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  1. 2012 Mar 11

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (3/11/2012)


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Seeing Sadler go was necessary, but damn hard to watch. What made it harder to watch wasn’t Doc breaking down or the obvious desire to succeed, but how Tom explained the situation. It was like watching a funeral. The death of a good man’s efforts.

    - In brighter news, how Erstad’s sluggers are an entertaining bunch to watch if nothing else. A fun 8-8 tie after being down six runs was fun, but Cal tipped it with experience. Yesterday was complete and utter revenge.

    - It was beautiful.

    - Spring ball starts with nothing staggering to report. If no one else gets severely injured between now and mid-April, that’s about the best anyone can hope for.

    - Consider those who got the opportunity to talk shop with Bill Belichick extremely envied.

    - If Lavonte David actually ends up being the Husker taken highest in the draft, look forward to the career of Michael Rose. He has the same work ethic.

    - He was also at practice yesterday.

    - Not really a fan of Pensick at center. Caputo was a special guy. You can’t keep plugging in 275-pound guys in against Big Ten defensive interiors.

    - Slide Spencer Long over to compete with Ryan Klachko and Mark Pelini.

    - Not that Mark Pelini.

    - Digging the implementation of QB cams during seven-on-sevens.

    - Starting to question if Andrew Rodriguez should continue to have a scholarship following 2012 at this rate.

    - PARTING SHOT: If you hadn’t heard, LSU Senior goalkeeper Mo Isom is trying out for the LSU football team ala KaLena "Beanie" Barnes did for Nebraska back in the day. Turns out she’s really, REALLY good:

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    Tags: doc sadler, basketball, baseball, cole pensick, ryan klachko, mark pelini, spencer long, andrew rodriguez, mo isom

  2. 2012 Mar 10

    NEBRASKA BASKETBALL: The Hundredth Time Belongs to Sadler


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    I first met Kenneth "Doc" Sadler at a meet and greet in 2006. The Arkansas native flowed from person to person with a sort of crisp politeness that caused people to chat for a few moments and then move aside in a smooth social waltz.

    The food was overcooked meat and a lukewarm baked potato complete with a roll that could probably have broken concrete if pitched properly. I wasn’t there for the entrée. Neither was anyone else. We were here to meet the newest face in a sea of the memorized, “Doc.”

    When I noticed Sadler was moving in my direction, I adjusted my red polo, and prepared a fake, nervous grin. I was greeted by a kind smile and an outstretched hand. What followed was the stammering of something incredibly trite like, “Pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir” or some line I’d practiced for formal occasions when I clicked on "auto-pilot."

    I’d done some research on Sadler prior to his arrival in Lincoln. I dug his work and told him as much. He seemed as appreciative as if I’d congratulated him for becoming a grandfather. The few minutes we spoke went swiftly, and I understood the waltz.

    He had a lot of hands to shake and smiles to offer. I could almost guarantee that he wouldn't be able to pick me out of a crowd, but nothing would surprise me with Doc.

    Fast forward to Thursday, March 8, 2012. Nebraska men’s basketball looked horrible on a historic level. At his best as the Huskers' head man, Doc had collected 20 wins in a season where his team fell in the second round of the NIT tournament.

    At worst, there was this past year. One of confusion, desperation, frustration and anger. As Purdue flipped the off switch on Nebraska’s 2012 season, it was clear that Sadler needed to go and would likely be doing so in the near future.

    So many times I’ve seen grown men step behind podiums and bid adieu to what was technically their now-former job. Their presence was usually followed by political blather so rehearsed that you’d glance around the room looking for the invisible teleprompter.

    The school had been so kind, the fans so welcoming and the city, well, the city had been good to the family. There was something horrifically unexpected for those who witnessed yesterday's press conference – Sadler meant it.

    As firmly as I’ve learned to set my jaw in the most emotional of moments, I didn’t expect Doc to leave the podium to compose himself. No one did. He tried to lead off with charm, a subtle joke about product placement to break the tension, but as he looked out into a sea of media hanging on his every word as he hit a brick wall of finality.

    Sadler eventually returned and proceeded to catch everyone in attendance off guard. He bared his soul to the audience sitting in front of him and across the Internet without regret.

    This man wanted to be the savior of the Scarlet and Cream. He wanted to take Nebraska to the Big Dance, win that elusive victory and give more.

    Never more did I believe that than when I saw the same man who looked me straight in the eye and smiled while offering a firm handshake of thanks get blindsided by the reality of it all.

    After the press conference ended, I walked away, took a drive and tried to put it out of my mind. Something that seemed so inevitable and necessary not even 24 hours prior was such a damn shame when the time finally came. I don’t know what’s taking place in the Sadler home, and quite frankly, I don’t want to know.

