The great schism of fans over the events at the end of the 2003 Husker football season is well known. But in Thursday's Omaha World-Herald, Lee Barfknecht revealed how deep the schism runs with the very players who wore the scarlet and cream.
As part of Steve Pederson's desire to transform the spring game into a show for recruiting, the athletic department has organized a golf outing for former Husker lettermen the last three years. It's a great idea... bring the former players back to town, especially the one's busy in the fall playing on Sundays in the NFL.
Except now several former Huskers have organized an alternative golf outing, called "Fun - The Original Husker Way" and scheduled it at the same time as the "official" letterman's golf tournament. The alternative outing is promoted as a tribute to former trainer Doak Ostergard, and has drawn comittments from many "big names" -- the Peter brothers, Tommie Frazier, and Tom Osborne, to name a few. Frank Solich is even trying to sneak away from Ohio spring practice for the afternoon. So far, over 150 people have signed up for the alternative outing, compared to 130 last year for the sold-out Letterman's outing.
While the organizers of the alternative outing won't say it, the name definitely suggests dissatisfaction with the athletic department. One might say that the timing does as well, but with the number of events scheduled that weekend for all the players that are coming in from out of state, there might not have been another good time. But it's fairly obvious that the divide amongst some fans also applies to the former Huskers as well.
What's really interesting is the venom of a small contingent of Steve Pederson fans against Tom Osborne accepting the invitation to appear at the alternative event, claiming it as a "shot at the program." Apparantly, 25 years of coaching, with 3 national titles pale in comparison to the fact that Osborne chose to honor a trainer that served the program for 18 years.
Yep...Nebraska is really getting over 2003. Not.