Imagining what would have happened had the Huskers played the Mavericks

Nebraska lost to Gardner-Webb yesterday.  Omaha beat Cal State Fullerton for the second time of the season.  Why couldn’t the Mavericks and Huskers have played yesterday instead of those two games?

I get that Nebraska fans feel Omaha should stop complaining about the two schools not playing each other in the last few years.  I also understand that both programs wanting their home games and schedules to align might be difficult some years.  But it sounds like Omaha’s offer to play is always on the table for Nebraska.

You know what may have been a good day that would have made sense to play each other?  The Sunday after finals week.  Just a thought.

The perception by Omaha fans is that Nebraska currently doesn’t want to play Omaha is because Omaha might be just a little bit better than the Huskers right now, and Nebraska wouldn’t want to risk the loss to their little brother.  Omaha may not have the athleticism and quantity of talent that Nebraska has, but they have some match up problems for Nebraska and enough bitter tenacity to give the Huskers everything they’ve got.

Not saying this is actually what’s happening with the Nebraska staff, just saying what fans put into their minds.

Now that Nebraska has lost to a Big South team, maybe facing Omaha might not be all that bad.  But the Husker-Mavericks match up wasn’t scheduled this year…so we’ll just have to imagine what this world would be like if they would have agreed to play yesterday…


Derrin Hansen does his hands in his pockets slow walk into the arena and glares out into the crowd.  Still not sure at what goes through Hansen’s mind when he does this, but in this case I am assuming he is doing whatever he can to raise his maturity level to not punch Herbie Husker in the face.

What is this?  When Hansen reaches the scorers’ table and a student manager provides him with a Diavolo Pizza from Dante Ristorante Pizzeria out of Omaha and two pitchers of beer.  Hansen sets the pizza and beer on the table next to his seat and glares down at Tim Miles.

“I am going to beat you while I am loaded,” Hansen screams across the court to Tim Miles.

Tim Miles’ response is to flash the cross bones in Hansen’s direction.

The crowd goes insanely wild, but collectively as a basketball miracle the fans just start chanting “SCREW THE JAYS.  SCREW THE JAYS.  SCREW THE JAYS.”  It doesn’t make a ton of sense given the situation, but it also makes perfect sense at the same time.

The analysts ask the question: What do the Cornhuskers have to do win this game?  The question alone should be a punch in the gut to a Big 10 team, but it’s actually a serious question in this case.  They need to penetrate and knock down open threes, so all of the Mav fans have a good laugh.

What do the Mavericks have to do to win this game?  Control the pace and get out into transition.  The Mav fans just continue laughing.

Tre’Shawn Thurman takes off his warm ups and walks to center circle to ready himself for the opening tip.  By getting ready, he just flexes the entire time as he walks up to face Ed Morrow.  Nebraska wins the tip.

Nebraska’s first offensive possession is spent with confusion among the players as teammates are asking each other if they are sure they were supposed to be starting tonight.  Some guard for Nebraska, I don’t know, it’s hard to keep track of them at times, tries a pass to Jack McVeigh and Tra-Deon Hollins gets in the middle of the passing lane and rushes down the court in transition.  He tries a fancy pants pass to Marcus Tyus, who wasn’t expecting the pass, so the ball goes out of bounds.

Oh, it’s going to be a sloppy game.  Who would have guessed?

Nebraska’s second offensive possession, the team works the ball into Michael Jacobson.  Jacobson is backing Zach Pirog into the lane.  Jacobson works a series of moves to confuse his defender, and works into in up and under move under for an easy basket.  Oh man, this Jacobson guy is going to kill us down low all night!

Omaha’s second offensive possession, Thurman gets the ball at the top of the lane and is defended by Nebraska’s Ed Morrow.  Thurman makes a jab step to the right, Morrow bites, Thurman moves into a fade away jump shot, and the basket is good.

Next, a pissed off Morrow aggressively attacks Thurman at the basket for a lay up.  Morrow and Thurman could provide to be a very fun match up throughout the game, but one of them is likely to get into foul trouble.  So that’s sad we have to imagine it.

