Thursday, July 27, 2006

Regents, Boosters call for Audit at NU

In tomorrow's World-Herald, David Sokol joins the call for an audit of UNO athletics:

UNO athletic booster David Sokol for years has sponsored a bonus program for Maverick athletics administrators.

In that role, he says, he would sit down each spring with UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck and Vice Chancellor Jim Buck to evaluate the performance of the athletic director and his staff, with one of the most important criteria being on-budget performance.

So Sokol was surprised to learn in recent weeks that the University of Nebraska at Omaha has had athletic budget woes for five years
Meanwhile, Regent Randy Ferlic plans to request audits of all three Nebraska athletic departments (UNO's Mavericks, UNL's Huskers, and UN-Kearney's Lopers) at tomorrow's Board of Regents meeting.

Ferlic's desire to expand the audits to all three sports programs sounds good initially. UNO needs it, but bringing UNK into the mix allows the audit to put things into perspective. And, an audit of the Husker athletic program will finally shed some light on the fundraising for the stadium improvement project. Fundraising stalled after the Solich firing, and Steve Pederson stopped providing updates after questions were raised about the lack of progress.

However, you also have to consider the source. Ferlic has been outspoken about downsizing athletic programs, so Ferlic's motivation isn't to help UNO athletics succeed.

Contrast that with the booster organizations that met tonight in Omaha. KETV channel 7 reported that boosters are committed to helping UNO get through their budget woes, but they need to have a better understanding of UNO's situation. Approached this evening, David Herbster accepted the call for an audit.

One thing is clear. The uproar is because fans and boosters are committed more than ever to supporting Maverick athletics.

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