Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alberts & Osborne Joint TV Interview

UNO Television got quite the exclusive interview last week: UNO athletic director Trev Alberts and Nebraska-Lincoln athletic director Tom Osborne were the guests on "Consider This...". Much of the focus was on Alberts decision to jump from television broadcasting to administration, but there were a few tidbits of interest for Husker and Maverick fans:
  • Alberts wants to reproduce the ethics and atmosphere that he experienced while a Husker football player at UNO. He feels UNO has good people, but mismanagement and a revolving door at the top of the athletic department have made UNO athletics difficult to deal with.
  • Osborne feels that Husker facilities are in good shape, but there is a pressing need for a practice basketball facility since Nebraska is the only Big XII schoo without one. He thinks Doc Sadler is building a solid program, but he'll need a practice facility to stay competitive with the rest of the conference.
  • Alberts says UNO's facilities are exactly the opposite, pointing to the hockey situation. After listening to Alberts, I'm becoming more convinced that the answer to the never-ending Qwest Center -vs- Civic Auditorium argument is NEITHER. Alberts points out the hassles of practicing half-way across town (or further) from the arena where the hockey team plays; the team wastes time driving equipment back and forth. UNO has long talked of building a practice facility near campus at Chili Greens, but that won't solve the problem unless an arena is located there as well. Building a practice facility downtown doesn't look practical either; the Qwest Center probably has other plans for expansion, and I have no idea where you'd place a practice facility around the Civic. The Mancuso convention center appears to be too small, and the exhibition hall has the support pillars for the arena above. Do you tear down the Music Hall? I'm not sure there's room on the north or west sides either. Even if you squeeze it in..does it REALLY make sense to build it away from campus long term.
  • Alberts was ambivilant when asked where he wanted to be five or six years from now. Three months ago, he had no idea he'd be an athletic director back in Nebraska, so he obviously wasn't prepared for that question. That being said, he probably should have mentioned something about being at UNO; UNO's had enough turnover lately that he really should be striving to provide the Mavericks some continuity. Things may change down the line, but until that occurs, I'd hope that Alberts plans to be growing UNO athletics.
  • Osborne answered that same question with his typical dry humor, merely hoping he's still "vertical." But Osborne did make it clear that he's interested in leading Husker athletics for at least another two or three years. In other words, Osborne seems to be planning to stick around past the 2010 date that was announced when Osborne took over in 2007. Osborne talked about wanting to see a couple more years of Bo Pelini's team and also get Doc Sadler his practice facility so he could "compete nationally."
It was an interesting interview that apparently isn't available online. (One final broadcast appears to be scheduled tomorrow morning at 10 am on Qwest Choice channel 74 and Cox channel 17 in Omaha.) Too bad, because it was interesting for both Mav and Husker fans alike.


Corn Nation said...

Ya know, I have three or four hockey rinks within five miles of my house. That's the level of commitment to hockey here in Minnesota, which is understandable given it's the state sport.

This past winter, I went to a Wisconsin state hockey tournament game (one of my client's sons was playing), and some of the conversation centered around how heavy the commmitment in Minnesota was to having rinks, building the sport.

The point is - if you're going to do something, do it or don't do it. Omaha has not a chance in hockey unless they get more ice time. Hell, all the rinks around here are in continual use, so they're building another one.

Husker Mike said...

That's a good observation. UNO has been trying to "make do" for twelve years, and it's worked out, well, kinda OK.

Trev knows what having adequate facilities does for an athletic program. That's one of Steve Pederson's accomplishments (hey, SP isn't 100% bad): creating a synergy in the football facilities, linking the practice and training facilities with the locker rooms and coaches offices. It allows the football program to focus on the task at hand rather than the logistics of the task.

UNO needs an integrated practice and playing facility near campus so the team isn't wasting time driving here, there, and everywhere.

Bret said...

For that matter, Sadler needs to have that practice facility as well. I'm so glad that Osborne and the university are making the commitment to the basketball program.

NU bball doesn't stand a chance in the Big 12 unless they're willing to give them the tools to be successful.