an announcement earlier this month that he would stay at Nebraska one more season before entering the NFL draft was intended "to take some pressure off so I could finish this season."

He confirmed rumors that he had changed his mind and would become the first player in Cornhuskers history to leave for the pros before his eligibility had expired.

"I have a great obligation to my family, and I've decided to file for the 1992 NFL draft," said Mitchell, a third-team All-American.

Mitchell set Nebraska records for tight ends and receptions this season when he had a team-leading 31 catches for 534 yards and five touchdowns. He set two single-game records for catches and yards by a tight end at the school in the season finale against Oklahoma, when he caught seven passes for 137 yards.

* For the third straight year, a television reporter has attacked the NFL's drug policies during Super Bowl week. The report was aired on Geraldo Rivera's syndicated show "Now It Can Be Told," Roberta Baskin, who aired similar reports for a Washington station in 1990 and 1991. Part of the show contained segments from her 1990 program, which alleged that three unnamed quarterbacks had tested positive for drugs and attacked the testing program then run by Dr. Forrest Tennant.

Tennant was part of yesterday's report, alleging that some team officials and coaches were aware of steroid use during his tenure and turned the other way.

In her report this year, Baskin alleged that Don Smith, then a running back for Buffalo, tested positive for steroids before last year's Super Bowl but was allowed to play. Last year, she reported that an unnamed Bill had tested positive.

Baskin also alleged yesterday that Keith Millard of Minnesota, the Defensive Player of the Year in 1989, tested positive for "illicit drugs" in 1988. She said he underwent random testing until he challenged those tests under a Minnesota law that bans such tests.

The NFL and the Vikings declined to comment on the report.

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