SPORTS
Mad Chatter: Osborne, Switzer & 28 years of NCAA ‘progress’; Pelini the Mad Man; Tim Miles and Tennessee

Unlimited bananas at the training table! A breakthrough in the NCAA’s ongoing battle with critics over student-athlete compensation.

OK, maybe not. If anything, these little amendments illustrate how ridiculous the rulebook was/still is. The issues we’re arguing about are the exact same ones people argued about 30 years ago — when coaching salaries were still six digits.

The following stories came from Michael Kelly and The World-Herald … in 1986!

Although Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne favors changes in college athletics to benefit athletes, he said Thursday he disagrees with a proposal calling for players to delay the start of the Nebraska-Oklahoma game by 30 minutes as a showing of their solidarity.

Dick DeVenzio, a former Duke University basketball player who is trying to form an …

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Criswell is named Division II junior college player of the year

Central Community College’s Tyron Criswell has been named the Division II National Junior College Athletic Association player of the year.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore forward from Omaha Benson averaged 20.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals for Central, which was 26-10 and finished in third place in the country.

He was a first-team All-American and made the all-tournament team at the national tournament.

“He’s been unbelievable to coach,’’ coach Marty Levinson said. “He plays as hard as he can every minute he’s out there.
“I think he’s one of the most versatile players in the country.’’

Criswell is considering Nevada, Rhode Island, Southern Illinois, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss. Levinson said interested coaches are still calling.…

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Mad Chatter: The Masters back nine, spring game questions, Husker baseball

Did the Masters disappoint because A) Tiger was missing; B) Tiger and Phil were missing; or C) there was little back-nine drama.

Depends whom you ask. TV ratings were down, suggesting it was more A and B (don’t discount Phil’s impact on ratings). But for me, the answer was C.

The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday, right? Dan Jenkins’ famous line rang hollow in 2014. Bubba Watson’s four closest pursuers made a combined three back-nine birdies.

Jordan Spieth made zero.

Jonas Blixt made one (on 13).

Rickie Fowler made one (14).

Matt Kuchar made (11).

I loved the way Augusta National played this weekend. It was as firm and fast as I’d ever seen it. Just as Bobby Jones …

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Mad Chatter: SEC cheating, Tim Miles’ new assistant, Creighton hoops fan

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover an emotional Tom Izzo and a snarky Jon Stewart, Webb Simpson’s caddy and Tim Miles’ new assistant, World Cup soccer and NBA playoffs and, of course, another quarrel between Creighton basketball fan and yours truly.

But first, the hottest sports story of the week: The Bag Men of the SEC.

“I look at this as an investment. When you ask me why I do this … let me ask you something. Who’s your favorite sports team? Most favorite. Who do you live and die with? What if I told you that if you gave me $10,000 right now I could guarantee you they’d be better? That if they were usually bad that they’d …

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Mad Chatter: Husker high hopes, Creighton’s depressing TV ratings, Rutgers vs. UConn

Way, way, way-too-early preseason men’s basketball Top 25s are coming out and a very unusual name is appearing: Nebraska.

The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre ranks NU 18th, behind Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten.

C.J. Moore of Bleacher Report pegs the Huskers 17th overall and third in the Big Ten, ahead of Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports has NU 17th but second in the Big Ten.

Not all national analysts agree on the Huskers. ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan leaves them unranked, behind Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa.

The national optimism is nice, but people shouldn’t forget how much went right for NU in the last two months of the season — it resembled Nebraska football’s remarkable six-game …

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Mad Chatter: College basketball’s wacky finale, Suh v. McDermott, the birth of Barkley

In our grandfathers’ sports world, teams earned glory over the long haul.

Before 1969, major-league baseball determined each league’s World Series representative by the regular-season standings alone. The league championship series didn’t exist. Most of baseball’s 20 teams were mathematically eliminated by Labor Day.