Eventually Nebraska subs in Jordy Tshimanga for Morrow, and all of the Omaha fans cheer in excitement.

Mitch Hahn and Pirog outrun Tshimanga for easy baskets for a few minutes and Omaha goes on a 8-0 run.  Miles calls a time out and an assistant coach tells Tshimanga to fake an injury and head to the locker room for the duration of the game.

Jacobson gets Thurman down on the block and works a few post moves on him and gets another easy basket.  Seriously, how does this Jacobson only have two baskets?  Why don’t the Huskers go into him more frequently?

On the next possession, Thurman tries to get some revenge on Jacobson and moves at him out of control and picks up an offensive foul.

Hansen goes absolutely ballistic at the referee, even though it was a good call.  You have to remember that Hansen has at least one pitcher of beer and half of a pizza down at this point.

Omaha has a 5 point lead at half time.  Nebraska fans are really unsure what to do here.  They end up just bitterly accusing every Omaha fan of being MavSkers, and not being a true fan to anything.  You know, because you cannot just like things in this state without these people accusing you of being a home wrecker.

The Husker fans take a few moments wondering how they missed out on recruiting Tre’Shawn Thurman.  Sure, statistically, he would not of had the same career at Nebraska as he did at UNO, but he would have proven to be a quality Husker.  Omaha fans are wondering how UNO missed out on Michael Jacobson.

There is also some argument and debate trying to figure out which basketball program is doing the other basketball program a favor by playing this game.


Some half time stats:

Nebraska – 

Michael Jacobson – 4 points, 5 rebounds

Ed Morrow – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 fouls

Jordy Tshimanga – 1 minute

Tai Webster – 8 points, 3 rebounds

And the guy who keeps track of how many times Jack McVeigh is not found wide open by Glynn Watson has broken his clip board and is being seen by a medical professional.

Omaha

Tra-Deon Hollins – 2 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers?

Zach Jackson – 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 10,000 people asking: who is this guy?

Tre’Shawn Thurman – 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 fouls


The teams come out of for shoot around at half time.  Tai Webster is just pissed.  Pissed!

Derrin Hansen stumbles out of the locker room a little surly.

Trev Alberts is seen on the big screen, and he is met with a mix of boos and cheers.  Shawn Eichorst is seen on the phone attempting to fire whoever is in charge of putting people up on the big screen.  He’s also trying to figure out who is in charge of keeping outside food and drinks from entering the building.  There is a man on the sideline with two pitchers of beer and a pizza!

The first four minutes of the second half are not basketball.  Both teams enter those minutes where they have complete offensive droughts.  Just turnovers and bricked jump shots for four plus minutes.

Miles is standing on the sideline with his arms crossed and a pissed off look on his face.  Hansen is just standing there with his hands in his pockets staring into the abyss.  That’s actually 100% accurate of their body language when their teams go on these offensive droughts.

Nebraska comes out of the media time out by having Tai Webster attack the rim.

Omaha has moved to their three point shooting line up with Thurman-Hahn-JT Gibson-Tyus-Hollins.  So naturally, they come out of the first media time out ready for Thurman to set some screens and Hollins to find open three point shooters.  This is not Omaha’s best defensive line up, so it’s enough to just keep the game close at this point.

We’re going to break into a basketball sports movie montage here –


Nebraska frees up the lane by confusing Omaha’s defense in the post, and Morrow gets a huge dunk.

Hahn makes a corner three after his defender thinks he has to help Jacobson defend an Omaha post player.

Webster breaks past Tyus through an open baseline for an easy lay up.

Hollins steals the ball from Watson and sprints across the court for an easy transition bucket.

Morrow gets an and-one opportunity.  Thurman gets an and-one opportunity.

Miles cracks a joke at a ref and the ref tries to hide his laughter.  This happens at least twice a game.

Hansen screams at an official for a blown call, and he earns a warning.  This happens at least once a game.

Zach Jackson gets McVeigh to jump on a pump fake, and Jackson drives baseline and Isaiah Roby fouls him.  Nebraska fans are still trying to figure out who this Jackson kid is.  He averaged 3.5 points a game last year, how is this possible!?  If this was the Doc Sadler era, it is entirely possible that Jackson would be a Husker.

Anton Gill gets into the lane and…well he does something basketball related, I guess.

A Nebraska fan talks about how at least Nebraska is only losing Tai Webster after this season.  Next year could be the Huskers’ year.  Right?

An Omaha fan complains about how Pinnacle Bank Arena doesn’t sell alcohol at Husker events.  That’s just an Omaha thing.

McVeigh finally hits a three.

Tyus comes off a screen and catches a pass from Hollins and knocks down a three.

Roby drives into the lane, gets the ball knocked out of his hands by Hollins, but the ball still some how ends up in Roby’s hands again and he puts up a shot with the shot clock expiring, and it goes in.

Tyus drives into the lane, misses a lay up.  Thurman gets the offensive rebounds, puts it up and misses, does that a few more times, and then gets an and-one.  Seriously, 4 misses and 5 rebounds in 10 seconds.  Thurman now has a double-double.

We’re looking at a 74-74 game right now, and Omaha calls a time out with 40 seconds left on the shot clock.  Derrin Hansen calls a time out.

Hollins stands at the top of the key dribbling and watching the shot clock dwindle down.  Pirog comes up and sets a screen.  Hollins drives to the basket, and with the attention focused on him and Thurman, Hollins passes the ball to a rolling Pirog who dunks the ball in.

Nebraska calls a timeout with 4 seconds remaining.

Omaha comes out showing a full court press.  Nebraska calls another time out.  Isn’t basketball fun?

Watson inbounds the ball to McVeigh near half court.  He drives enough to get the ball near the three point line, and throws up a three with Jackson right in his face.

And…

 

 

 

 

 

I think I don’t know what to think about this baseball firing

It is only Tuesday and the Mavericks are having a pretty big news worthy week for mid-July.  Former track athlete Sami Spenner competed in the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials over the weekend, the men’s soccer season-ticket scarves are out, men’s basketball landed a local commit, oh, and the baseball coach was fired at what seemed to be random.

Weird is the only word that really came to mind when I heard about the Bob Herold firing.  After the first year of being post season eligible, the timing just seemed completely off for a coach who seemed to be completely thrilled with the challenges of becoming a growing project of a division one baseball program, even though Herold was in his 60s when the transition was announced.

One of the things of what seemed so off about the firing was that this did not appear to be anything in relation to Herold’s performance as a baseball coach.  Herold’s .464 winning percentage since transition was the second highest at UNO behind (now former) softball’s Jeanne Scarpello out of the Maverick coaches that lasted at least 4 seasons.  Herold also guided his program to two regular season championships in his first two seasons of officially being in the Summit League.

In no way do I think that women’s soccer coach Don Klosterman or volleyball coach Rose Shires should be let go, but neither have had the success that Bob Herold had at UNO since transition.  Granted, Herold had just a little more time to adjust to division one with his program being a spring sport.  Let me say it again, in no way do I think Klosterman or Shires should be let go.

I admit that when I heard of the firing my brain immediately went to the route of: they must have some new lofty goals with the spring sports.  This is what my Creighton basketball loving/Husker football loving/Husker basketball hating friends have conditioned me for.  I’m not saying they were right or wrong, but when Nebraska made the move to the Big 10 and Pinnacle Bank Arena, those friends presumed that Doc Sadler was going to get fired only because Nebraska “wanted to start fresh.”  He got fired, so maybe they were right.

With the only UNO coaches with wins over Creighton or Nebraska now out as head coaches, either by choice or not, I wondered if the pressures of division one became too much with administration expecting more out of each program wanting to build more revenues for a new baseball/softball complex in the works.  Or, if in Herold’s case, Trev Alberts saw Coastal Carolina of the Big South win the NCAA baseball championship among a field that was scripted to be nothing but ACC and SEC teams, and thought to himself that with a few tweeks, UNO baseball could be right there.  Actually UNO has been literally in that stadium where Coastal Carolina, but you get it.

I didn’t spend much time thinking if the pressures became too much for baseball and softball, both coaching staffs knew what they were getting into when transition happened, but both baseball and softball lost their first Summit League tournament games in dramatic fashion after having late leads.

This is what my brain had to paint a picture of since the few initial reports were basically just: Coach fired just because, interim guy could be fun…

The baseball/softball complex comes to mind because it is something that UNO threw into some future renderings of the university that still have not come about.  Also, when I was on Student Government and Trev was new to the job, he came and asked us why students weren’t going to sporting events and I had to tell him that I really liked UNO sports but I seriously had no idea where the baseball team played.  Like, I knew it was off campus and probably in Boys Town, but I had no idea how to get there.  Then everyone in Student Government awkwardly nodded their heads in agreement.   I think I actually went some time assuming UNO did not actually play some of their baseball games and that the UNO coaching staff just called another MIAA or NCC coaching staff and agreed on some stats over the phone and flipped a coin for wins.

Still, who wouldn’t want UNO to have a new baseball/softball complex?  I’d much rather go to a baseball game near the Aksarben area where UNO fans could potentially tailgait.  Or go to a softball game and not worry that I am going to get a flat tire or have a high chance of having my car’s windshield smashed in with little league softball and baseball games surrounding the entire parking lot.

The interim tag on Evan Porter added even more mysteriousness to the situation.  We’re only a few weeks separated from the 2016 season and the 2017 play does not start until late February; so why officially name an Interim Coach when interested candidates could be sending in their resumes to UNO in the following weeks?  Hell, I wondered if some big name available baseball coach called Trev Alberts and asked if he had any openings just to mess with Trev’s head.  It just seems odd with no interim tag being placed on any softball coach.  Sitting on this took away some of my initial thoughts that Alberts just had someone out there in mind that he wanted to throw a job offer to right away.

Then later in the day, there is some reporting mixed into this that Herold had an altercation with a player on the team bus after a loss to Nebraska.  Which seems like it is really nothing since the firing came exactly two months after the loss.  Athletic Administrations have to do actual investigations into these instances, which apparently take up a lot of time.  So maybe that did play a role in the firing, but Herold always came off as one of the nicest and well spoken coaches at UNO, so as a fan it is not something I can really put a lot of weight into until someone in athletics says that is exactly why the firing took place.

 

I have no business listing off potential softball coaching candidates

I think the retirement of Jeanne Scarpello shocked a lot of Maverick faithful last week.  It was pretty unexpected considering the Mavericks just got through transition and have a bright future in softball, but per the release is stepping away to spend more time with family and you have to respect that.  Coaching softball takes up an incredible amount of my wife’s time and she is only coaching a few months of the year and not having to do all of the recruiting, off season work outs, and fall ball.  Well high school softball in Nebraska is played in the fall, but you get the idea.

I am not sure if Cory Petermann (I just realized that I want to scream “HEY PETER-MAN (Office Space),” will be able to be promoted to head coach or not.  I really hope that if a new coach is hired that they keep Petermann on the staff.  He’s been with the Mavericks for so long and has done so much to make the softball program one of the most successful athletic programs (that is still competing).

