By Brian Rosenthal / Huskers.com
Nebraska fans listening to the radio airwaves Wednesday night received a healthy dose of news and knowledge, mostly pertaining to football.
The highlight, of course, was coach Mike Riley, a guest on the Husker Sports Network, discussing Tanner Lee earning the starting quarterback job heading into summer conditioning. Riley had announced that news via Twitter earlier in the evening before explaining the decision with Sports Nightly host Greg Sharp.
“Tanner won the job, but he won it with great competition from Patrick O’Brien and great work from the next guy, Tristan Gebbia,” Riley said in the interview with Sharp. “We feel like the Husker quarterback position is in good hands right now. Those guys made it a tough decision.”
Riley had hinted toward the end of spring practices that he’d like to name a starter after spring and not drag the competition through the summer months and into fall camp. In Saturday’s Red-White Spring Game, Lee was 13-of-19 for 190 yards, and O'Brien was 11-of-17 for 134 yards
Both quarterbacks understood they had a fair competition, Riley said, with shared and even turns throughout the spring.
“We had been real thorough in our evaluation,” Riley said. “I’ve done it different ways through the years. There have been years — and one I remember in particular — when I waited until the week before the first game. I learned then that I didn’t want to do that again.”
What Riley learned is he didn’t want to start fall camp practices with the main story centering on the starting quarterback job.
“The story is out right now,” he said. “Everybody can sit on it, including our team and our quarterbacks. And we can prepare and basically enter fall camp without any drama at that position.”
On Hail Varsity Radio, aired on 1480 AM, Big Ten Network analyst Gerry Dinardo lauded Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst for his role in developing the recruiting reform package approved by the NCAA Division I Council last week in Indianapolis.
The Council acted to offer potential Division I football student-athletes earlier opportunities for official visits to college campuses and increase their access to college coaches. It also approved an early signing day in December, as well as the addition of a 10th assistant coach.
Eichorst served as co-chair, along with Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen, of an ad-hoc group that led the recruiting reform legislation.
“This is a game changer for Nebraska,” Dinardo told Hail Varsity Radio. “This is more important than any facility, any budget, anything else that they could do. Shawn Eichorst was a leader in this. He was a major mover and shaker in the country to get this legislation changed. If he wasn’t in the position he was in I’m not sure we’d be having this conversation. That’s how vital he was in working with Jim Delany.”
Delany, the Big Ten Commissioner, said Eichorst has been “terrific” in focusing on making college football better, while Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called Eichorst a “rock star” in thanking him for his service on the Football Oversight Committee.
Eichorst, meanwhile, is beginning to turn his attention to another sport in need of reform – basketball.
Speaking on Sports Nightly with Sharp, Eichorst said another ad-hoc working group is being formed on the national level to study the transfer epidemic in men’s basketball. Nebraska, which has four transfers looking for other schools, including senior graduate transfer Nick Fuller, isn’t alone is seeing players leave.
Eichorst said basketball transfers are happening at high rate across nation, and “when it hits home, it disappoints me."
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