A candidate for Washington County sheriff pulled down his Facebook page Tuesday after he was questioned about his claim of being a University of Nebraska football player from 1978 through 1980.
Nick Thallas, an investigator for the Blair Police Department, used Facebook to promote his campaign against Republican Sheriff Mike Robinson.
The site included a statement that he had been a kicker for the Huskers while enrolled as an agribusiness student. Thallas, also a Republican, earned a place on next Tuesday's ballot by petition.
A search of Nebraska varsity football rosters from 1978, 1979 and 1980 did not find Thallas' name. His name also did not appear in the school's football media guides for those years.
In an interview, Thallas said he played on Nebraska's freshman football team in 1978.
A spokesman for the NU sports information department confirmed that Thallas lettered as a freshman, but he said there was no indication he was a member of the Husker team in 1979 or 1980.
“I was a student and I played freshman football down there,” Thallas said. “Apparently, someone bent this all out of shape.”
A few minutes later, Thallas' Facebook page was taken down.
The World-Herald called Thallas about the matter after a Robinson supporter e-mailed the newspaper.
James Ward, a Kennard, Neb., attorney who supports Thallas, said the discrepancy may have been a simple matter of “verbiage.”
Ward said Thallas began practice with the football team in later seasons but was prevented from continuing because of family problems.
“Nick had some issues at home — his father died — and things just didn't work out'' with football, Ward said.
Robinson, who became sheriff in 2000, said he is not making the football matter an issue.
“I'll let the voters draw their own conclusions,” he said.
Robinson and Thallas have clashed over staffing in the Sheriff's Office.
Thallas has said the office has an unusually large number of sergeants and captains, while Robinson said his opponent doesn't “fully understand'' the duties of the office.
Contact the writer: