Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012 AT 9:05 PM / Updated at 10:18 PM
Take a deep breath, Husker fans
Lee Barfknecht Omaha World-Herald

For all of you following the Nebraska basketball coaching search, take a break and slow down — especially on all this Rob Jeter speculation.

Internet space and the public airwaves were overflowing Tuesday with hyperventilating speculation that the Milwaukee coach — with the same winning percentage as Doc Sadler while coaching in a much worse league — is about to move into the Hendricks Training Complex.

Folks, Nebraka’s contact with Jeter was nothing more than that — a simple, baseline, elementary contact that happens in the early days of any search to gauge a POSSIBLE candidate’s interest. See that word POSSIBLE. Remember it.

How many of those contacts is Nebraska making to POSSIBLE candidates? I’m told it is into double digits or will be soon.

So tap the breaks, catch your breath and be careful whose “information” you swallow.

About Lee Barfknecht

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald. You can email Lee at


  1. Lincoln John says:

    More likely is that Jeter’s team was the first team out of the post season so he was the first one talked to. Osborne is not going to talk to a D-1 coach or assistant coach while their team is still playing.

    1. D says:

      Two budget questions:

      1. How many of the teams in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament have the lowest basketball budget in their conference?

      2. Did Tom Osborne have the lowest conference football budget and worst practice facility during his first five years as head coach?

      Very concerned about Boehm’s opening-up-the-check-book-for-a-head-coache’s-salary remarks while remaining silent about NU’s woeful basketball budget.
      A OWH article discussing the above may be interesting and enlightening.

      1. jwhj says:

        You obviously need to buy a full page add

        1. Stu says:

          You mean ad

  2. Fester says:

    Good job Lee. It only took you not quite two days to report what every message board has been saying for at least 36 hours now. I fully expect in 2 years you’ll actually even stop making the effort to try and seem “in the know” and just copy and paste links to threads with information and rumors that sound reasonable to you.

    1. Ron says:

      Well stated!!

    2. jackie says:

      Your own words prove your comment to be based on absolutely no facts. By definition, a “message board” is not a source of news; it’s a place anyone can post pretty much anything they want–in other words a gossip site. You can pick up some juicy rumors that may occasionally prove to be based on truth, but eventually most of those entries are proven to be at least partly inaccurate.

      A news reporter doesn’t report rumor or gossip; he has to have at least 2 “reliable” sources who claim to have direct knowledge of the facts (and reporters will try to confirm those facts with more than just 2 sources) before writing a story. Yesterday, the OWH and LJS both published a press release from the UNL athletic department stating that they would have no comment on the search process until they hired a coach. That means confirming any rumors through UNL is probably not going to happen. So you’re left with getting sources at the other end, which in this case means UW-M. That coach is trying to recruit players to that school so he’s probably not going to publicize that he’s considering a job somewhere else. That leaves you with very few potential sources who could be considered to be in a position to actually know what’s going on–in other words there aren’t too many potential “reliable” sources that could decide to talk to a reporter. I think finding the sources within two days isn’t that bad a job, actually.

      As far as suggesting that he just list the gossip websites you use for your “news”, I hope no more “reporters” follow that route. We already have enough of those sluggards and snake oil salesmen posing as journalists. I heard the same rumors you did a day or two ago. I noted it as possible at the time, but didn’t believe it until I read it here and in the LJS. The same way that Fox “News” has been proven to be factually inaccurate so many times that now when I hear or read it from a Fox source I note it but don’t believe it until a credible news organization confirms it.

      1. Fester says:

        You’re so full of it. Thats and ESPN rule not a media rule you jackball. And the OWH doesn’t do that and they area always reporting speculation. Dirk has embarrassed himself a dozen times reporting things that turn out to not be true. Lee isn’t far behind. All of the guys have reported rumors as to who we are looking at as coaches for BBall just as they did when we were hiring football coaches.

      2. A Fan says:

        Well put. Chatelin and Barfknecht could print the sky is blue, and there’d be some yahoo (or a bunch of them) on this website arguing the point. Ladies… they’re paid to make you think.

  3. TD says:

    I heard this morning we may be making a play for Jamie Dixon at Pitt. TO, make that hire yesterday!

  4. Bill says:

    With Pitt moving to the ACC I don’t see Dixon going anywhere–well, unless he gets a pink slip.

  5. bigredinkc says:

    Maybe we bring in Callahan? After all, we can outscore our opponents but we’d have to forego playing defense.

  6. B says:

    Lee, tell us more about what the word “possible” means. I’m not sure your snide tone was patronizing and insulting enough to get your point across.

  7. Randy says:

    It’s easy for you to tell readers to watch whose “information” they swallow, but then you provide no information of your own. In your chat, you say you don’t know much about spring football because you have been covering the basketball coaching search. Then you provide virtually no information regarding the basketball coaching search. Are you doing anything right now, or are you just milking this coaching hire as an excuse to take a ‘spring break’ while not actually telling anyone?

  8. Dave says:

    Evaluating Jeter based on his W-L record at UWM would not be a very brilliant, or accurate, way to evaluate him. UWM is what it is, an urban school in the Horizon League, with a small, off-campus venue. Regardless of the coach, UWM is never going to have the opportunity to recruit the type of talent that Jeter would be able to attract at Nebraska.

    Too many people are losing sight of the real need here, and that’s somebody who can recruit Big 10 talent. Jeter is a midwest guy, proven recruiter for Bo Ryan at Wisconsin, and has the recruiting contacts and connections throughout the Midwest to able to attract decent talent to Nebraska. With the new arena and practice center, a guy like Jeter could benefit Nebraska greatly. Oh, he did sweep Butler last year.

    1. WakeUpHuskerFans says:

      Jeter @ Nebraska = More Loserville

      1. VanCleef says:

        Where’s your proof?

  9. Rob says:

    Good message, but……how can I trust a so-called journalist that says “tap the BREAKS”??? =)

    1. Reality Chex says:

      Good catch, Rob.

  10. Nick says:

    Was wondering why everyone was piling on Lee so I checked out the blurb above about Lees awards and what Lee covers. 1 ? Isn’t Nebrasketball also B1G basketball? Hmmmm

  11. Hastings Husker says:

    and STOP trying to glorify Scott Spelnick or whatever the hell is name is for this job.Barry Colliers teams had ZERO TALENT,absolutley none,so why in Gods name would we want his top recruiter and recruiting cooridanator,WHY?my guess is we are already on choice nimber 5 or 6 because we keep getting shot down,and forget about Shakka Kon folks,he will be going to Illinois,or even UCLA,but he aint coming here just like Bill Self was NEVER going to come here.and NO to Danny Ainge,lets get someone we know can win,and not another hire from a mid major,throw some big cash out there,we got the Practice facility and the new areana coming,no more CHUMPS!

    1. WakeUpHuskerFans says:


  12. MOHusker Fan says:

    Even in this day and age, “the lists” float around the media feature only men. Why not hire a woman as the new coach? I’m serious. Maybe it is time for a female coach from a high-level women’s bball program to become the first female coach of a Div. 1 MEN’S team. Why not? Men coach women’s teams and no one bats an eye. Think of the publicity, the recruits who could lay claim to “I was on her first team.” With the right coach, I really think it could work. And if players don’t think they could play for a woman, who needs um?

    1. John says:

      That this comment was even made at all, by anyone, makes me wonder if it’s time to disband the program.

      1. VanCleef says:


    2. Reality Chex says:

      The most successful coaches in women’s sports are men.

      Why would any high-level female coach (who is already making ~$1 million/year coaching a low-scrutiny, relatively low-pressure, high job security women’s team) even consider coaching a (high-scrutiny, high-pressure) men’s team for approximately the same money???

      1. Kurt says:

        Pat Summit says “hi”.

    3. Bob says:

      Oh my!

    4. Rickenaz says:

      I honestly could care less if TO hires Hilary Clinton, so long as she can build up a good program!! I’m really wanting us to get the right fit this time around. I have MY criteria, but honesly I’m sure Mr Osborne will get the best guy available who “really” wants to build this thing up. Again, my wish is for Oregon State Assistant coach Doug Stewart, but he’s an outsider and not yet a HC, so that’s not likely going to happen,,,, but who knows, apart from that he looks like a great fit.

  13. Matt in MN says:

    All I know is I’m reading this while watching Colorado, yes COLORADO notch a tournament win as an 11-seed over UNLV. The Buffs–the only program consistently worse than Nebraska for much of the Big 8/Big 12 years, and they are not only able to make the tournament, but win a game in their first year in their new league (and yes I realize the Pac 12 is much worse than the Big 10, but that’s beside the point). I really hope this Jeter guy isn’t the next coach–otherwise it will be another 6 years of sub-mediocrity and irrelevance. Please Tom, find us the right guy!!

    1. DCj says:

      So was it assumed that the “right guy” would take this job if we fired Saddler? Oh we didn’t look into that before we started screaming from the roof tops????? Oh not to worry, we’ll just criticize the next guy until he is gone….if we fire enough guys CERTAINLY the high profile candidates will be more likely to take the job….right?

  14. rob g says:


    You need to come out of the closet on who you would choose, so we don’t have to hear the jeers in your column about who your choice would have been. Man up!

  15. jwhj says:

    Hire Paul Beranek

  16. Tom M says:

    It isnt that a mid major guy wont work at a major university. It’s his ability to get the right assistants, get the right talent, and have a great blend of defensive and offensive strategy and coaching on the staff. Some are great at one, some at the other, and then the assistants help fill in the gap. Some food for thought. Would you like Billy Donovan as a head coach? He went from coaching 3 seasons at Marshall and then to Florida. How about Frank Martin. Rick Pitino went from Boston U to Providence to Kentucky. Boston U? Thad Matta went from Butler to Xavier to Ohio State.

    The common theme is that the GREAT coaches started in lower level jobs and someone knew they were the next great coach and hired them. We havent found that next great coach or, if we did, they didnt get hired. Probably due to lack of facilities and commitment by the U. I think those two issues have changed. If IA St, K St, Creighton, and … name a dozen other schools in the hinterland…. can all do it then NE can to. Takes the right commitment…dollars and support.

    Maybe John Groce is that guy!

  17. Joe says:

    To the boosters with the money and you the media. Thanks for getting rid of the right man for the job. Doc was the perfect fit for the job. You need to give him more time. Nebraska will never be a Carolina, Duke, MIchigan St. , etc.

    1. Rickenaz says:

      Doc, was a great fit but honestly he had a terrible time getting big men to play for him. We got two transfers who both as we found out latter were gimpy. Unfortunately for us, they were more then gimpy and for the last two recruiting classes Doc was unable to land a center with size and ability to come in and play. So this year we had a center who played his best for half a season, when he should have been in medical. In Div 1, I think that two years is more than long enough to shore things up and it did’nt happen; not even close. I think that right now it is clear that if Doc were still here that next year we’d add the two PF’s to the lineup, but may not have either center comming back healthy and we’d have far less experience coming back at both guard spots. Again, NO center likely. Would Doc get us a quality center next year? Honestly, I don’t think so, it’s been 7-8 years since we recruited our last solid/healthy center. That’s an amazing statistic all by itself and hard to argue with. We do have a freshman center with no experience and only weighed 215 lbs so he will be undersized next year. Loved Doc, but Osborne did the right thing in moving on. Doc had to go.

  18. MavML says:

    If the internet has succeeded at anything it has hatched an entire generation of uninformed, hyper-critical, self-obsessed, over-opinionated morons. Children, just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean that everyone HAS to hear it or even WANTS to hear it. Think, then type. The general public doesn’t show up at your workplace to critique your work. Provided you’re employed.

    1. GabrielNATL says:


  19. Dos Passos says:

    OWH, why are you sitting on your thumbs? Still nothing on Sutton. Getting spanked by that paper 59 miles down I-80

    1. OldGold says:

      Because the Sutton deal is a NON story except for its tie in to his father, Eddie Sutton. Sutton, Jr. apparently likes it in Tulsa and they like him in spite of the program being in the toilet. Rich oil sheiks who went there to learn the oil biz and get an American degree to hang in the palace send big bucks every year to the athletic program no matter what they do so there is no incentive to change.

  20. macjones says:

    Y’all Lil’ Herbie BANDWAGON, MCB fandom are simly DELUSIONAL!! Seriously.

    For instance, Coach Dixon absolutely AIN’T going to leave Pitt for the small twon Capital town. dUh.

    Heck, the Panthers will be shortly moving to the A.C.A.. Where MCB out ranks the Big 10, arguably speaking.

    Bottom line is OZZIE will end up hiring some Mid-Major head coach. Akin to the past THREE coaches whom were in the small town Capital town. Howdy.

    In other words, for ANY B.C.S. head coach, whom may be possibly available, the position of Lil’ Herbie MCB Chief is a CAREER SUICIDE move DOWNWARD. Nothing more and nothing less.

    1. macjones says:

      Then there was one Field Generalissimo Marshall, by way of the Wichita St. Lineman. No not pigskin linemen. LOL

      Well Lil’ Herbie loyalists, it seems another head coach has said thanks, but not thanks to Lil’ Herbie MCB. lol

      Seriously y’all Lil’ Herbie Country Bumkins. When are y’all collectively going to ” connect the bloody dots. ” dUh

      Because no ” named ” coach is going to step SIXTY miles near that small town Capital town. Eh.

      No Ben Howland. No Jamie Dixon. No Shaka Smart, because he’d make the smart decision to stay away from the small town Capital town. LMAO And now, No Wheat Shocker Marshall.

  21. Dos Passos says:

    loved it when know-it-all Lee B. got put in his place by Ozzie at Saturday’s press conference