LINCOLN — Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said he first heard the rumors Monday night while eating dinner with his wife, Kendra. He received texts from friends and colleagues about his potential firing.
Kendra pulled up one rumor on her phone. The two couldn’t believe it. Sometime after, Moos said, he received a call from NU President Hank Bounds that he and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green would issue a full statement of support.
That statement came Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon, Moos said in an interview with The World-Herald that rumors of his firing and misuse of alcohol in any setting “have no merit.”
“I’m a man of the people, and I like being around people,” Moos said of occasionally having a drink in public. “They like being around me. But it’s never outside the lines.”
Sign up for Big Red Today news alerts
Get a daily Husker news roundup, recruiting updates and breaking news in your inbox.
Bounds and Green issued their joint statement of support to The World-Herald and another news outlet that had requested comment on Moos’ status.
“In his first 15 months, Bill has done a great job guiding our athletic department. He has our full support, and we look forward to his continued strong leadership,” the statement read.
Bounds, contacted separately, said through a text that there was “nothing” to rumors about Moos.
Also, NU spokeswoman Melissa Lee said through texts that Moos is “not getting fired” and “has not quit.”
Furthermore, NU Regents Chairman Tim Clare of Lincoln said through a text: “No validity to the rumors.”
Moos’ refutation was just as strong to a wide variety of unsubstantiated rumors that flew all over social media and the Internet Sunday and Monday.
One rumor Moos addressed revolved around an alleged incident involving alcohol in a suite during Nebraska’s Oct. 6 football game at Wisconsin. Moos said it didn’t happen.
“I had one helluva hot dog, though,” Moos said, joking that it was the second-best from any Husker football road trip behind one at Northwestern.
Questions surrounding Moos’ status prompted inquiries to the university. The World-Herald published a story on Jan. 16 about Moos’ absence from men’s basketball games. Moos said he had been to three or four games by that point in the season. He was not at the Ohio State game Saturday, he said, because he was attending the NCAA convention in Orlando, Florida.
Moos attended Tuesday’s basketball game and sat in his balcony suite, opposite the team benches, wearing a gray Adidas sweatshirt.
“I get a good view of the court and I can watch the crowd,” he said. He prefers a smaller crowd of people around him at sporting events so he can “observe and assess” the action. Moos said he thinks he attends enough sporting events in general — including his first rifle competition recently and a baseball practice Tuesday.
“I’m guessing if you asked my coaches what they think of me, you’d get a thumbs-up,” Moos said.
Moos recently put up for sale his condo — in the Haymarket area near Pinnacle Bank Arena — with an eye on “testing the market with thoughts of getting something possibly larger to entertain.”
Moos came to Nebraska in 2017 from Washington State, where he had served since 2010 and was dean of Pac-12 athletic directors. He also had previously been A.D. at Oregon from 1995 through 2007.
Moos signed a five-year deal with Nebraska in 2017, when he was 66. It included a base salary of $1 million through the 2018 calendar year. His pay then increases $50,000 per year to $1.2 million in 2022.