    I realize it’s a business as does Doc. 99 times out of 100, I’m able to accept that the bottom line is wins and losses, red and black, hardware and empty trophy cases. Then there’s that hundredth time.

    It’s business, but that doesn’t mean I can accept it cold and callously every time. As saccharine sweet as it sounds, it was appropriate that this hundredth was because of a man from Greenwood, Arkansas who may or may not be able to pick me out of a crowd.

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    Tags: doc sadler

  3. 2012 Mar 09

    NEBRASKA BASKETBALL: Multiple Sources Confirm Sadler Fired


    By HuskerLocker

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    CBS Sports, ESPNU and the Lincoln Journal Star's Brian Rosenthal all confirm that Doc Sadler has been fired as Nebraska's men's basketball coach.

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    Tags: doc sadler, basketball

  4. 2012 Mar 09

    NEBRASKA BASKETBALL: Conquered Cornhuskers Surround Sadler During Possible Last Stand


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    On ticker boards littering an emptying Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a final score that had already been forgotten crept across. It was ultimately meaningless to Big Ten and national media - Purdue 79, Nebraska 61.

    As the Boilermakers jogged off the court to begin their preparation for the Ohio State Buckeyes, a few red-clad fans watched this season’s final exit for Doc Sadler and his team.

    The mood was somber for members of the Huskers’ traveling companions, but another sharp sense filled the air - closure.

    It was the end of an era that saw Nebraska spin its tires on the basketball court like literally never before. Sadler will likely get the word from athletic director Tom Osborne that his services will no longer be needed in the Hendricks Center within the next 48 hours.

    He’ll take a $3.4 million check for his trouble and settle into an assistant coaching gig this summer. One team apparently anxious for Sadler’s services is Billy Gillispie‘s Texas Tech Red Raiders, but where Doc falls is anyone’s guess. By now, many in Lincoln simply don’t care.

    Did Doc give the Nebraska job his all? Of course he did. Even when the Huskers were sluggish on defense and impatient at times on offense last night, there was a glimmer of hope. That the Big Ten tournament could be the turning point.

    Unfortunately, like countless other times over the course of Sadler's tenure, the Huskers couldn’t get out of their own way.

    Bo Spencer showed up in his final game as a Husker tallying 22 points in just over 32 minutes. It appeared that he was the only key player for Nebraska who decided to pack his “A" game for the trip to Indiana.

    Brandon Richardson and Dylan Talley disappeared again. If there's one thing this season’s squad did as a team, it was tank.

    Admittedly, Mike Fox and Brandon Ubel were playing their hearts out, but do they belong at this level? No, but you can’t blame them for wanting to wear scarlet and cream.

    If you had the opportunity to play in the Big Ten conference with limited physical skills and knew you’d see time on the court, you’d probably be all for the idea.

    In the end, Doc and Nebraska need to call it a day and part ways. While the Huskers are handing out pink slips, executive associate athletic director Marc Boehm should get some boxes to collect his belongings, too.

    Since Boehm has been at his post, men’s basketball has produced zero NCAA tournament appearances and a sub-.500 in conference winning percentage.

    While Husker roundball fans aren’t expecting Sweet Sixteens every season, asking for Boehm to have overseen at least one NCAA victory during his tenure doesn't seem like demanding the impossible.

    Where does Nebrasketball go from here? It depends heavily on who’s going to be making the decisions. Osborne will lean on people like Boehm (if he sticks around), and support staff such as Paul Meyers for names.

    Oregon’s Dana Altman might be more willing to relocate than many think if the Ducks' loss in the Pac-12 tournament ends up preventing their ticket to the Big Dance from being punched.

    Ohio's John Groce isn’t a bad choice, but some will roll their eyes at another mid-major coach cutting his teeth in Lincoln.

    Larry Eustachy of Southern Mississippi's name has been thrown around and even former Bowling Green coach and ESPN commentator Dan Dakich could be considered a viable candidate.

    VCU's Shaka Smart could be had if some big checks were cashed. The Huskers’ list is both long and distinguished.

    Sadler surely wants to stick around, but there are only two clear options:

    Pinnacle Bank Arena needs season tickets to be purchased, concessions to be bought and parking to be sold. It can potentially feature product on the same level or worse than this season’s in November 2013.

    The other option is ponying up the dough for Sadler's buyout and a new head coach. That likely comes to a grand total of $4.5 million including assistants and sales tax. Which is the cheaper, more logical route?

    Don’t go away mad, Doc. Just go away.

