Ronnie Green, the chancellor of the University of Nebraska took to the podium a few moments ago. He was set to address the firing of Shawn Eichorst. One of the main reasons for Eichorst’s release was directly correlated to the on field success across all sports. He also noted the University of Nebraska is due to pay out the rest of Eichorst’s contract totaling 1.7 million.
NU President, Hank Bounds followed up Green’s statements to field questions. He mentioned that the there was no ideal time to make the decision. When asked about how secure Riley’s position was, Bounds responded “Riley’s job is to compete”. Also, Bounds noted that this decision is not about Mike Riley.
Bounds and Green also clarified that they met with all coaches across each athletic program to discus with them Eichorst’s firing. Bounds reiterated that the next athletic director needs to understand how to compete in every phase of the athletic program. Bounds also mentioned that Eichorst excelled in many other areas.
One of the primary concerns with Nebraska’s lack of performance was the lack of success given the abundance of resources Nebraska had it’s disposal.
Bounds mentioned that he had already consulted with Tom Osborne. Nebraska plans to hire a search firm for their task. Green stated that their is nobody specifically they are targeting and that they will search for the best possible candidate for the job.
When asked about Mike Riley’s extension through 2020, Bounds said the extension will be honored as Riley had signed his contract.
Green and Bounds noted that they observed an uptick in booster’s concerns following the Northern Illinois game. They all agreed that the loss was very disappointing and that they appreciate the input.
Green stated that the timing was vital to make swift changes now and not wait until the summer. Hank Bounds stated that one of the most clear ways to evaluate a program is directly correlated to wins and losses. Bounds reiterated that wins and losses are objective as apposed to subjective.
When asked about the perception of the program following Eichorst’s firing, both Bounds and Green affirmed the importance competitive stability being important for perception.
Green explained that the decision was not related to the success of Husker Football, but across all programs, including baseball and basketball. Both, along with football have struggled over the last few years.
Green and Bounds both acknowledged that they were unaware Eichorst would speak to the media following the Northern Illinois loss.
When Ronnie Green was asked when the last time Nebraska was competitive, he responded he would like Nebraska to return to competitive level of the mid-nineties. Green also acknowledged the importance of Tom Osborne and what he means to the university. Bounds followed up saying he doesn’t see any reason why Nebraska cannot get to that level again.
My take: Honestly, for all the ways this press conference could have gone, this was literally the best outcome. Both Hank Bounds and Ronnie Green’s statements are music to my ears. That is the first time in a long time I have heard replicating the success of the nineties being a goal for Husker athletics. That tells me that they will be very serious and intentional about their decision making.