NU Regent: Board Could ‘Wipe Out’ Big 10 Move

Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reports today, “an executive at a Big 12 school relayed to The World-Herald on Tuesday that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday.

Nebraska new basketball arena factor in Big 10 expansion interest

(Source: Nebraska’s new arena piqued Big 10’s interest in school)

Barfknecht added that NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman, “is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.

Brian Rosenthal of the LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR though reports that, “as of Tuesday, the topic is not on the agenda, although an item can be added as late as 24 hours in advance — in this case, 1 p.m. Thursday.

NU Board of Regents member Randy Ferlic told the Journal-Star that he hasn’t heard anything yet from Perlman or Osborne.

“I have not had any official or unofficial notification of anything other than what I’ve read in the newspapers and heard on the news.  If they were going to do something on Friday, I’d certainly want to get some backup data to support whichever way I want to vote. I don’t feel like I was ever elected to be a nod, and I’m not a nod.”

NU Communications Manager Melissa Lee said Tuesday that approval from the Board of Regents wouldn’t necessarily be required for the school to change conference affiliations.

In response to Lee’s assertion, NU Regent Ferlic scoffed at that possibility.

That said, the Board of Regents “could absolutely wipe out” any decisions by the administration, Ferlic said.

“Once they present us with all the pros and cons, which they will, and we may have some questions, then I think they’ll have to convince us (of) whatever decision they make,” Ferlic said.

“I don’t have any knowledge. I assume Tom Osborne and Harvey (Perlman) are busy compiling the data and trying to sift through the various options.”

Tom Osborne said on his monthly statewide radio show on Tuesday night that he hoped the matter of conference affiliation for Nebraska would be resolved soon.

“There’s a lot of information we really don’t have right now. Hopefully we’ll get these put together in the next few days.”

More from the World-Herald:

Sources at two other Big 12 schools told The World-Herald that their athletic directors have instructed them to be ready by week’s end for a briefing on probable Big 12 changes.

On the subject of Osborne’s relationship with Texas officials, the former Huskers football coach was more direct.

“We certainly don’t have anything against anybody in the Big 12. This decision is not going to be based on animosity or petty jealousy. You’re talking about something that could maintain for the next 75 to 100 years.

“This is a big deal in terms of the University of Nebraska. It’s a big deal for other institutions. You don’t ever make a decision based on personal likes and dislikes.

“This is not a case of reacting to any one school. particularly Texas.”

A Big 12 official, speaking on the condition of anonymonity, told me Wednesday that Perlman will be the prime mover in the final decision - not Osborne.

The same official also indicated to me today that Nebraska’s newly-approved 16,000-seat basketball arena has been a significant factor in the Big Ten’s interest in the school.

What’s most interesting about this entire situation is that there’s no indication that Nebraska has been provided an invitation to join the Big Ten. Additionally, there’s no reason to believe that the Big 12’s reported June 17 deadline for a decision on conference affiliation by the school will dictate what the Big Ten does in this instance.

Yesterday the Colorado Board of Regents met to discuss the possibility of joining an exodus of Big 12 teams to the Pac-10, though it was later revealed that the school had not received an invitation of any sort from the Pac-10.

For all we know, absolutely nothing will happen from all of these reports and meetings.

In fact, if I was to bet what will happen, I’d say right now that the Big Ten will ultimately do nothing.