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    Tags: doc sadler, basketball

  5. 2012 Mar 09

    Husker Heartbeat (3/09/12): Sadler's Status, David in the First? and Brown Doesn't Speak for NU


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Doc Sadler understands the business of college sports. He and Osborne will "talk."

    - New DB coach Joseph feels Nebraska is "the perfect fit"

    - The returns from Pro Day are very promising, especially for Jared Crick and Brandon Kinnie

    - Mel Kiper:Lavonte David is a first round pick

    - Perlman makes his stance clear: Brown's position is not UNL's

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    Tags: doc sadler, terry joseph, jared crick, brandon kinnie, lavonte david, ron brown, harvey perlman

  6. 2012 Mar 04

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (3/04/2012)


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Couldn’t have been more impressed with how Pelini handled the Corey Raymond situation. Can anyone else see how that conversation went?

    Pelini: “Well Corey, that’s a shame. Best of luck to you.”

    *reaches for the phone*

    Pelini: “…Terry, what’s up? Yeah hey, Raymond’s headed to LSU. Right, so how’s the Dooley situation treating you? Yeah, how’d you like to coach defensive backs here?...Okay, I’ll send you the paperwork.”

    Smooth as a silk sheet

    - Nebraska’s seniors had the opportunity to play in a men's basketball program so drenched in apathy that the thought of them just not caring against Minnesota seems plausible.

    - On the flip side, Connie Yori’s crew went to Indianapolis and has back-handed all challengers. Purdue best bring their A game.

    - West Virginia brought Nebraska baseball fans back down to Earth after a 4-0 run, but in these losses that are defined in a single moment, the Cornhuskers’ aggression never stops. That wins series.

    - Lavonte David continues to impress. A 233 pound linebacker with his instincts runs a 4.56 40-yard dash and you think GMs aren’t moving him up the board? No, he is not a safety.

    - It’s unlikely that Crick stays in the first round, but the Patriots may throw him a lifeline if he impresses at NU’s Pro Day.

    - Everyone in unison: How is Tommie Frazier not in the College Football Hall of Fame?

    - Exhibit A against the new NCAA kickoff rules:

    The defense rests.

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    Tags: terry joseph, doc sadler, connie yori, basketball, baseball, ameer abdullah, lavonte david, jared crick

  7. 2012 Mar 03

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Weekend Panel (3/03/12)


    By HuskerLocker

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    Every week, the Husker Locker staff sits down and is presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports.

    This week:

    What's your opinion on the hire of Terry Joseph?

    Brian: Great hire by Bo. Knows the system from being a graduate assistant at LSU with Pelini, knows how to recruit the South after stealing a few kids from Nebraska over the last couple of years, and knows what this system is all about. If Bo lets him do his thing, who knows what can happen next year?

    Chris: I’m thrilled with the hire for multiple reasons. First, Joseph has strong ties to the South on the recruiting trail, which will be needed given Corey Raymond’s departure. Second, the hiring of Joseph is a strong signal to me that Bo Pelini is maturing as a head coach. Given his past hires, it was realistic to think he would simply reshuffle the staff. Instead, Pelini went out and took an SEC school’s coach who could very well be an upgrade over the man he’s replacing.

    James: Fantastic hire. We are lucky that someone Bo knew/worked with and that he trusted has evolved into a good recruiter and position coach. We’re also lucky said coach was on a sinking ship like Tennessee, and worked with the position of need. Still, this is one of Bo's best assistant hires since he's been at Nebraska, regardless of the circumstances leading to it.

    Brandon: This hire says a lot to me about where Bo feels he’s at right now. He could’ve easily given the position to a graduate assistant like Vince Marrow or an intern and shuffled the current staff around, but he actually went outside the program. Given, Joseph’s a former graduate assistant that worked under Pelini (See also: Ekeler, Papuchis and Raymond), but Bo’s shown he works best with guys he can trust.

    It just so happens that a guy he can trust has been acknowledged as one of the best young recruiters in the game with strong Louisiana connections. Joseph might not have the resume Raymond did, but with how he gets after things as a coachd and on the recruiting trail, he won’t need it.

    If Doc Sadler is let go, when do you feel it'll happen...or will it?

    Brian: If? There is no “if” to this question. No. 5 faces No. 12 second on Thursday afternoon’s Big Ten tournament schedule. When Nebraska loses this game and makes it back to Lincoln, he should be gone by noon on Friday, and not a nanosecond later.

    The program needs that turnaround immediately after the season is over. Hopefully Mark Boehm follows suit and is dismissed at the same time. Nine years with no NCAA tourney bids and a sub-.500 record in conference should cause the axe to fall.

