Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shatel: Look to Oklahoma for tips on healing Husker Nation

Today's column by Tom Shatel in the Omaha World-Herald (sorry, once again, it's not online so no link) looks at how Oklahoma has handled the transitions from legends to disarray to unity and championships. Even Bob Castiglione, OU's athletic director, commented on the similarity between the situation that existed with the Sooners and the Huskers:
"That reminds me of what I walked into nine years ago at Oklahoma. We had all these different factions. The Switzer faction. The Bud Wilkinson faction. The John Blake faction. They all thought they knew the best way for Oklahoma. The problem was, everybody was forgetting about the mother ship."
What solved it? Well, the first move was Castiglione and Bob Stoops asking Barry Switzer to be part of the program. That didn't mean Stoops had to run the Wishbone, set up a still, or violate NCAA rules. It just meant that there was one Sooner family, and all are welcome. Kind of reminds me of my proposed peace treaty. But the first move needs to come from Bill Callahan and Steve Pederson: if they really want to unite Husker Nation, they'll call Tom Osborne and ask him personally to be part of the program again, not just have their secretarys write formal, CYA "because we have to" letters. (I know Corn Blight over at Corn Nation will disagree with me, but I strongly believe that the road to Husker Unity goes through Steve Pederson and Tom Osborne...)

If it worked for Oklahoma, it can work for Nebraska.

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