Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:21 am / Updated at 8:03 pm
ATHLETICS
Eichorst taking a low-key approach during Big Ten meetings

LINCOLN — Just because Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst didn’t issue any proclamations after the recent Big Ten meetings doesn’t mean he sat in the back of the room twiddling his thumbs.

His style, Eichorst said Wednesday, and his status as the newest member of the A.D.’s club makes him more a researcher than a newsmaker for now.

“I’m not in a situation yet in the best interests of Nebraska to get out there with anything,” he said. “I would hate to come out with something that doesn’t come to fruition.

“I know our fan base is very passionate and is hanging on some of this stuff. But I’d rather get it right.”

Big Ten athletic directors and coaches met Sunday and Monday in Chicago, and talk of big changes followed:

Ľ Commissioner Jim Delany said the league will play nine or 10 conference games after Rutgers and Maryland join, instead of the current eight per season.

Ľ Ohio State A.D. Gene Smith pushed for night football games in November, and Delany said the Big Ten wouldn’t hinder such a movement.

Ľ Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez said members have agreed to stop scheduling Football Championship Series (formerly I-AA) schools after current contracts are fulfilled.

Ľ There was general talk from several sources that the split of divisions in 2014 when the league grows to 14 will be geographic, as Delany said last December when Rutgers and Maryland were announced.

Increasing the number of conference football games played will impact nonconference scheduling, and could make it difficult to schedule seven home games each year.

MORE BIG TEN NEWS
Get the latest Big Ten headlines from The World-Herald and from beat writers around the nation.

“We’ve got to keep that in consideration,” Eichorst said. “I know it’s important, but there are a lot of moving parts yet.”

Nebraska, like many power conference schools, relies on the revenue from a minimum of seven home football games a year to pay for other sports.

“With the current revenue structure in place, I think (seven home games) is vitally important,” Eichorst said. “But if there are other revenue streams that occur from mixing up the scheduling, that might take some pressure off that.”

Some Big Ten A.D.s noted that a big bump in TV revenue from a new contract in 2017 could make up for revenue lost without a seventh home game.

Though Nebraska’s athletic department budget could remain whole in such a scenario, fewer home games would dramatically impact hotels, restaurants and merchants in Lincoln and Omaha.

As for home night games in November, Eichorst wanted to clarify an espn.com report from Delany saying Nebraska, Penn State and Ohio State had lobbied for more night games.

“I was taken aback by that,” Eichorst said. “I checked back with Jim, and he indicated that was the position of the coaches. That wasn’t anything I endorsed.

“We’re all interested in looking at all variables. But I don’t have enough information yet.”

Big Ten athletic directors will hold more teleconferences this month and are scheduled to meet face-to-face again at the men’s basketball tournament in Chicago March 14 to 17.

“Really, everything is under consideration,” Eichorst said.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1024, lee.barfknecht@owh.com

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht

lee.barfknecht@owh.com    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >