Mike Caputo to play in bowl game

Updated: December 23, 2011, 12:23 AM ET
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com

Nebraska starting center Mike Caputo will play in the Jan. 2 Capital One Bowl against South Carolina after a drunken driving charge against him was reduced, coach Bo Pelini said Thursday.

Caputo was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence after police said he was found asleep in the driver's seat of a running car on Dec. 11. But after Caputo pleaded guilty to reckless driving on Thursday, Pelini said the senior will only face internal disciplinary measures from the team.

"We run a disciplined football program based on accountability, and our track record off the field and in the classroom stacks up well against anyone in the country," Pelini said in a prepared statement. "Our players trust that I handle discipline in our program in a fair manner, and that I will make an informed decision after looking at the facts of each situation independently.

"I know that Mike regrets this incident occurred and any negative publicity it has caused for his family, this program and the University of Nebraska. He is ready to finish his Nebraska career in a positive manner in the bowl game."

Caputo was ordered to pay a $100 fine and attend an alcohol seminar. According to the original citation, he had a blood-alcohol level .103 percent upon his arrest, above the Nebraska legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Caputo's attorney, Terry C. Dougherty, told the Omaha World-Herald that his client was not passed out behind the wheel but had stopped his car to send a text message on his phone.

Caputo has started every game the past two seasons and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection this year.

Brian Bennett covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com

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