OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers is hoping for a full pardon 37 years after robbing a Lincoln gas station.
The ex-Nebraska football star has thought about seeking a pardon for years, but he decided to move forward after considering limits on felons in business ventures, Rodgers' lawyer said Tuesday.
Rodgers starred on two national championship teams for the Huskers and played in the Canadian Football League and the NFL.
He plans to open a sports bar in Omaha - Jets All Sports Bar and Grill - with partners in his corporation, Jets, Inc.
Rodgers, 56, said the restaurant would hold community events and showcase memorabilia and photographs of prominent athletes and entertainers, including those with ties to the state.
But Nebraska law prevents businesses from obtaining a liquor license if a convicted felon owns 25 percent or more of the business, according to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
Rodgers was convicted of grand larceny in 1971 for the robbery and sentenced to probation.
He was also convicted in San Diego in 1987 of assault and illegal gun possession for an incident involving a cable television repairman who was disconnecting service to his home. The assault conviction was reversed on appeal, but Rodgers served three years of probation for the gun charge.
The California gun conviction would not affect Rodgers' ability to own more of the Nebraska bar, said his attorney, Michael Kelley.
``He had wanted to do it (seek a pardon) for a long time, and this just gave him a legal reason as to why he should seek it,'' said Kelley, who said he advised Rodgers to apply for the pardon.
On Tuesday, a pardon application had not yet been submitted to the Nebraska Board of Pardons. Kelley said he was filling it out and obtaining documents to accompany it and said he did not know when he would submit it.
After the application is made, the board could consider it during one of its meetings or schedule a hearing.
The Pardons Board is composed of Gov. Dave Heineman, Attorney General Jon Bruning and Secretary of State John Gale. It meets every six to eight weeks and holds hearings quarterly.
Gale will not comment before Rodgers' pardon application is submitted and considered, but the former wingback won't get special consideration because of his celebrity, spokesman Ron Moravec said.

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