I’m not sure about other Mav fans feel, but I am fully confident in the hiring abilities of Trev Alberts and staff.  Dean Blais has taken Hockey to the Frozen Four.  Jason Mims built a program from scratch, his team was ranked in the top 25 for a short while in just the program’s 5th year of existing, and his recruits seem to get better and better each and every single season…which is actually to be expected, but still, it could have ended up much worse.  Chance Lindley was doing a stellar job with the women’s basketball team before unexpectedly in something that was just odd.  Alberts dropped the interim tag off of Brittany Lange, who is really kind of quietly building that basketball program into a competitor and gets better and better every year.  They’re going to be competing in the preseason WNIT in 2016 and they’re starting out at Colorado State, and that team could beat really Colorado State, who made the 2016 NCAA tournament, and possibly face off against Washington in the second round.  Excuse me, I have to go make make sure all of my bills get paid by my SouthWest Airlines Chase card so I can secure enough points for a free flight to Seattle in November…

Anyway, the Mavericks are looking for a softball coach.  I am sure that the process has already started, and we should hear who the newest head coach to Maverick athletics is in the coming weeks, but here are a list of random names that could be out there as potential candidates.  Do I have any business throwing out any names or have any insider info for this?  Certainly, no.  But when a football program like USC (which sucks) is looking for a new coach, some idiot online lists off a bunch of names that where only half of the list is actually being considered by USC and another portion of the list may just want to hear what USC has to say.  It’s just something kind of fun to talk about and contemplate as fans.

I’m content with being the idiot here.  Whatever coach does take over softball at UNO is getting a program that will be returning four All Conference players, and a part of an improving athletic department that is in the middle of upgrading their facilities and has mentioned the potential of a new softball (and baseball) stadium.


Tony Baldwin – Georgia Assistant

I’ve listed Baldwin here for no real reason for other than that I may have been Georgia’s Good Luck Guy.   It’s not a responsibility that I wanted, but it just happened.  Whenever I caught a Georgia softball game on ESPN3, or actual television, they completely dominated their opponent.  The Bulldogs were up 3-1 on Auburn when I was watching in the Women’s College World Series, and then I went for a walk and they ended up losing 3-4.

Baldwin is originally from the state of Indiana and played college baseball at Butler.  He has spent 2 season as an assistant at Georgia, he was an assistant baseball coach at Michigan State before taking on the job at Georgia.  He was mostly responsible for hitting and infielding for the Bulldogs, and in his first season at Georgia the team was 13th in the nation in batting average at .343, and they scored over 7 runs a game.

Jimmy Kolaitis – Oregon Assistant

Seriously, I have no business compiling this list.

Omaha is probably a far stretch for a guy that is an an assistant softball coach in the PAC 12, but going from a big name program to head coaching at a smaller program all to get a job as a head coach at a big name program again seems to be a likely road for many coaches.

Kolaitis was an assistant coach at South Alabama before taking the job at Oregon.  While at Oregon he has been in charge of coaching hitting, and the Ducks have one of the better offenses in college softball.  My wife is a huge Oregon Duck fan (seriously, this list is so biased) so I had to watch a number of Oregon softball games over the last 2 years, and their hitting is…dare I say it…”sick.”  Last season they had 8 of the 9 players in their lineup hitting above .300, which is “sick.”

Diane Miller – Nebraska Assistant

Miller has been an assistant for the Huskers since 2008, after coaching at Colorado State and has been primarily in charge of coaching hitting and the catchers.  With slight uncertainty where the Mavericks are going at the Catcher position after 4 years of Campbell Ditto behind the plate, it would be beneficial having Miller coach up catchers, especially in the beginning.

Miller has coached the Huskers to break more than 30 offensive records since becoming an assistant at Nebraska.  In her time in Lincoln, the Huskers have hit at an average of .295, which is right around where the Mavericks were this last season.  The chance to become a head coach, coach up a team that already has strong hitting, and develop a young team at an already successful program could be a huge attraction to Miller.

Ranae Sinkler – Creighton Assistant

Maybe this would help the relations between the Creighton and UNO program, who have still yet to face off since the Mavericks made the transition.  Sinkler is a Lincoln-native and currently works with hitters and infielders at Creighton, and while she was a player for the Bluejays she won the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year award in two separate seasons.

She graduated from Creighton in 2011 and has only been coaching for a few years, so she does not have a ton of experience.  She could continue to help the Mavericks recruit some of the better players out of the state of Nebraska.  This year Creighton had a fielding percentage of .961 and the Mavericks were at .956.

