Another side effect of the struggles of the newspaper industry was seen today in the Omaha World-Herald. After laying off another 38 employees and cutting pay 5% across the board, the Omaha daily newspaper essentially reran old news instead of compiling a preview of the UNO's first round CCHA playoff series. Surprised (and disappointed) in Chad Purcell; usually he's better than that. We all know about the Chancellors directive last fall, and Tom Shatel was told nothing would change until after the season. So why rerun old news?
Of UNO's many losses down the stretch, one of the worst was the first game at Ferris State in late January. UNO got off to a quick lead, but gave up a short-handed goal late in the 2nd to go down 3-1. The third period was simply a disaster that evening as the Bulldogs scored four times to blow the game wide open. The next night UNO came out firing, but still could only manage a 1-1 tie, losing the shootout 2-1. So now Ferris State comes to Omaha for a best-of-three series. The Bulldogs are on a slide of their own, losing their last five games, and going 1-6-1 in February. So it's a battle of teams trying to reverse their fortunes. UNO had a bye last week, which might serve them well being rested up, not having played since tying Minnesota State a week and a half ago.
Great game for Husker basketball last night against Iowa State. True to form, nobody outworks this scrappy bunch. They'll cause somebody some fits down in Oklahoma City next week at the Big XII tournament. But hopes that this team would get some much needed height next season dimmed with the news that 6'11" Christopher Niemann tore his ACL in a practice earlier in the day. Yes, he probably could play next season, but it seems it still requires 18 months to fully recover from an ACL tear.
I'm still troubled by the whole Barry Turner arrest situation from last weekend. Today, the Lancaster County attorney declined to pursue charges, thus ending Turner's legal problems. Now, was this a case of much to-do-about-nothing? The snowstorm story seems plausible, and a pillow fight doesn't sound terribly serious. The bite, on the other hand, is another matter entirely, but I'm not sure what I'd do after getting whacked in the head with a candlestick. Frankly, it might come down to the simple fact that spending a couple of nights in jail was punishment enough from a legal perspective. In the end, we may never know what, if anything, Bo Pelini and the athletic department do about this situation. Hopefully it's something (if only counseling for both parties), since while the situation might not have warranted legal action, it does raise warning signals about the relationship.
Major Culbert's departure from the Husker football team is sad in one respect. When you consider how Culbert got yanked around from running back to linebacker back to running back then safety under the previous regime, he deserves some credit. All that moving around hampered his development, and probably his confidence and attitude as a result. Last season, one had to wonder why he wasn't playing more, but I think it finally became apparent that it just wasn't going to work out for Culbert on the football field. Hopefully he'll stay in school and get his degree.