Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne is very wary of a playoff coming to college football, primarily because it could potentially cut into study time for players:
Tom Osborne, an old lion in the sport, has serious reservations about the model, or any playoff model. Osborne harkens to the 1977 Liberty Bowl, of all places, when he led Nebraska to a 21-17 triumph against North Carolina.
The game was played Dec. 19. The Nebraska faculty was up in arms, and not because dear ol’ NU ended the regular season with another loss to Oklahoma. The Dec. 19 game meant Husker players had to leave for Memphis, Tenn. — the game’s site — during a final-exam period.
“We were told by the faculty we were never to do that again,” said Osborne, now the Husker athletic director.
Asked about the current wave of momentum toward a playoff, Osborne turned the discussion toward student-athletes and exams because he is extremely concerned how a playoff would impact student-athletes’ overall welfare.
What a novel concept — concern about those who actually play the games.
“A lot of us who deal with intercollegiate athletics, and know what athletes go through, are concerned about length of season,” said Osborne, echoing a popular sentiment among university presidents, who will have final say on the playoff matter.
Valid concern? Just protecting the status quo? Both? Neither?