LINCOLN — 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.
NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman has declined all interviews about conference realignment and expansion. He is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.
Direct confirmation from Nebraska of a conference change for the Huskers wasn't immediately available. 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.
Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne offered implicit confirmation Tuesday night that the timetable on national conference realignment has been accelerated.
On his monthly appearance on the Husker Sports Network, Osborne said:
“I think before too long — I don't know exactly what that time frame is — we'll be able to put this to bed," then he jokingly added, “because I'm getting tired of it."
The Big Ten first revealed on Dec. 15 that it was considering expansion, and that it would take 12 to 18 months to act.
Now, six months after that initial announcement, multiple sources have indicated that the Big Ten is prepared to add one to five schools (including Nebraska), and that the Pacific 10 is courting all six schools from the Big 12 South Division.
“There's a lot of information we really don't have right now," Osborne said. “Hopefully we'll get these put together in the next few days.
“Anything I would say regarding Nebraska's position or other schools in the Big 12 would be pure speculation. And I don't think that's very helpful."
Another issue Osborne addressed is recent speculation that he has a personal grudge against Texas or that he is basing decisions on some hatred of the Longhorns.
“We certainly don't have anything against anybody in the Big 12," Osborne said. “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."
Osborne said he gets along “very well" with Texas A.D. DeLoss Dodds and is a “great admirer" of UT football coach Mack Brown.
“This is not a case of reacting to any one school," Osborne said, “particularly Texas."
Earlier Tuesday, The World-Herald requested an interview with Dodds. His spokesman, from Austin, Texas, said Dodds was unavailable because of a personal commitment.
Contact the writer:
* * * * * * *
Join us Friday for an all-day discussion about Nebraska's plans for conference realignment. World-Herald reporter Jeff Robb will live blog the Nebraska Board of Regents meeting starting at 1 p.m. Lee Barfknecht and Tom Shatel could join in as news breaks. Sign up below for an e-mail reminder, then check back at Omaha.com on Friday morning to submit your questions and discuss the potential move with other fans.