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A few years ago I was with my wife and her family in Alliance, Neb. We spent one day at her Uncle Larry's farm. Since I don't milk or rope cows, I volunteered to stay back and watch TV.
Live from Hawks Field, the Nebraska baseball game was on NETV. What a beautiful thing. The whole family watched.
Now what am I going to do in Alliance on an April weekend?
Husker baseball has moved from NETV to Cox cable. This has been a somewhat controversial move, especially for the multitude of Nebraskans who don't get Cox. Conspiracy theorists have said Athletic Director Steve Pederson made the move because he's feuding with NETV.
Not true, Pederson said on Monday. The move was made for one reason.
"Recruiting," Pederson said. "The wave of the future for sporting events is cable TV. We want to find out what is out there with cable TV. NETV is fabulous. They're great to work with.
"But the fact is, we have to recruit nationally, in all sports. And getting our product on cable is a way for recruits to see it. This might allow us to be on CSTV (College Sports TV), or the sports cable network in Kansas City, Texas or Colorado, where Mike (Anderson) recruits a lot. We don't know what's out there. This is about finding out."
Pederson said NU expects to make a little revenue after expenses, but not much. He also added that he "understands" the frustration statewide (where instate recruits could tune in) and wants to continue to work with NETV in the future.
In the meantime, I'll be looking for a spot with a satellite dish next time I'm in Alliance.
I don't know if you know this or not, but Creighton beat George Mason by 20. And, you may have heard, the Jays return a ton of folks next season, including some kid named Nate Funk.
So goes the logic: If George Mason can make the NCAA Final Four, a school like Creighton can make a run, too, right?
"Oh, I don't know," Creighton coach Dana Altman said on Monday. "It's still about matchups in the tournament. George Mason is playing great at the right time. But, it does give hope to any team."
Altman added, "It's exciting to see them crack the Final Four. They come to the Qwest Center next year, so that will be great for the fans. I knew they were really good. The coaches in their league told me they were going to be really good this year. We took that game as strictly an RPI game."
Memo to Husker Hoops: If you're that desperate to find a game next season, I know a few coaches in the Missouri Valley - say, 10 of them - who would take your call and play you anywhere.
All you'd have to do is return the game. Nebraska basketball is not above that. In fact, the Valley RPIs would help NU. The Valley schools might want some coin, but they, too, are desperate for "BCS" games. Plus, a game with Wichita State, Missouri State or Bradley might bring a great crowd to the Devaney Center and pay for itself.
For the longest time, the old Big Eight schools have been downright disappointing in basketball. They've let the South pass them by. No more.
Bob Huggins to Kansas State. UAB's Mike Anderson to MU. Greg McDermott to Iowa State. These are three statements that the Big 12 North is ready to get back into the basketball business. Iowa State's statement came in the short leash by new Athletic Director Jamie Pollard, who didn't have to fire Wayne Morgan but did, anyway, mostly because he wasn't satisfied with the program.
Will McDermott succeed at this level? If he can find a recruiting hook at ISU, he will. From Johnny Orr (Detroit) to Tim Floyd (Louisiana and jucos) to Morgan (New York), Cyclone coaches have had an inroad somewhere. To win, McDermott will have to find a recruiting base (Minnesota?).
Great run by the Missouri Valley. The MVC put up and now CBS can shut up. Now, the fun part. Creighton and Southern Illinois aren't going away. But Bradley (with its recruiting proximity in Illinois) and Wichita State (close to the Kansas jucos) are going to make it crowded at the top.
The blowout loss to Boston U. shouldn't taint what was a breakthrough season for UNO hockey. Can the Mavs go back to the NCAAs next season? Better question: Will Scott Parse be back?
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