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Charges against player Falbo to be dropped

DEKALB, Ill. -- A former Northern Illinois assistant
football coach accused of ordering players to run through a
practicing marching band was charged for a second time by
prosecutors.

John Binkowski, the school's strength and conditioning coach,
was charged with reckless conduct.

He originally was charged with battery after a July 12
confrontation in which two members of the Capital Regiment Drum and
Bugle Corps of Columbus, Ohio, were slightly hurt.

The band was practicing at Huskie Stadium for the annual Drum
Corps Midwest competition.

Police say Binkowski became angry the band was still on the
field. The 32-year-old coach was fired July 16.

One player -- 20-year-old Brian Peterson -- has been charged with
two additional counts of aggravated battery. But charges will be
dropped against another player, Anthony Falbo.

A videotape shows Falbo was trying to avoid contact with the
band members, said DeKalb County State's Attorney Ron Matekaitis.

All team members involved have received sanctions ranging from
suspension to probation as a result of the NIU student judicial
process, university officials said.

Each of the players must perform 50 hours of community service
and attend a class on "responsible behavior and ethical
decision-making," university officials said.

"We have a clear sense of what happened," athletic director
Cary Groth said. "Our challenge is not just to sanction those who
did wrong, but also to clearly identify what would have been the
right choice in that very confusing situation and how to make the
right choice in the future."