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Thursday, September 27, 2012
What they're saying about Tom Osborne

By Adam Rittenberg

Tom Osborne's announcement Wednesday that he's retiring as Nebraska's athletic director Jan. 1 resonated throughout the sports world.

Here's some of what has been written about Osborne's amazing career at Nebraska. ...

The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel: "Even icons must hang 'em up eventually. The old fisherman did it the way he did everything, in his wonderfully understated manner. He laid out the reasons like cards on a table. He wasn't going to sort through the accomplishments of a brilliant career, or even tell us what they meant. He's left that for our microscopes, like he always did. Osborne is a man of two NU legacies. Two acts. Coach. Athletic director."

The Lincoln Journal Star's Steven M. Sipple: "Amid the pressure and hysteria of high-profile college athletics, Osborne always seems to provide a sense of calm. Running the Nebraska football program can derail the toughest of coaches. Running an athletic department can be equally tiring and stressful -- lots of hours, lots of weekends, handshakes, complaints. Osborne makes his way with a quiet confidence, a strong sense of dignity and respect. So many brush fires -- and a few raging storms -- but so much calm."

The Sporting News' Matt Hayes: "They'll talk about those great Nebraska teams. The three national championships in four years, the countless All-Americans, the lives he touched and the players he made and saved -- or tried, and failed, to save. Here's what I'll remember most about Osborne: his competitive desire to win."

ESPN.com's Mitch Sherman: "Osborne has always been there when Nebraska needed him. And the Cornhuskers needed him often."

Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab: "For all the great things he did in 25 years as a head coach, Osborne somehow built on his legacy during his second act as athletic director."

ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel: "Not only did Osborne stabilize a football program that had gone shaky under his predecessor, but he shepherded the university from the internecine battles of the Big 12 to the safe and financially secure harbor of the Big Ten. You’d have to say that when Osborne retires in January, he will have met that tough standard."

CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd: "As Tom Osborne retired on Wednesday (effective Jan. 1), he left us with a choice. A choice of his greatest accomplishment as a coach, statesman and AD at Nebraska. Was it going for two against Miami 28 years ago? Was it those three national championships that he eventually won -- in a four-year span? Was it his public service? Osborne was a state representative and ran for Nebraska governor. Was it the fact that a lot of people believe he 'saved' Nebraska football at a critical time five years ago? Perhaps that's his greatest legacy. “T.O.” is leaving us with that multiple choice question as to how to best define his career."

The Omaha World-Herald's Dirk Chatelain: "Osborne said Wednesday that things are in place for Nebraska to succeed without him. Three or four years from now, he predicted, “a lot of great things will have happened.” He'll have plenty of time to reflect. On his 255 coaching wins. On his three national championships. On his first day as athletic director, when he was 10 minutes late to work. Traffic, he said. On that day, Osborne parked his car, walked past a statue of himself and into a building bearing his name. Then he asked the security guard where he could find his office."

The Daily Nebraskan's Chris Peters: "Osborne will be remembered as a coach, as an athletic director and most importantly as a man. He was and will remain the biggest icon the state of Nebraska has ever seen. For NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman, the decision to replace Osborne shouldn’t be a decision at all. You can’t hire a new Tom Osborne. You can only hire a new AD, you can only move on."