Husker Heartbeat 3/15: Trev, Big 12, Tressel Toil and Trouble

By at March 15, 2011 | 10:24 AM | Print

*The plot thickens on UNO's decision to drop football. David Sokol, a prominent Mav football booster – and former mentor of Frank Solich – said a protective instinct for Nebraska football among regents made certain that UNO could never make the jump to Division I.

David Sokol said Athletic Director Trev Alberts told him last year there was talk that the University of Nebraska Board of Regents would never approve a step up to lower Division I for the Mavericks, out of concern that the move would undercut the Huskers.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Athletic Director Tom Osborne, who coached Alberts during his All-America football career in Lincoln, also had told Alberts he couldn't support such a move, Sokol said.

Alberts “had mentioned to me he had been told it was highly unlikely the regents would approve Division I football, and he knew that was a major hurdle,'' Sokol said. “Trev said even Tom told him he would not be supportive of that.''

Alberts vehemently denied the Sokol scenario. Osborne said he could recall no such conversation with Alberts.

“I absolutely respect David Sokol and his emotions, but I want to make one thing very clear: Tom Osborne never told me he wouldn't support UNO football to Division I,'' Alberts said.

So either Sokol's lying – or Alberts is. We don't know who to believe. Is there some truth serum we can administer?

Parsing Alberts' answer, though, one sees that Trev doesn't deny believing the regents' would block UNO football's jump to Division I. The whole idea of believing that has to come from somewhere, right? There has to have been some conversation about the matter that indicated to Alberts the regents would block such a move, right?

And why does NU have an opinion anyway? UNO moving to Division 1-AA is going to, what, rob the Huskers of some walk-ons? Nebraska loses more in-state scholarship recruits to Iowa than it ever would to the Mavericks. You could take 12 walk-ons and they'd never add up to one Gale Sayers, who spurned the Huskers for Kansas.

Of course, it's the supporters of the wrestling team – cut because UNO's new conference, the Summit League, doesn't have wrestling as a sport – who have been the most vocal. Alberts couldn't be bothered to deliver the news in person that he was cutting Mike Denney's sport. Alberts' reputation on the UNO campus will take years to repair for that one mistake. That was a foolish, relatively thoughtless thing he did. It'll be a harsh lesson learned. Husker coaches – who will have a big say when it comes to picking Osborne's successor – aren't going to appreciate that decision one bit.

*Funny stuff – the Wisconsin/Iowa game, narrated like a nature film.

*The Big 12 is close to finishing a $60-million-a-year deal with Fox. Would this mean an expansion in Big 12 games on Fox? A national Saturday broadcast on the main network.

*How much does the Big 12 appreciate Oklahoma? Try paying nearly $2 million in Fiesta Bowl tickets so save OU from a financial disaster after the Sooners only sold 5,567 tickets out of its 17,500 allotment. Connecticut actually lost $1.8 million because the Big East wouldn't absorb the cost. Yikes. This is why the bowl system is such a mess.

*Rivals names its top five recruiting prospects for 2012.

*Jim Tressel is sorry. So sorry.

*Chaz Weis talks about being named Florida's offensive coordinator.

*Dr. Saturday asks a good question: If Blaine Gabbert had his struggles in college, why do NFL Draft experts love him so? The same reason they loved Carson Palmer all those years. Measurables.

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