    Chris: Doc has to go. Nebraska’s finally ending one of the worst regular seasons in team history and lost at home to Iowa on senior night. Unfortunately, this comes on the tail end of a stretch of poor play throughout Sadler’s tenure.

    The team never seemed to improve under Doc, and recruiting continued to struggle with each passing season. The only way he’s is still the coach next year is if the athletic director can’t stomach the $3.5 million buyout that the firing would trigger.

    James: I think it'll happen within a few days of the end of the regular season. Tom likes to let his coach finish the season, and then evaluate on the whole. He'll give Doc that benefit.

    Brandon: First, Doc can’t possibly stick around after this season, can he? Would Tom Osborne really allow that? If he does, I can’t say I agree with the idea that he’s trying to get the men’s basketball program in order. Connie Yori’s squad been ranked and has busted through to the middle of the Big Ten tournament. The product Sadler puts on the court is just rank.

    A school doesn’t invest the amount of resources Nebraska did in new facilities and getting the use of an arena for a failed coach to get one more year. If he does, someone needs to have a chat with the man at the top. Osborne’s a nice guy, but he’s also a businessman in his current role. The only red he can tolerate when it comes to roundball is in the stands.

    Following the NFL Combine, do you feel that any Huskers are first round locks?

    Brian: Alfonzo is pretty close to a first rounder. Hopefully Lavonte jumped higher on some boards for the first round. Dallas wouldn’t be hurt taking Fonzie. Lord knows replacing Terrance Newman would be slick to stick to Kansas State.

    Chris: There aren’t any first round “locks” this year as was the case with Suh and Prince, but Nebraska has some first round talent available.

    Alfonzo Dennard and Lavonte David have the stats and pedigree to garner first round attention, but it comes down to how concerned teams are with the speed of Dennard and the size of David. Additionally, Jared Crick appeared to be headed for the first round after his junior year, but injuries have likely dropped him into the second or third.

    James: No. I think David and Dennard are second round picks. Maybe David somehow slides up, but I think early second is the best we'll see this year.

    Brandon: Before 2011 began, Crick and Dennard were easily first rounders. Now, Dennard looks to be lucky to get snagged in the first and aside from the Patriots, I don’t know who’d stop Crick from slipping into the second. The only Husker to raise his stock in Indianapolis was Lavonte David. He shows up at 233 pounds, runs a 4.56 40-yard dash, raises eyebrows and walks out the door.

    Crick and Dennard could find their way back into the first round, but it’s going to take a monumental effort at Nebraska’s Pro Day next week.

    How big is Charles Jackson potentially making it to Lincoln?

    Brian: It would be big, considering that he could probably start on the opposite of Mohammed Seisay against Arkansas State. That being said, the “Hey! Look! He’s qualified!” horn has been sounded…for quite some time…by his family. When there is an official release by North Stadium about Jackson, we’ll cross that bridge.

    Chris: One word: Huge. Jackson was arguably the best corner who participated in the 2011 Army All-American game. Plus he possesses elite strength and coverage ability for the position. If he can pick up the defense, there is no reason he can’t push for starting minutes this season. He’s head and shoulders above anyone else on the roster athletically, except perhaps Mohammed Seisay.

    James: Gigantic. Athletically he could start. Can he learn the zone-match defense quickly enough? Can he get enough reps in summer/fall ball? He's a huge bolster to the defensive back roster. Again, another case of sometimes being lucky (in this case, with Jackson qualifying) working out for you.

    Brandon: Huge and we’re talking “almost making up for Andrus Peat not being a Cornhusker” huge. If there’s one area that Nebraska can’t get enough help at, it’s cornerback. If Jackson does show up and with Braylon Heard making the switch, suddenly the Huskers have two guys to add fierce competition in deciding who starts opposite Mohammed Seisay.

    Going back to the first question, Joseph’s likely going to make this transition for Heard smoother than Raymond would’ve and if Jackson has some mental issues, so be it. Not to knock Raymond too hard, but Joseph’s that good of a hire. Plus, Nebraska’s not his fourth job in a little over 365 days.

    Brandon: @huskerlocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Greg: @thehooch36
    Chris: @chris_labenz

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    Tags: terry joseph, charles jackson, doc sadler, basketball, nfl draft, jared crick, alfonzo dennard, lavonte david

  8. 2012 Mar 01

    Husker Heartbeat 3/1: Burkhead a True Champion, Dennard One Mile High and Doc's Final Game in Lincoln?