Before 1974, the final coaches poll in college football was taken before the bowl games. Those were considered exhibitions — rewards for a good season. (This is why bowl games are still a month after the regular season, one of the silliest scheduling quirks in sports.)

Before 1975, only conference champions qualified for the NCAA tournament in college basketball. After No. 3 Maryland (John Lucas and Len Elmore) missed the field in ’74, the tournament expanded to include at-large bids.

Before …

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Tuning Out the Final Four

Twenty-three years ago, on March 30, 1991, I stood near the dugout of Field No. 1 at the Millard Athletic Association in downtown Millard, trying to decide whether I’d try out for some travel baseball team or I’d go home and watch the Final Four.

Though I wasn’t generally any good at baseball — I was afraid to even play catch until I was 7 or 8 — I’d go through bizarre stretches of my youth where I was very good, hot streaks of hitting that usually lasted a half-season before some coach would instruct his pitcher to risk arm annihilation by throwing a curve ball, or an elementary change-up, or a fast pitch down in the zone, or a fast pitch up in the …

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Mad Chatter: McDermott un-unanimous, SEC football schedules, Final Four

It’s Friday! That means Ten Big stories in 10 little bites. We cover Darin Erstad and Yordano Ventura, Danny Manning and Charlie Strong, SEC football schedules and overpaid MLB sluggers. But first, Doug McDermott vs. Russ Smith.

In defending his player of the year vote for Smith – not McDermott — Louisville columnist Rick Bozich comes the closest we’ve seen any writer all year to criticizing McDermott. This section had some spice:

“Let’s be honest. The 2014 player of the year race was over in February. Maybe January. I’m not sure what the tipping point was, but the national chatter was all McDermott, McDermott, McDermott.

Considering McDermott plays at Creighton and many of the Bluejays’ games were not carried on national TV, my guess is that

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Video: Storm Chasers owner/CEO Gary Green on “The Bottom Line”

Omaha Storm Chasers owner and CEO Gary Green stops by the studio to discuss opening day, what’s new at Werner Park and the outlook for his hometown team, the New York Mets.

Mad Chatter: 5 sports holidays; Mac vs. Wojo; Tiger, DeSean, Doug and Nebrasketball

Mad Chatter has been taking more days off than Jim Rome, Jon Stewart & all of France in August.

OK, it was really only two days, but I apologize. Between a Doug McDermott special section project (coming out Sunday) that required me to watch and chart all 1,141 of his career field goals (go ahead, quiz me) and this Tim Miles/Dave Van Horn column, I missed blogging last Wednesday and this Monday, one of the hottest sports days of the year.

Of course, if it were up to baseball fans, Opening Day would be a national holiday. I don’t buy it. Let’s start today with five weekdays better reserved for replacing Presidents Day on the government calendar:

1. Day one of the NCAA tournament

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Union Pacific turns in another strong quarter
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
Nebraska mom accused of lying about son
Nebraskan gets 35-60 years in child sex assault
After all his bluster and bravado in the courtroom, Nikko Jenkins found guilty of 4 murders
Federal cash may have been used in Iowa's secret settlements
Iowa ruling won't alter effort to bar all felons from voting
Heart attacks, strokes drop in diabetics, new federal study finds
Judge overturns North Dakota abortion ban tied to fetal heartbeat
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
USDA official tours Waverly ranch as disaster assistance program begins
Accused of stealing undies, ex-Grand Island man found guilty of stalking
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
UNK plans major 104-acre 'millennial campus' expansion
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Iowa teen competent to stand trial in foster brother's death, 2 experts testify
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Program gets students with disabilities on the job, ready for future “This is no charity. If they’re getting the job, they’re doing the work.” David Scott, Embassy Suites sales director
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
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FROM THE BLOGS »
  Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
By Nancy Gaarder / World-Herald staff writer • Apr 17 at h:nn am/pm
  Nancy's Almanac, April 16, 2014: Yes, it's been drier and colder than normal
By Nancy Gaarder / World-Herald staff reporter • Apr 16 at h:nn am/pm
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