Over the last few weeks, the family feud escalated with dueling golf outings and criticism of both Tom Osborne and Steve Pederson. After 41 months, shouldn't we be past this by now? Certainly folks stuck in the middle are tired of it. So, here's a stab at diplomacy:
Yes, the names and faces around the athletic department are different. Things change, times change. All good things must come to an end. That doesn't make things wrong...just different. If you want to build unity between you and your fellow alums, don't wait for the athletic department to do it for you...schedule events yourself. Take the inititive and do it yourself, though do us all a favor and try not to schedule it opposite another "official" event.
As the patriarch of the Husker football family, your every move is scrutinzed. At the same time, you probably hold the keys to solving this issue. You spoke last week about loyalty and honesty. That is being put to the test. We know you are loyal to your players and your staff. Now it's time to extend that loyalty to the people who followed in their footsteps.
You didn't ask to get mixed up into this. You're the step-father thrown into the middle of it, and it's not what you asked for. But you can play a role in solving this issue by making sure that the people who preceded you, both as players and coaches, are welcome, whether it's inside the offices, at practice, or on the sidelines. Bob Stoops isn't afraid of Barry Switzer; you shouldn't be afraid of Tom Osborne.
You tossed the first shot in this whole feud. Whether you were right or wrong really isn't relevant anymore, as what's done is done. But by that same, it's time to dismantle the fortress. Enough is enough. Talk to Tom Shatel. Talk to Kevin Kugler. (In fact, get him back behind the mike on NET's coverage of Husker baseball and volleyball.) Admit you asked Houston Nutt to be head coach; nobody believes your denial. Are you going to take some shots? Certainly. But the longer you keep avoiding them, the longer this thing is going to continue to fester.
Welcome the all of the former players and coaches into the program, not just the ones who agree with you. Let them be on the sidelines; that's the way other programs handle it. Consult with Tom Osborne; Creighton and Iowa Western are doing it.
You are not the program. The program is bigger than any one person, and you are merely the custodian. It does not exist to stroke your ego.
2003 is over. Steve Pederson fans, drop Frank Solich bashing. Steve Pederson haters, let go of the coaching change. Solich, Bo Pelini, Barney Cotton, and Marvin Sanders are not coming back. Rehashing this old decision is like picking an old scab; it may feel good at the time but it's not allowing things to heel.