Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Devaney Doldrums

PYB wants to thank the Omaha World-Herald's Lee Barfknecht for helping us out today, by ripping the NU athletic department (deservedly so) for it's horribly embarrassing basketball gameday environment. We have railed on about this one for several years, and enjoy having someone else do the heavy lifting on this point for once. Simply a great column that will surely draw the ire of all the brain dead Nebraskans who will miss the point, as always.

There is only so much pessimism and rage that we can muster toward the accepted mediocrity now leveled at the NU AD's "minor sports", as TO and Company allow the demise of every program that was once great.

Thanks to the mismanagement of program, not paying attention to detail, and Title IX....the below have gone from great to mediocre or from consistently nationally ranked to damn near dead or from average to horrible or to defunct:

Men's Gymnastics
Women's Gymnastics
Men's Track
Women's Track
Men's Swimming
Women's Swimming
Men's Golf
Women's Golf
Women's Soccer

Are women's volleyball, rifle and bowling really the only three sports where NU stands out these days? What exactly is Tom Osborne doing to strive for excellence?

NU is a conflicted program. The folks in Lincoln want to 'embrace tradition', but sacrificed gameday atmospheres at Memorial Stadium & the Devaney Center so they could blast "Start Me Up" before kickoff and "Cotton Eye Joe" during timeouts. They move to the old school Big 10, but are afraid to embrace the old school N from the helmets and Cornhusker identity and use the embarrassing "N-Huskers" or "Iron N" logo and dorky 'Huskers mantra in their place.

There's no getting away from the school's Midwestern roots. Never will be. PYB doesn't see programs like Iowa, Iowa State, Wisconsin or Purdue running from their heritage. NU has had more athletic success than those schools...why is the administration so afraid of using their tradition properly?

Side note: The fact that Tyronn Lue is not properly honored anywhere in the Devaney is a crime and a bad joke.

Barfknecht has been a PYB target for years, because of his overly cynical NU football coverage...especially in comparison to his man crushes on Bill Snyder and the entire Iowa State operation. But he hits home here with great points. And for that, we thank you.

On a positive note, it was nice to see Kansas revert to form last night in Manhattan. In the Jayhawks' first game back at #1, they got bottle blasted by Frank Martin's Mildcats 84-68. So much for Marcus, or Markwieff or whichever overrated brother it was, wishing to be back at the top of the NCAA hoops heap. We absolutely cannot wait for another second-round tourney loss by Bill Self & crew!!!

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