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Friday, June 11, 2010
Nebraska officials gush about Big Ten

By Adam Rittenberg

Nebraska has formally applied for membership in the Big Ten, and listening to chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Tom Osborne, it's easy to see why.

Perlman and Osborne gushed about the Big Ten at the Nebraska Board of Regents meeting Friday, as the school took another step closer to officially switching leagues. They identified Big Ten strong points such as stability (especially in relation to the Big 12), academic excellence, the Big Ten Network and tradition.

Tom  Osborne
Tom Osborne views the Big Ten, both athletically and academically, as a good match for Nebraska.
Even Big Ten weather, which always seems to be a knock against the league, actually appeals to Nebraska.

"We're obviously not [located] in the Sun Belt," Osborne said. "And we find some of our sports at a disadvantage because of that. Most young people who are golfers or play tennis or play baseball or play softball, sometimes even soccer, would prefer to go someplace where they can practice outside year-round. ... So we would probably be having, in comparison, more of apples to apples [with Big Ten teams]. It doesn't mean that we can't compete.

"We can compete, but it's just more difficult."

Stability clearly was the big selling point for Perlman and Osborne, who didn't want to commit to a league they didn't believe was viable in the long term. They clearly viewed the Big Ten, both athletically and academically, in a different light.

"The Big Ten is all members of the AAU, which is of considerable importance when you try and recruit faculty, when you seek research grants, when you do other things in the academic environment," Perlman said. "The Big Ten operates the Big Ten Network. It will allow all Nebraskans to see almost all of Nebraska's competitive games: not just football, not just men's basketball."

He also pointed out the Committee of Institutional Cooperation and its benefits on research for a university.

"This will bring Nebraska the stability that the Big 12 cannot offer," Perlman said.

Other quick hits from Perlman and Osborne: