Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Plan for UNO Athletics

In all the furor over the Belckis & Buckhead circus at UNO, casual observers may have missed the recommendations of the Karnes commission on the future of Maverick athletics. Some fans might be disappointed by the recommendation to stay division 2 for now, but considering the current budget state of UNO, it's the most prudent. The commission did recommend that UNO petition the NCAA to allow D-2 schools to have 2 programs play in D-1 to allow the Mav football team to play in 1-AA which could be an exciting proposition for UNO. And let's face it, if the Huskers are going to play 1-AA schools like Nicholls State, then why not keep the money in the NU system?

The other big news was the recommendation that UNO build a new hockey arena at Ak-Sar-Ben to eliminate scheduling conflicts at the Qwest Center and provide a better experience for fans. As MavRick discussed months before, a new "Ak-Sar-Ben Coliseum" would bring incredible hockey karma to Omaha's most popular hockey program. Could UNO build their own arena? The Karnes Commission had representatives of some of the heaviest hitters in town, so if they think that it's doable, it's doable.

Except for one little issue, which brings us back to the UNO administration. While Jim Buck may be finally out of the picture, chancellor Nancy Belck still remains. Many UNO boosters have already indicated that they have no interest in donating to UNO as long as Belck remains in charge. And let's face it, today's story that Belck altered Buck's expense reports, apparently in a pathetic effort to make it seem that a $1,263 dinner bill was for more than the 8 people present, certainly doesn't begin to soothe the damage done to her reputation.

What happens when an unpopular and untrustworthy individual tries to lead an effort to raise funds? You only have to look to Lincoln, where Steve Pederson continues to struggle to raise money for the stadium improvement project. As long as Belck remains at UNO, this project will only be a long-term dream for UNO.

Should Belck be ousted at UNO? That's a tough call. Certainly everybody (with the exception of Harold Anderson) recognizes that Belck has made huge mistakes in dealing with t his situation. Some would argue that you cannot remove a chancellor over problems with the athletic department, but on the other hand, this is no longer an athletic issue, but rather one of budget abuses of university funds, where the athletic department was merely a pawn in a shell game.

1 comment:

AJ said...

You've used the word "snoozer" in 2 of the last 3 headlines. I suggest you get some sleep before hell breaks loose in a few months.

I speak from expierence.