Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Weekend Wrap: Huskers Behaving Badly

Big news out of Lincoln this weekend was Maurice Purify's arrest and Ryan Wehrle's dismissal from the baseball program. Neither event should have come as a huge surprise. Purify showed his temper on the field as he got flagged for several personal fouls last season. Some fans are trying to justify Purify's actions by suggesting that the bouncer that Purify allegedly assaulted was out to get him, but that's not a justification for assaulting. If he's guilty, he needs to be suspended next season. In fact, this incident damages Purify on the field as well. All throughout the Big XII, cornerbacks are quickly learning that you can get under Purify's skin and get him to react, looking for personal fouls and offensive interference calls.

Sadly, that's 7 points for the Huskers in the Fulmer Cup standings, brought to you by Every Day Should Be Saturday.

Meanwhile on the diamond, preseason All-American Ryan Wehrle was dismissed from the Nebraska baseball team, the final straw being not running out a fly ball Friday night. That makes 4 players dismissed from the team in the last year, with 4 more suspended at some point this season. When you combine this with the Huskers lackluster record on the field this season, the boo-birds are out on Mike Anderson, asking if Anderson is the right guy to coach the Huskers. Certainly the expectation-meter for Husker baseball has been set to football levels. Years ago, Nebraska fans would have been ecstatic to be in the running for an NCAA berth. Now, merely doing that is grounds for firing.

KETV-channel 7's Matt Schick reports that negative vibes around the Nebraska clubhouse are affecting the team on the field, and that this dismissal could be an attempt to divert attention from deeper problems. It's mostly speculation at this point, but it's sometimes hard to pull a team out of the ditch midseason. By that same token, dismissing a clubhouse cancer can improve a team. Locally we've seen this with UNO hockey's Joe Grimaldi and Husker basketball's Joe McCray.

Meanwhile in Omaha, reaction to the idea of replacing Rosenblatt Stadium with a new stadium in North Downtown is fast and furious. I understand the nostalgia with Rosenblatt, and it's really not a bad stadium. But by that same token, if the NCAA is now suggesting that Rosenblatt needs replacing, Omaha needs to take this idea seriously. The College World-Series is one of Omaha's biggest events, and Omaha can ill afford to lose the series. If the NCAA says jump, Omaha's response should be "how high", as the NCAA won't hesitate to move the series. Is that an idle threat? I don't think Omaha can afford to find out.

Over at UNO, things seem to be falling in place after last summer's fallout that resulted in the resignations of Nancy Belck, Jim Buck, and David Herbster. Buzz is building over the new hockey ticket plans, featuring $99 season tickets around the Red Army. John Christensen was named new chancellor today, and former SMU associate AD David Miller is likely to be named athletic director sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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