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Prime directors aren’t simply exhibiting up for Omaha sports activities, they’re selling them

  • SPORTS

First downs and second guesses:

It is the final weekend in January and Omaha Hockey is in third place on the NCHC.

However there is a larger story occurring right here.

I noticed it two weeks in the past. One thing unbelievable.

On Thursday evening, Jan. 12, greater than 200 former UNO soccer gamers gathered at a Maverick basketball recreation at Baxter Enviornment.

The outdated Bulls frolicked ultimately zone, hugging teammates and buddies they hadn’t seen in years. They drank. They informed tales. They had been launched to the gang at halftime.

Then they went again and stayed till the tip.

On the following evening, on the UNO hockey recreation, NU President Ted Carter hosted a tailgate celebration on the apply ice at Baxter for the larger boosters and “key stakeholders” of UNO. Chancellor Joanne Li additionally attended, together with athletic director Adrian Dowell.

Persons are additionally studying…

Carter, a former school hockey participant whose nickname was “Slap Shot,” wore a grey UNO jersey. So did Li.

Carter did an interview on nationwide TV (CBS Sports activities Community) and talked about hockey and UNO. He is one of the vital sports-centric presidents NU has had.

Li, a CFA, arrived at UNO admitting she did not know a lot about sports activities. However she has made up for it with power and fervour. She reveals up. She cares. She understands how vital athletics are to the varsity.

That is extra vital than data.

In the meantime, as Carter and Li had been promoting the varsity and program that evening, they introduced a contract extension for head coach Mike Cupboard, by way of 2026. Sure, in the midst of the season.

The soccer reunion went so effectively that Dowell says they need to schedule extra occasions with former soccer gamers.

And he plans on inviting the previous UNO wrestlers and coaches again for a reunion, too.

In case you’re a Maverick, pinch your self.

The highest directors at UNL and UNO should not solely exhibiting up for Maverick sports activities, they need to promote sports activities.

The NU President and UNO Chancellor and athletic director are all standing hand-in-hand-in hand. They work collectively.

And now all factions of UNO alumni are getting collectively and on the identical web page.

Trev Alberts units the desk. However he could not do that as athletic director. He could not convey the soccer gamers and wrestlers—who all have test books—again into the fold.

It has been some time since we have seen such stability and teamwork at UNO. Perhaps the Del Weber and Don Leahy days.

However the stakes are larger now. A hockey enviornment have to be crammed. A Division I males’s basketball workforce should pull its weight. Requirements for NCAA Division I membership hold evolving. UNO has to maintain up.

I do not know what the ceiling is for UNO sports activities. With solely 16 NCAA hockey bids, it is laborious for Mav hockey to make the tourney regularly. More durable nonetheless for the basketball workforce in a one-bid league.

However with this sort of administrative help and alums standing collectively, Dowell’s division has an opportunity to search out that ceiling. Or create a brand new one.

Now, if they will simply get extra of these grey jerseys.

Nebrasketball and accidents

Accidents occur. And they’re the worst.

The lack of Juwan Gary and Emmanuel Bandoumel for the season drastically modifications Nebraska males’s basketball.

With these two, you possibly can see 5, possibly six possibilities for wins and a shot at a post-season tourney.

Now, it is laborious to inform what number of wins is perhaps left.

The Huskers (10-10) are skinny. Gary and Bandoumel did a lot. Sam Griesel and Derrick Walker, run that two-man recreation.

Rhule and the portal

It seems that Matt Rhule is adapting to the switch portal fairly properly.

Cupboard’s extension

Dowell pointed to Mike Cupboard making the NCAA match in 2021 and his 21 wins final yr as causes for the contract extension (2026). He stated if UNO makes the NCAA tourney through the subsequent three seasons, the contract rolls over to 2027.

“We have now the proper momentum,” Dowell stated. “To his credit score, he does have various nice recruiting lessons stacked up. The teaching employees and roster is certainly headed in the proper route.”

Playoff internet hosting?

The NCAA’s can be good. However I am wanting on the Mavs’ place in third place within the NCHC.

Prime 4 host the primary spherical of the league playoffs at house. UNO has by no means hosted a playoff recreation at Baxter Enviornment. And by no means been to the NCHC Frozen Face-Off.

5 league collection stay, together with a end with first-place St. Cloud at house and at North Dakota.

One other Huge East week

Xavier (8-1) performs at UConn and Creighton. CU (5-3) hosts St. John’s and the Muskies.

An opportunity for the Jays to construct a win streak in a league the place there aren’t many, and make a transfer on the highest.

Simply one other massive week within the Huge East.

Pink Out recreation

The annual Pink Out recreation (Xavier) on Saturday is one among my favourite occasions of the yr.

Omaha seems nice in pink. And the inexperienced ($27,432) goes to a worthy trigger, Omaha’s Hope Lodge.

No Steve Lavin for $1 drink evening on Wednesday. Creighton may have to schedule the College of San Diego for $1 drink evening subsequent yr.

Another and I am outta right here

Patrick Mahomes on one leg vs. Joe Burrow? Go the popcorn.

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