So, is Jamie Williams the succession plan?
Sorry. I meant Dr. Jamie Williams.
It's still too early to say. Harvey Perlman said he is going to conduct a national search for an athletic director when Tom Osborne resigns. (Nobody's trying to push Osborne out, but this topic is of interest to Nebraska fans).
I believe Perlman. He did the automatic thing in 2002, bringing home native son Steve Pederson. It was wildly popular at the time. We all know how that turned out.
I don't think there will be any automatic things this time. Perlman will do his due diligence. You never know who's out there.
But Williams looks like a game-changer and he may have just changed the game. His credentials are impressive.
Former Husker football player. Super Bowl champ. Dynamic personality.
He created a Division II athletic department at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He did work as a screenwriter, director and actor. It's a worldly, accomplished résumé.
Does that make him more qualified than Paul Meyers or Trev Alberts? I don't know. But the speculation list just expanded. All eyes are going to be on Williams and the work he does for Osborne as associate athletic director of diversity and leadership initiatives.
It's hard not to connect the dots, especially since one of Williams' roles at NU is to “oversee the athletic department's long-term strategic plan.” It will be interesting to see what other roles he plays, and how visible he becomes.
One more thing: Osborne recruited him to come back to Lincoln.
Presumably not to film a movie or tell Roger Craig stories.
• It's time to move Bob Boozer Drive. Let's bring it downtown. Let's make it visible for Omahans and the world to see.
Let's take the stretch of 10th Street in front of CenturyLink Center and name that Bob Boozer Drive.
Omaha has so many sports legends we take for granted. We need to remember Boozer. Every time we'd walk up to see a basketball game, you'd see his name. Visitors to our city would know an Olympic, NBA and college legend grew up here.
Boozer was the greatest basketball player to come out of Nebraska.
Unless it was his old friend, Bob Gibson, who decided to play like Bill Russell from the pitcher's mound.
Boozer was the legend next door. A regular guy you could talk to, and oh, how he loved to chat about sports. Omaha sports. Kansas State. NBA. Olympics. He held tight to his roots. But he would talk any sports. I called him Omaha's biggest sports fan.
You would see him at most any sporting event, and fewer and fewer people would recognize him. That never bothered him because Boozer wasn't about being a celebrity.
But he was filled with passion. Every once in a while my phone would ring and on the other end I'd hear, “Shatel! Boozer here...” and off he'd go.
The first time I heard from him was in 1992, before I was off to the 1992 Summer Olympics. Bob wanted to make sure I knew the first “Dream Team” was the dominant 1960 gold medal team that included Boozer, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and was coached by Pete Newell. A team of all amateurs, Bob would remind.
A year or so later, he was stumping for his Omaha Racers. Boozer used to go to games with Gibson. Boozer was a season-ticket holder and could never understand why more folks didn't get behind the CBA.
Whenever I would write about Michael Jordan, Bob would call to tell me Oscar was just as good back in the day.
Whenever I would take a poke at Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder, the Boozer call was not far behind. He loved his Wildcats. He invited me to tag along when they retired his jersey in 2005. I couldn't make it, but I wish I'd gone.
I'm going to miss those calls. I'm going to miss the man. I hope we can do something to remember him, something permanent. Let's put Boozer Drive down in front of our city hoop, where it belongs.
• The people who were mocking the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl for being outdated and meaningless are now calling the SEC-Big 12 brilliant for creating their own Rose Bowl. Huh?
• If Chuck Neinas is not the greatest conference commissioner of all time, he's certainly the greatest interim commish. Neinas just put our old chums in the Big 12 in position to grow into a super conference, whatever that is. If that happens, there's irony there for Neinas.
Thirty years ago, Neinas created the 60-member College Football Association, a vehicle to get the big-time football schools together to make their own rules separate of the NCAA. Who knows? Neinas may still get his wish.
• Don't look for the Big Ten to expand anytime soon. But when it happens, look for Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia on the radar. It will come from the east. And that should push Wisconsin west into the Legends Division, along with Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa. Wow.
• If Bob Bowlsby wants to play serious dominoes, here's what the new Big 12 commish does: Go after Florida State and Louisville. Each move seriously damages the ACC and Big East. The latter could nudge Notre Dame to put its non-football sports in the Big 12. Notre Dame football in a league? I'll believe it when I see it.
• Some folks are calling Creighton's 5-0 win against Valley champ Indiana State on Tuesday an “upset.” Except that's the CU we expected to see before the season. The Bluejays can erase the disappointment of this season in one week. They're off to a flying start.
• There will be a Nebraska connection in this year's College Football Hall of Fame class. It's Ron Harms, who is going in as a small-college head coach.
Harms did most of his winning at Texas A&M-Kingsville. But he began his career at Concordia College in 1962. He led the Bulldogs to a 7-0 record and the National Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in his third year. He did it again in 1969, then left for Adams State (Colo.) College in 1970.
• One of the positive influences the Big Ten is going to have on Nebraska football is the stadium atmosphere factor. Students in Big Ten stadiums that I've been to get good seats and have an impact on the game. Big Ten crowds have their chants and songs. They don't have a lot of commercials. Let's hope that rubs off on NU.
• I already made the first pilgrimage to Adventureland of the summer and I learned two things. One, I've been on my last roller-coaster ride. Two, I need to campaign to get a “Jethro's BBQ” to Omaha. The Des Moines chain has amazing grub. Two words: Brisket sliders.
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