Today's Lincoln Journal-Star reports that the Huskers are considering playing Miami in a "neutral site" basketball game in the 2008-09 season. Specifically, at the Qwest Center Omaha...which just happens to be the home court of Creighton.
Which has some (by no means all) BlueJay fans fit to be tied. KXSP-AM's Matt Perrault threw a temper tantrum on-air worthy of my 3 year old niece this afternoon when this story broke (and thus destroyed any claim that he could make that he wasn't a Bluejay homer in the process.) Perrault and the immature faction of the Creighton fanbase that are protesting this idea seem to be claiming that Creighton has some sort of ownership of the Qwest Center.
Problem with that logic is that Creighton is simply a tenant of the Qwest Center...not the owner. They aren't even managing the arena, like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln manages and maintains the Bob Devaney Sports Center. So unless Creighton has an exclusive deal for basketball with MECA (who manages the Qwest Center for the City of Omaha), MECA is certainly within their rights to rent the arena for a Husker game if they so choose.
UNO Maverick fans probably aren't going to provide a lot of sympathy. This single game is unlikely to keep Creighton from playing a game at the Qwest Center, which is more than can be said about MECA's treatment of the Mavs when scheduling hockey games. In fact, for the second year in a row, UNO is being bumped to the Civic Auditorium for their regular season finale against a big-name opponent (last season Michigoon, this season Ohio State). Two years ago, UNO moved a series to the Auditorium to free up the Qwest Center so that Creighton could host a game in the "BracketBuster." And it's not like MECA is making a cut-rate deal to bring in a competiting team on a regular basis either.
Back before the first shovel of dirt was turned at 10th & Capitol, Nebraska's then athletic director talked about being interested in hosting games at the Qwest Center. And it's not like there isn't a precedent for this type of game; the Saavis Center is not only the home for the Saint Louis University Billikens, but also the "Braggin' Rights" game between Missouri and Illinois and the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Nebraska played volleyball matches at the Qwest Center last year as well.
With the current state of the Husker hoops, I have to wonder why some Creighton fans are getting worked up over this. It is two years down the line, and at this point, I would be surprised if Barry Collier was still the head coach for this game. Perhaps it's some deep uncertainty about how long Dana Altman will stay at Creighton and how long the Huskers will be down. Contrary to what KXSP's Perrault thinks, Nebraska certainly could outbid Creighton for Altman's services, though it's extremely doubtful that Altman would be interested anyway; he's turned down bigger and better job offers. But the influx of coaching talent to the Big XII lately (Self, McDermott, Anderson, Huggins, Capel, Drew, and Gillespie) is going to force Steve Pederson's hand soon.