Still, UNO might be a difficult sell to anyone who has been involved with the one program, let alone Creighton, since their freshman year in college.

Jamie Trachsel – North Dakota State Co-Head Coach (Already took job at Iowa State)

So I was going to list Trachsel as a far fetch, but seriously why does North Dakota State need two coaches?  Trachsel took the job at Iowa State last week, and she was in charge of defense, recruiting, and scouting while with the Bison.  The Bison were first in the Summit in fielding percentage this season, and North Dakota’s roster is filled with players from the hot recruiting bed of softball we know as the state of California.  Maybe the Bison’s defense and recruiting will take a slight drop and open up the gates for Omaha and the rest of the Summit League to compete for conference championships again.

If you’re wondering about Iowa State softball: they finished the season at 20-35 and lost to UNO, Creighton, Northern Iowa, and Drake to name a few.

Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler – former Iowa State head coach

Iowa State didn’t renew her contract after going 20-35 in 2016 and had an overall losing record with the Cyclones in her 11 seasons in Ames.  She really helped the team improve their hitting in the beginning, and I really cannot imagine how hard it is to recruit softball players to play in Ames against the Big 12 competition.  Her players did well in the classroom with over 70 players make All Big 12 Academic teams in 11 seasons, and I know that is something that UNO Athletics would love.  Gemeinhardt-Cesler, which looks difficult to pronounce, was 153-76 in four seasons at the Division 2 level as a head coach, so maybe The Summit League is a more appropriate level for her than the Big 12.

I do not get why you still got beef on Trev

The UNO Mavericks hockey team made their first Frozen Four appearance.  UNO Men’s soccer tied for a regular season Summit League championship.  UNO baseball won a pair of regular season Summit League championships.  UNO volleyball has improved their record each season in the transition period.  UNO softball can compete with just about any team in the NCAA.  UNO men’s and women’s basketball are both still growing and gearing up to be at the top of the Summit League.  A brand new arena in Aksarben is being built to be the centerpiece of a strong foundation of the UNO athletics program.  Also, a few of the UNO teams are competing nationally with ranking their teams with some of the highest team GPAs in the NCAA.  With all of this, there are still people who claim they will never support UNO athletics as long as Trev Alberts is involved.

The transition to a higher status in athletics came with a great price, the price of UNO’s football and wrestling programs, and this did not sit well with many Omahans and it still does not sit well with many.  Much of the controversy surrounds around the fact that he cut the wrestling program after three straight national championships, and I totally agree that one is a hard one to still process.  Still, the overall decision to make the transition to division one came with several mixed emotions.

The feelings of the Omaha community thinking that the Mavericks should go division one started long ago.  When I was in high school we would always talk about it.  Imagine if they did it, what would it be like?  The basketball team could play in the Civic (we were so young and naive).  The baseball team could definitely take recruits away from Nebraska and Creighton, those guys that want to play right away would come to UNO.  How fun would it be to add a third team to the instate rivalry?  Oh, and what if Kear…never mind.  We were high school kids, we just thought of the positives if it were to happen, we never thought of the negative consequences.

The same thing happened while I was in college.  My friends and I would ask ourselves, will they ever become division one?  The Mavericks certainly have the resources to do it.  Obviously though we were not looking at any of the financial aspects of it, we were mainly looking at it in terms of a fine sports culture in the Omaha metro.  If the North Dakota and South Dakota schools could make the transition, then why could the Mavericks not do it?  Those were the questions we really sat around and debated as young college studs.  I mean young college students…students.  My sophomore year I was in an English course, and one of the assignments was an argumentative paper that you would eventually have to present to the class.  There were two softball players that wrote about the possibility of UNO becoming division one and what impacts that would have on the university.  Those girls knew that it would mean UNO would have to sacrifice post season play, and they were completely for it.  It was a five page paper, so it is not like those girls put together a bunch of financial charts and did as much investigation as a professional staff would have put together, so they did not really think that cutting a program or two would have been a part of the conversation.

