Through Friday, Mad Chatter will post a series of blogs reflecting on Husker recruiting history.
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Lee Terry was five years away from winning a seat in Congress when Husker fanaticism got the best of him.
Just before Signing Day 1994, the 32-year-old Omaha City Council member penned this letter to the World-Herald editor:
“I'm always disappointed when the Huskers lose a highly visible, major recruit to another school. But the commitment of Lincoln Southeast's Ty Goode to Notre Dame invokes much harsher feelings.
“I'm just not sure at whom to be angry: Goode for his obvious insult and slap in the face of his fellow Nebraskans or the coaches for losing the two best in-state recruits two years in a row.” Lee R. Terry, Omaha
Nebraska was coming off an 18-16 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Tom Osborne was knocking on the door of a national championship. This probably wasn’t the right time to criticize Osborne -- or Ty Goode.
The rebuttals came fast and furious to The World-Herald.
Lee R. Terry (Voice, Feb. 2), you have a right to be disappointed in losing top native prospects to other college football programs. However, the prospects have every right to go to a program of their choice.
We have no right to be angry and get down on them. These gifted young men have dreams and should be allowed to follow them. John Mierau, Columbus, Neb.
Lee R. Terry, I'm sure that most Nebraska football fans would have loved to see Ty Goode and Scott Frost perform for the Huskers, but since both decided to pursue their college careers elsewhere, I would hope that all Nebraskans would wish these native sons nothing but success and good luck.
Anyone who would begrudge a 17 - or 18 - year - old the right to broaden horizons and fulfill dreams at the college or university of their choice, lives in a very small world. Pat Mullins, Bellevue
If Lee R. Terry feels he was somehow insulted by Ty Goode's decision to attend an out-of-state college, I'd say Terry has a real problem. I don't feel insulted at all, but rather I wish Ty the best of luck. Frank Schepers, Omaha
And you thought Terry's comments about his keeping his paycheck during the 2013 government shutdown were unpopular!
Terry isn’t the only politician to interject his opinions on Signing Day, of course. Ernie Chambers stole the headlines from Frank Solich in 2002.
On Signing Day, Chambers used the floor of the Nebraska Legislature to blast Frank Solich because the Husker head coach refused to release Manaia Brown from his scholarship.
Brown wasn’t a recruit; he’d just completed his true freshman season. He said he wanted to transfer so he could be closer to his 81-year-old father in Utah. Solich said no. His reason? Another school had made improper contact with Brown while he was home over the holiday break.
Chambers didn’t like it.
"We have allowed this coach to assume the status of a God," Chambers said. "He is accountable to nobody. Well, now he is accountable, and I'm going to smoke him out."
Regardless of the situation, Chambers said, Brown should receive a release.
"These young players, as I've said in the past, are exploited by UNL and other football factories," said the Omaha legislator, who has argued for college football players to receive pay. "Why will they not set him free? Because they want to punish him.
"Here is a young man with a serious problem, and the coach shows no mercy."
By denying Brown a release, Solich could’ve prevented Brown from receiving financial aid from another institution in his transfer year.
Chambers called Solich "cowardly” and “a would-be slave master.”
"He's got a football for a head and basketball for brains," the legislator said. "He is willing to milk this money off the backs of these players, and then he gives them the back of his hand."
Asked how he would resolve this situation, Chambers said, "They'll find out, but I assure you that they know I do not shoot blanks, and I do not bluff."
Solich had little to say about Chambers' accusations. "I really don't have any response to it."
But two days later, he released Manaia Brown from scholarship.
"We have confirmed with another institution that contact was made between Manaia and that institution," Solich said, "which made my initial decision to deny the release the appropriate action."
Brown said he was the one who made contact with another university. He said he called a BYU assistant and told him he wanted to be closer to home.
Brown did in fact transfer to BYU, started in 2004-05 on the defensive line.