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Rex Burkhead was honored as the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion for his work with Jack Hoffman

    - Husker fans are curious about how the new kickoff rule changes could impact special teams come the fall

    - The Broncos are another team likely giving Alfonzo Dennard a hard look

    - Iowa potentially slams the lid on Doc's home court appearances at Nebraska

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    Tags: rex burkhead, alfonzo dennard, basketball, doc sadler

  9. 2012 Feb 27

    Husker Heartbeat 2/27: Crick's Next Performance, Incoming DE a Dual-Sport Star and Full Page Doc Support


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Jared Crick will perform for scouts at Nebraska's March 8 Pro Day

    - Incoming DE Avery Moss ends his high school basketball career a state champion (Could he play two sports at NU?)

    - Five Huskers who could use an impressive performance this spring

    - A Nebraska booster takes out a full page at in support of Doc Sadler

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    Tags: jared crick, avery moss, basketball, doc sadler

  10. 2012 Feb 12

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (2/12/2012)


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Really didn’t think it possible, but men’s hoops is becoming even more painful to watch

    - Pretty sure their effort is bleeding over into the women’s squad. Stop that.

    - Pundits have speculated on Jared Crick heading to New England, Baltimore, Miami or Dallas. Having a difficult time figuring out which of those would be preferable.

    - Dennard’s being talked about as a potential pick by the Lions. This would not suck.

    - Major flaw in the list of “most-disliked” athletes: Richie Incognito wasn’t in front of Suh. Of course, being voted in actually requires people to know who you are.

    - Pelini’s staff needs to be on cornerbacks Chris Hawkins and Priest Williams along with safety Tahaan Goodman. Those three alone would add to one of Nebraska’s best defensive back hauls in well over a decade.

    - It’s difficult not to be impressed with how Nebraska’s picked up the pace in terms of recruiting. Now to see if it continues throughout the summer.

    - Not sure who’s more excited for baseball season to get underway: Fans, the team or Darin Erstad.

    - Apparently Tom Osborne met with Erick Strickland in regards to helping the basketball program somehow. Doing so as head coach is the absolute last way he should be contributing.

    - Former Nebraska football team psychologist Jack Stark spoke out about painkiller addiction recently. Why a colleague of his isn’t helping the current footballers with their mental well-being is mind-boggling.

    - Ending today's notes with the Tunnel Walk prior to the biggest comeback in Nebraska football history:

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    Tags: basketball, recruiting, doc sadler, darin erstad, baseball

  11. 2012 Feb 11

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The Husker Locker Weekend Roundtable


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Every week, the Husker Locker staff sits down and is presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports.

    This week:

    Simply put: is Doc done?

    Brian: My #FIREDOCSADLER Twitter hashtag worked!

    Seriously, Doc was done with the loss to Minnesota, let alone the combination of the Michigan debacle and his comments afterwards. He probably shouldn’t pimp his defensive effort out when his opponent shoots north of 70 percent in a half to blow his squad out of the water.

    Was his extension the right idea? Yes and no. Yes to take him out of "lame duck status" for recruiting, but the way it was constructed didn’t benefit the University considering how things are playing out.

    On the bright side, can Doc truly lose if he gets $3.4 million as a parting gift?

    Also, why was Doc given that big buyout? What was the purpose of that? Only one man can truly answer that, and that is Tom Osborne.

    Erin: If he's not, he's close, but I've been thinking that for awhile and he's still here. He just hit 100 wins this season, so maybe he'll get his contract extended until 2020 instead (heavy sarcasm).

    Greg: It'd be expensive to buy him out, but it'll cost the university more to lose out on higher-caliber players and rack up even more fan disinterest. Read into that whatever you will.

    Brandon: At this point, it seems unavoidable. Nebraska’s a 3.5-point underdog going into today’s game against Penn State, one that appeared a likely win earlier in the year.

    You wouldn’t be hard-pressed to find a large number of fans who think the Cornhuskers drop that game without even thinking at this point. Sadler’s a great guy, but personality will only take you so far as a head coach.

    Would it be expensive to buy Sadler out? Yes, but the long-term gain over any short-term financial pain would more than cover a large monetary loss. What will make or break the overall decision is should Sadler be let go, the actual best coach available must be hired.

    Not the nicest guy or the one with the best penmanship, but one interested in building Nebraska men’s basketball into something it’s never been – a contender. A nice personality would be a plus, though.

    Ndamukong Suh was voted the No. 4 most-hated athlete in America in a Forbes poll. Your reaction?

    Brian: I don’t know if people should put a lot of stock into that. Yes, he’s done some stupid stuff and it has cost him. However, he’s young enough and hopefully being led by enough of the right people to realize his poor choices.

    I do wonder if the attitudes of the head coaches he’s played under (Bo and Jim Schwartz) hasn’t rubbed off on him a bit. If he acts like this three years down the line, our questions will truly be answered because he won’t be around to be noticed.

    Erin: I'm honestly not surprised. He's an aggressive player. Other players have spoken out against him, and I think that does affect how anyone from a coach to a fan views him. Call him "dirty," but he's just a passionate player. If that puts him on the most-hated list, then so be it.

    Greg: The Thanksgiving Day Stomp is a huge black mark on his image. I find it difficult to consider him the fourth most-hated athlete in the NFL, let alone the entire country. Who do I hate more than Suh? I'm glad you asked.

    Tom Brady, Ray Lewis, Aaron Rodgers (you can't tell me that many a Packer fan didn't vote for Suh as most-hated), Chad soon-to-be-Johnson-again, and that's just the NFL.

    Open it up to other sports and there's LeBron, Carlos Zambrano and others, but that's just me. I don't have any problem with the way Suh plays the game between the whistles. That being said, I definitely feel he needs to curb his "extracurricular activity" a little.

    Brandon: Suh’s an aggressive guy, and believe it or not, he wasn’t chummy with everyone in Lincoln. He obviously has the emotion and talent to have a successful NFL career, but the switch he flips before heading onto the field needs to be dialed back a bit before it breaks off after getting turned up to 11.

    He does his own thing and not everyone’s going to like him, especially those whose quarterbacks he messes up (using legal maneuvers), but he’s young and he can correct the mistakes he’s made.

    There’s no reason to compare him to individuals such as Michael Vick who's been vilified for far worse actions, regardless of how you or I personally feel. He’s done some bone-headed, at times bush-league things on the football field. If he corrects his actions next season, he won’t even be a thought when a list of this sort comes around next year.

    Nebraska appears to be ramping up recruiting early with multiple heavy-hitters offered early. Do you think this effort continues throughout the year?

    Brian: Honestly, no I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that there is some work being done to get kids into the Spring Game and to get early commitments. However, what will the coaches do in during summer after all the camps?

    Get back to me on this after Thanksgiving when we'll be able to see what effort was put in from May through November, then we’ll talk.

    Erin: We can only hope so. Nebraska need some big heavy-hitters in the next class. I cannot stress that enough. I don't need to say anymore. Fans know this.

    Greg: I certainly hope it does. The best recruiters know that it isn't something you do from the end of the regular season to National Signing Day. It's a year-long process.

    If you want the best prospects, you have to work for them. You have to court these kids and always be on their mind. It's your job as recruiters to make them feel like Cinderella going to the ball with the clock perpetually stuck on 11:59pm. No pumpkins allowed.

    Brandon: Consider me a temporary resident of Missouri when it comes to Nebraska football recruiting and “show me.”

    New recruiting coordinator Ross Els can say whatever he wants in regards to strategy and Nebraska can continue offering the best prospects in the country. If the staff can’t lock them down and fill up this class, words and offers ultimately mean nothing.

    Prediction time: When can Nebraska expect its next football commitment?

    Brian: Maybe one or two at the Spring Game. If not that, nothing until July or so.

    Erin: I defer this question to Brandon and trust whatever he says. He's the recruiting expert, after all.

    Editor's Note: Thanks, Erin. No pressure.

    Greg: Spring Game week.

    Brandon: Following Junior Day and I’ll take it a step further for fun: it’ll be linebacker Josh Banderas

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @huskerlocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36

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    Tags: doc sadler, ndamukong suh, recruiting

  12. 2012 Feb 09

    Husker Heartbeat 2/9: Suh One of the Most-Hated, Els Settling In and Doc Still "Proud"


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Ndamukong Suh is one of America's most-hated athletes

    - Ross Els is wasting no time getting in the groove as Huskers' new recruiting coordinator

    - Doc Sadler is still "proud" of his team following the wheels falling off against Michigan

    - Connie Yori's squad's best friend may be tunnel vision

    - Erstad: "We have enough talent to win"

    Note: Husker Locker will be hosting a live chat tonight at 7 PM CST. Set your reminders and please join us for fan-centric Husker chat!

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    Tags: ndamukong suh, basketball, doc sadler, connie yori, baseball, darin erstad

  13. 2012 Feb 08

    NEBRASKA BASKETBALL: A Sleeping Big Red Giant Waits


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Chris Labenz

    With only seconds remaining in Nebraska’s toppling of then-No. 11 Indiana, most of the 8,613 fans at the Bob Devaney Sports Center were nervous and on their feet. The Huskers led 70-69, but the then Hoosiers had the ball and with it, a chance to steal the win.

