There are opinions on all sides of today’s firing of Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst. Some fans believed he needed to go and others have questioned the timing around the decision.
What’s for certain is that today’s announcement will have an impact for the months to come.
1.Eichorst had a hard time getting results from his coaches
The nearly every major sports team, outside of volleyball, has struggled to find success on the field of play the last 5 years. In addition to the mediocre results on the field, there has been very little pressure from the AD to fire those coaches. A growing scandal in women’s basketball led to a change and some believe that it took one-year too many to replace Bo Pelini as the head football coach.
The next AD will likely be responsible for imminent decisions on the men’s basketball team, some type of change to the 7-22 women’s basketball team, and have to make a decision after 2018 on how to manage the football team depending on how 2017 unfolds.
2.The timing on this was less than desirable
Hiring a top-notch Athletic Director in the midst of football season and onset of men’s and women’s basketball is going to be nothing short of difficult. While the university may want a leg up on the competition there won’t be many savvy AD’s lining up for the position that would have them leaving their former school in a similar situation.
3. This was a political firing
The firing of Shawn Eichorst has been seen by some as a move by the board of regents to gain control over an Athletic Department that was operating independently of their wishes.
Former President Harvey Perlman opposed many of the coaching views of the board of regents and allegedly hired Shawn Eichorst to help cut ties with Bo Pelini against their wishes. Several board members openly supported Pelini as head coach and were frustrated at their lack of control when he was fired and replaced.
4.An impact on football and recruiting
The intent of today’s decision is pretty clear and I agree that it is, in fact, a reasonable response to Eichorst’s performance. That said, the timing couldn’t have been worse for an already struggling football team as this will place even more pressure on them this season.
If the football team doesn’t begin to turn it around this weekend Nebraska could be in for a rough finish in recruiting and an even rockier offseason.
For recruiting, believe it or not, this is already impacting football recruits for Nebraska in different ways. Several recruits commented on Twitter this afternoon about the firing and have taken note of the instability at Nebraska.
The Husker football staff is going to need to work overtime to contain the damage and hold onto recruits while also landing new ones as this will bring up additional ammo for the competition on why a kid shouldn’t head tNebraskaka.
5.Don’t get stuck dreaming about getting back to the 90’s football era
Chancellor Green mentioned in the Q&A section of the press conference today that a measure of past success he would like to see Nebraska return to would be, “the mid-1990’s”.
Husker fans need to be careful with this statement. The point of the press conference was clear, Nebraska teams need to be winning and winning at a high level on the field.
This isn’t about getting back to national championships in football. Rather, this is about competing at a high level and winning meaningful things across all major sports. For football, winning the west is a stepping stone to winning the Big Ten title. That needs to happen and happen soon.
For football, winning the west is a stepping stone to winning the Big Ten title. That needs to happen and happen soon. In basketball, its about regular NCAA tournament selections and regularly being in the top 3-5 teams in the Big Ten.
Baseball fans grabbed a regular season title this year, but it will mean wrapping up the tournament title as well and making it into the super regionals on a consistent basis.
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