After the university lost an Athletic Director, who you could sum up his tenure at UNO as “did not give a shit” after trying to get the program back in the green after a scandal that embarrassed the athletics department, the search for a new person in charge started.  There were some names thrown around, nothing really all that exciting, but how exciting could a Division 2 Athletic Director search get?  When Husker legend Trev Alberts’ name came up as a possibility, interest grew around that.

Alberts is a bit of a household name in the state of Nebraska, he is kind of a big deal.  When he took interest in being the Athletic Director at UNO, the people around here listened, and they thought he was trying to gear up to be the next Athletic Director at Nebraska.  From what I heard from other employees at UNO, Alberts was the only one who actually got an official interview for the job, it was just his if he wanted it from the second he took interest.  When he officially took the job at UNO, there was buzz around the athletics department for the first time in a long time.

When Alberts made the announcement that the Mavericks were headed to division one, some were in shock and others thought it was about freaking time.  When those people heard that the football program and the back to back to back championship wrestling program would be cut though, more came to be in shock than anything.  Many of positive feelings for Alberts turned negative.  How dare he?  Where does he get off?  Who does he think he is?  Not only were people critical of the decision to cut wrestling and football, when people heard the programs were being cut they automatically tried to turn him into the emperor and claim he must have forced Mike Kemp out.  Basically, Trev could do no right in the eyes of some.  If you think Trev was a just a prick 24/7, he is not.  He engages with students when he has the time, he engages with fans and boosters, which is something you will see from any Athletic Director.  He has a little fun with all the negative things people say about him too.  When there was a career fair for student employees in the newly renovated HPER building, he jokingly came in and asked for an application because he may be out of a job soon.

There were some people that wanted Trev’s head.  They claimed he always had it out for wrestling, that he had an agenda from the second he walked on campus, and he does not actually care about the UNO Mavericks, he just cares about his giant ego.  That concept of being upset with someone for that should irritate you.  Of course Trev had an agenda, but just because he cut two programs does not mean that was his intention from day one.  His agenda was to be a successful Athletic Director and to have an athletic department that the university could be proud of for their on the field achievements as well as their off the field achievements.  If you ever take a business class at UNO, one of the first things a professor will ask is “what is the number one goal of a business?”  Many students throw out an easy answer of “to make money.”  But the answer is to survive.

Trev took over an Athletic Department that was in trouble thanks to the past.  Other than hockey, there was little support from the community.  People just genuinely did not care a great deal about the UNO Mavericks.  In his first year, when the Mavericks were still in division two, I was on Student Government, Trev came and asked us all for our opinions on a few matters.  He never once asked how to get the Omaha community behind the Mavericks, he wanted to know how to get the student population to come out to UNO games.  He spoke of how when the university would try to recruit a professional to be a member of the administration, they would take the recruit to a sporting event, and the professionals would ask where the students were.  He talked about in his first meeting with the UNO athletics department staff that he asked the staff how many Division 2 national championships the program had, and no one knew the answer.  Even people in the athletic department were not completely engaged.  Now from what I have heard, everyone is engaged, and they appear to be proud members of the Maverick family (from the sound of it at least).

I remember walking to class before a football game, and Trev hosted a mini pep rally outside the student center and trying to promote a football game for the upcoming week.  Students walked by him like he was one of the crazy people on campus telling you…well crazy things.  That is just a couple of examples, about a total of 30 minutes that I viewed in my last year at UNO.  Do you really think he did not care about the UNO Mavericks and it was just all about him?  Or do you think he was doing what many adult professionals fail to do, he was actually trying to do his job.

It was difficult to lose the football and the wrestling programs, I agree.  I knew a few guys from each of the teams.  Some of them were genuinely nice guys, and some others were absolute dicks, but that is probably something that you could say about any social group of dudes.  I always felt awkward about the football program.  Pat Berhens was kind of a weird guy to begin with, but aside from that, the scheduling was always weird in my opinion.  A decent number of their games always seemed to mix right in with a Husker game, so you know those games would have a low turnout.  I remember one year they tried to have their spring game the exact same day as the Huskers’ spring game.  I was there for the start of it for an event that took place before the game, and I can tell you that literally no one showed up.  The wrestling program was a big shock, and pretty much why there was and still is so much animosity toward Trev.  Mike Denney was and is a great solid guy, he brought some impressive guys to UNO, and his accomplishments were obviously extraordinary.

Even with the great accomplishments of the wrestling program, the program was not greatly contributing to the longevity of the athletic department’s survival.  Even growing up for several years around rumors that UNO would make the jump to division one, there were, at some points, also many rumors that UNO would just cut a few athletic programs or even the entire thing.  If you get into a conversation with anyone who claims to have loved the UNO wrestling program, you will learn that they did not actually have a dying love for the UNO wrestling program.  They liked wrestling, and successful wrestling, but they did not actually like UNO so much to where they supported it by going to matches or keeping up with it unless they heard the UNO name in the national championship.  They regularly cannot name one wrestler, or clearly identify what years the program won a championship.  Yet, these are the same people who say they will never support UNO athletics as long as Trev Alberts is involved.

How freaking dumb is that?  So if he stepped down today, you will all of a sudden support the program again?  You are going to take your hate of Trev Alberts out on student athletes involved in the UNO athletics program?  It is not like the current athletes at UNO banned together as underclassmen in high school and held a gun against Trev’s head until he made them go division one.

Consider this you rummy…  Downtown Omaha became a vibrant atmosphere after the city of Omaha was able to build the CenturyLink Center from the popularity of the Creighton men’s basketball program.  That little area where TD Ameritrade Park is was once a step above a ghetto.  I do not know the appropriate unit of measure to use for the number of restaurants and bars that have moved in near the CenturyLink and TD Ameritrade Park since the two have been introduced to Omaha.  I will just say a crap ton.  Real estate in downtown has become more valuable, the recreation in downtown has become more attractive.  The rest of the state benefits off of purchases from the two arenas to build more arenas and recreation where it is suitable.  Much of downtown’s success could be contributed to Creighton basketball, as much as some people would hate to admit that, it is true.

Now look at the Aksarben area.  In 2010, the area was basically empty, it was an area that had UNO faithful asking what the hell was ever going to happen with the area.  A few things were being put up, but nothing anyone was bragging about.  Now look at it, the area is becoming a hot commodity.  You could probably contribute about 90% of that off of what UNO as a whole and what UNO athletics has brought to the area, and Aksarben is just getting started (again).  So in turn, because much of that area has been reborn thanks to the future of UNO athletics, are you going to not support Aksarben?  Or are you too proud to say you do not like Trev just because of his unsuccessful NFL career and it embarrasses you somehow as a Husker fan?  By the way, I never hear anyone whine about UNO cutting football.  Everyone seems okay with it.  They want to cry about how it was such a travesty to take away the opportunities for the wrestlers to wrestle and get an education, but then they easily forget that UNO had a football program.

The athletics program may have cut football and wrestling, but it is not like Trev got up on a microphone on a stage and pulled a Half Baked moment and pointed at Wrestling and said “F you” then pointed at football and said “F you” and then pointed at basketball and said “you’re cool.”  The athletics program and the university helped the student athletes move on, find new colleges, or finish their education at UNO.  By the way, I am pretty sure Northwest Missouri State and UNK bitch the least about UNO cutting the programs.

Look around as we are finally nearing the end of this transition.  Look at how many students and Mav fans made it to Boston for the Frozen Four. Look at how the attendances are gradually rising each year for all sports.  Do you see how many UNO students actually care about athletics right now, and we are not even at a status of being fully division one yet?  Look at the facilities that have been renovated and the ones that are about to come, and the ones that are still being imagined.  You may dislike Trev for whatever reason, but are you going to sit there and say he does a poor job?