    Leaning over to my brother, a fellow Husker hoops diehard, I said, “Man, I hate when things come down to the wire like this. We have no luck. We’re going to blow it.”

    He responded, “Dude, who cares? If we lose we lose, we’ve done it forever. If we win, it’s great but it’s not like we are going to the tourney or anything. Nothing is at stake.”

    That exchange eased my nerves and sure enough, Nebraska managed to pull out the victory followed by a pouring of the student crowd onto the court. Doc Sadler had his yearly upset and all was well.

    The preceding illustrates the problem with Big Red roundball – “Dude, who cares?” That question seems to echo the collective mindset of the Nebraska athletic department when it comes to putting together a winning and exciting men’s basketball team.

    Sure, Nebraska built a brand spanking-new arena set to open next season and the practice facilities are top notch. However, all the money that was poured into those facilities will have gone towards window dressing if the team continues to disappoint every season.

    Watching the Cornhuskers play, you’ll notice two of the primary deficiencies under Doc Sadler’s leadership right away– recruiting and offense. Nebraska’s 2012 roster consists of a point guard who transferred from LSU because he was no longer welcome, two primary contributors from the JUCO ranks and players from California, Germany and all points in between.

    To make matters worse, if Bo Spencer hadn’t transferred from LSU, there would’ve been no one else to play his position except for freshmen who aren’t ready for the Big Ten. This is not an unusual problem for Sadler, though. During his tenure, the Huskers have been a patchwork quilt of different faces, many of whom were only in Lincoln for a year or two at most.

    By the time they’re ready to contribute, it’s either too late to build upon (Lance Jeter, for example) or they’ve left for greener pastures at Doc’s suggestion (Cookie Miller). This methodology of consistently plugging holes with JUCOs and foreign players worked for Doc at UTEP.

    However, it will never consistently work in the Big Ten. There are far too many good coaches and systems in place for Nebraska to get by on spare tires and second helpings.

    The second major problem is Nebraska’s lack of any offensive rhythm or identity. There’s no resume for Doc’s job on my desk, but I’ve played and watched enough basketball to know that anytime your offense starts the majority of its possessions ten feet beyond the three point line, you’re in big trouble.

    Furthermore, when you can count to two before the ball is passed, the defense is already in place to stop whatever hope Nebraska has of getting a good look at points. Again, this is nothing new for Sadler’s crew. Priding the team on defense is fine, but that’s not going to get it done to compete on a level necessary to win come March.

    Even worse, it’s a huge deterrent to Sadler’s efforts on the recruiting trail. Young kids don’t want to play for a team whose style is reminiscent of the peach basket days.

    Therein lies the major disconnect between the Nebraska athletic department’s expectations for the program – a team good enough to fill a brand-new and highly leveraged arena and support. Sadler seems like a good guy. He’s a hit with the media and very cordial from all reports, but that doesn’t mean he is beyond criticism.

    Anytime a critic presses him, fans are quick to point out Nebraska’s lack of tradition in college hoops and built-in recruiting disadvantages. Fair points, but so what? No organization improves by sitting on its collective hands and complaining about how difficult things are, whether it is a sports program or a small business.

    To get better takes hard work, and even more importantly resources. This is where fans become confused with how the athletic department has addressed Nebraska men’s basketball for the entirety of its existence.

    Why build a brand new arena and top notch facilities if you’re not going to bring in a coach who puts fans in the seats every night? To steal a line from “Rounders,” that’s like putting together a fantastic steak dinner but leaving out a fork and knife to eat it with.

    Fans also point out that hiring a good coach would be expensive, and they’re right. A counterpoint: In Nebraska, if you start having a fun team to watch, fans will flock from all corners to support it. The volleyball team sells out every night. Connie Yori’s women’s hoops squad lands great attendance relative to the rest of the country.

    Husker fans are passionate, both their cheering and their wallets when it comes to a winner. It’s safe to assume that the high upfront cost of a new basketball coach, probably in the two million dollar range, would be paid back tenfold in only a few years.

    Put together an NCAA tournament run, and the new arena will sell out just as fast as Memorial Stadium. Local businesses would also get a nice return on their tax dollars with the abundance of people attending games and socializing downtown Lincoln.

    “Dude, who cares?” Until the athletic department is willing to stand up and say, “We do,” Nebraska men’s basketball will continue to go into March hibernation while fans fixate themselves on filling out brackets and planning for the Spring Game.

    Follow Chris on Twitter: @chris_labenz
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    Tags: basketball, doc sadler

  14. 2012 Feb 08

    Husker Heartbeat 2/8: T.O. on Sadler, Meets with Former Husker Strickland and Future NFL Huskers


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Osborne on Sadler's future:"We'll see how it plays out."

