Due to severe weather in the majority of the Midwest, particularly Lincoln. Nebraska athletic director,Tom Osborne decided to cancel the spring game. This is the first time in the history of the program that scrimmage has been canceled.
“Essentially what we did was, go off the best advice we could get from the weather service, and they said it would probably be a good idea to cancel the game,” Osborne said. “The problem is we have a steady progression of thunder cells that are coming up this way, and we have a slight window, but the forecast says that it is going to hit here before too long. We’re talking about possibly some very strong winds, some hail, some possibility of a tornado, but we weren’t counting on that.”
Osborne’s sources were correct. Lightning flashed through the sky, and rain and hail pounded Memorial Stadium for several hours.
Obviously frustrated with the loss of the scrimmage, head coach Bo Pelini agreed with Osborne’s and the athletic departments decision.
“I think the right decision was made,” Pelini said. “They made the right call. You’ve got to look at the safety of everybody involved. They made the right choice. You listen to the event management people, and you’ve got to make sure you make a rational decision, and I think that was done.”
Due to issues with logistics, Pelini said the team would not make up the game on Sunday.
“I don’t think that’s going to work out,” Pelini said of playing the game on Sunday. “When we met with the team, there’s a lot of issues that come with playing tomorrow. You’ve got family issues. I had a show of hands of guys that had a problem with tomorrow, and you’re talking about group projects, academic things, you’ve got a banquet coming up tomorrow night, logistical issues with their families.
“In the end, it’s not going to work. As much as I think everyone would like for that to happen, from what they’re telling us, we could be getting more of the same weather wise tomorrow. So I think we’re just going to move on.”
Despite not playing the game, Pelini said that he and the coaches plan on moving forward with the 15th and final practice of the spring.
“With the situation as it is, I think we’re just going to move on and go to the next step,” Pelini said. “We have some things planned for them next week lifting wise and kind back into their offseason conditioning, and I think that’s the route we’re going to go. It’s not going to make or break us one way or another in that situation. I don’t want to disrupt everything that we have scheduled and planned heading into the next phase of our offseason for one practice.
“To be honest with you, you worry about the mindset of your players at that point, and how much are you really going to get out of it. We kind of have things set in place, and I don’t really want to deviate from the plans we’ve set up to this point.”
While leaving the press box I caught up with a couple fans leaving the stadium and got their thoughts.
“I think it was a good call,” Sue Gregory of Omaha said. “I mean the sky looks pretty scary right now. I think it was the safest decision for the fans safety, and the players.”
Not all fans were as positive about the situation.
“It sucks for us, but I get it,” Frank Bishop of Newman, Nebraska said as he walked out of Memorial stadium with his two children and wife. “We were going to go across the street if it got to bad. We had a long drive to get here, but I guess we can come back for a baseball game or something.”
All fans can use their spring game tickets for admittance to a Husker baseball, or softball game.
By Jimmie Allen
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