Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst released a statement of support for the Husker football team on Monday.
The message, addressed to the "Husker family" and posted to the Nebraska athletics Twitter account just after 11 a.m., expressed the A.D.'s "sincere appreciation" to fans and stated that he knows Husker fans are "understandably disappointed" with NU's 3-6 record, but expressed confidence in the program's direction.
Eichorst has said in the past that it's his personal policy to never comment on a coach or results during a season, though the Twitter post seems to be a departure from that policy, as he directly addresses the team's on-field performance and stresses patience with first-year coach Mike Riley as he "rebuilds our storied program one brick at a time."
The A.D.'s last press conference before a group of reporters was during the announcement of Riley's hiring in December 2014, a lack of face time that staff writer Lee Barfknecht wrote about in his Monday column.
During Monday's Husker sports press conference, Riley said he wasn't surprised that Eichorst stepped up to show support for the team, adding that he received a heads up from NU staff that a statement would be released.
Here's the complete text of Eichorst's statement:
Dear Husker Family,
I want to express my sincere appreciation to every Husker fan who has come to Memorial Stadium this season to cheer on the Big Red; who has traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to proudly wear the red and white in visiting stadiums; and who has passionately supported our student-athletes, our head coach, our assistant coaches and staff. Your support and patience as Mike Riley rebuilds our storied program one brick at a time mean the world to our young men, our staff and our university.
While many are understandably disappointed in the current record of the football team and the heartbreakingly close losses we have suffered, I am confident the future is bright because I see it in the eyes of our players, coaches and staff and I am impressed by what I know is going on behind the scenes. Our coaches are developing our student-athletes and, though the consistent victories are not there yet, I am confident they will come. I have witnessed how our young men battle every day in practice and fight to the finish on game days in the face of great adversity. Football can be a humbling game of inches and seconds and our players have laid everything on the line while making no excuses. The prospective student-athletes looking to make Nebraska home possess athletic talent, academic potential, and high character making for a bright future. Coach Riley has a vision and a plan and is committed to providing the Husker faithful with a sustained winner which will compete annually for championships.
As I have said many times, it is an honor and privilege to represent Nebraska, and I am humbled and care deeply about the men and women I have a chance to work with every day here. The incredible amount of hours they put in and the sacrifices they all make to represent Nebraska are truly remarkable. In two decades as a student-athlete and athletics administrator, I have had the opportunity to learn and work alongside some incredible people at five different institutions. What the best administrators and coaches have in common is a consistent commitment to teaching young minds to do things the right way and to instill a values system that emphasizes hard work, discipline, loyalty, teamwork, compassion and excellence. Those principles coupled with a positive attitude generally result in championships.
Your continued support is what makes Nebraska special and together, we will do great things. Thank you again for your incredible passion and support. We look forward to another home sellout and an electric environment on Saturday as we come together to cheer on our team against Michigan State.
Have a great week and Go Big Red!