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Archive for Thursday, October 24, 2002

Osborne defends Solich, Nebraska program

October 24, 2002

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— Even as a U.S. congressman, Tom Osborne is hearing a lot about Nebraska football these days.

Osborne, the retired 25-year coach of the Cornhuskers, went to Grand Island this week to talk with folks about their political concerns.

But he started off by talking about the Huskers, which have struggled with a 5-3 record so far this season.

"Nothing is forever," he said Tuesday. "Nothing is permanent."

Osborne said the vaunted NU football program has been "defying gravity for 40 years."

The program has achieved such success that many fans' expectations entering each season are that Nebraska will lose no more than one or two football games and "hopefully none."

He said Nebraska has some disadvantages, such as a relatively small population base that yields only six or seven players each year who are capable of playing major college football.

He also said other schools have passed Nebraska in terms of the quality facilities available to athletes.

Osborne expressed confidence in Nebraska coach Frank Solich and his staff, noting that the team has won a Big 12 Championship and played for a national championship since his departure after the 1997 season.

Osborne, who won three national championship in his last four seasons, also struggled in his first five years.

Osborne visited members of the Nebraska coaching staff in their offices at Memorial Stadium on Monday. He said that discussed "several issues" with Solich, but didn't elaborate.

"Of course, that was really appreciated," Solich said. "I think coach Osborne understands the game of football. He understands how things can work, and to get a pat on the back and to have some kind of understanding there ... was great for us as a staff."

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