    - Osborne meets with former Nebraska roundballer Strickland to discuss helping the hoops squad

    - The Washington Redskins should take a good, long look at Alfonzo Dennard

    - Lavonte David looks like a solid value pick for the Vikings

    Note: Husker Locker will be hosting a live chat tomorrow, Thursday, February 9 at 7 PM CST. Set your reminders and please join us for fan-centric Husker chat!

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    Tags: tom osborne, doc sadler, basketball, lavonte david, alfonzo dennard

  15. 2012 Feb 06

    Husker Heartbeat 2/6: Sadler Helping Osborne, Pelini Awaits Smoothness and Shields Waits One More Year


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Sadler could be making Tom Osborne's decision to retain or fire much easier

    - Pelini looking forward to smoother road ahead

    - Former Husker Will Shields waiting at least one more year to enter the NFL Hall of Fame

    - Four new Husker linebackers fit Pelini's aggressive mold

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    Tags: doc sadler, bo pelini, will shields

  16. 2012 Jan 27

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 1/27 - The 2012 Soft Verbal Edition


    By HuskerLocker

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    Explore the Archives

    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring questions and topics submitted ONLY by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - What will happen to the scholarships formerly belonging to Collins Okafor and Lester Ward?
    - Will Nebraska finish with a top 15 recruiting class?
    - Should this season be Doc Sadler's last?

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    James: @jamesstevenson

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:
    Rob Kugler's Profile

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    Tags: collins okafor, lester ward, recruiting, doc sadler, basketball, podcast, podcasts

  17. 2012 Jan 27

    Husker Heartbeat 1/27: Commit No. 14 is N, NU's Chances with Fuller and Spring Game Tickets


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Georgia RB Imani Cross makes commit No. 14 for Bo Pelini

    - Greg Schiano's departure to Rutgers could open the door just enough for Fuller to become a Husker

    - Dennard and David considered the cream of the Senior Bowl's North roster's defensive crop

    - Doc Sadler's crew bounces back, picking off Iowa on the road

    - Spring Game tickets go on sale next Wednesday at 8 A.M. CST

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: imani cross, devin fuller, lavonte david, alfonzo dennard, doc sadler, basketball, spring game

  18. 2012 Jan 22

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (1/22)


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - List of positives that can be taken away from the worst home loss in Nebraska basketball’s recorded history:

    - After what will be six years including a current 93-73 record, the best postseason run being to the NIT’s second round and being involved in the worst loss the program has seen in a century plus, how can Tom Osborne rationally keep Doc Sadler after this season?

    - In hindsight, that Indiana floor rush looks kinda silly now. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

    - Crick, Dennard, David and Jones should all do well at the NFL Combine. David could bump himself up to a late second round pick with an excellent showing. Jones could cement his status as a fifth or sixth-rounder.

    - When few people, if any, know a commit’s name 10 days out from Signing Day, you can safely say they’re a reach.

    - Nebraska needs Devian Shelton in this class, if only for legitimacy purposes.

    - John Papuchis gets a 50 percent bump? He’s a solid coach, but that seems steep.

    - Side note: Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s not a fan of the huge college football coach salaries these days.

    - Of all the people expected to bring Dunkin’ Donuts to Omaha and the surrounding areas, that two ex-Huskers are doing it isn’t so surprising. That Kris Brown and Zach Wiegert are doing it, that’s the weird part.

    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: doc sadler, basketball, jared crick, alfonzo dennard, lavonte david, marcel jones, devian shelton, john papuchis, harvey perlman, kris brown, zach wiegert

  19. 2012 Jan 20

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 1/20 - Countdown to Signing Day


    By HuskerLocker

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    Explore the Archives

    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring questions and topics submitted ONLY by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - Who will replace Lavonte David?
    - Is it Doc Sadler's time to go?
    - Was the Indiana victory big for the program or Sadler?
    - The panel's recruiting strategies
    - Was 2011 an anomaly for Bo Pelini's defense?

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:
    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: lavonte david, doc sadler, basketball, recruiting, bo pelini, podcast, podcasts

  20. 2012 Jan 19

    Husker Heartbeat 1/19: Hoosiers Husked, Dobson's Workload and Beck's Report Card


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Nebrasketball comes alive and shocks No. 11 Indiana 70-69

    - S&C coach Dobson has his hands full yet again this offseason

    - Another report card is passed to Tim Beck

    - Despite Doc's big win, skeptics aren't going away any time soon

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: basketball, james dobson, tim beck, doc sadler

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