Steve Pederson Firing
by David Max
15, 2007 will be remembered as a milestone day in Husker sports history.
Hard core Husker fans will be able to answere the question "Where
were you when Steve Pederson was fired?" 20 years from now just like
those of us that are old enough can answer the question "Where were
you when the Game of the Century was played?" It is sad that this
date will become a milestone in Husker football history. When Steve Pederson
was hired he was ordained as the keeper of the flame of the Husker Program.
His whole life was structured for this opportunity to return home to his
first love and be in a position to take the program and write the next
illustrious chapter. It is unfortunate that it did not work out the way
that he and Husker fans had envisioned it would the day he was hired to
replace Bill Byrne.
one should doubt his intent. He is a Nebraska native that went through
the ranks within the athletic department, left to get the required experience
elsewhere to return as the chosen one to continue the tradition established
by Devaney and Osborne. What went wrong will be chronicled by plenty of
sports writers, Internet bloggers and posters for a long time to come.
He obviously didn't plan for things to turn out the way they did today
with his termination by the person that hired him and recently gave him
a vote of confidence with a contract extension.
to the news conference, the decision to fire Steve Pederson was made last
Thursday before the Oklahoma State no matter what the outcome. Interestingly,
according to Dave Weber at Channel 6 the decision to fire Coach Solich
was also made prior to his last game against Colorado in Boulder no matter
what the outcome. The rumors were running rampant over the weekend after
the embarrasing homecoming loss and came to a crescendo on Sunday night
when a thread
on the BBS about a possible Pederson firing received 15,000 page views
in one hour and is now around 50,000. To put that in perspective, when
Coach Solich was fired that thread topped out at 5,000 page views.
question now becomes where do we go from here? The first step is who will
be the interim athletic director and who will be named the next athletic
director? Three names have been tossed around, Dave Rimington, Paul Meyers
and former Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne. All three would be good choices.
Harvey Perlman was asked several questions at the press conference today
regarding Tom Osborne as a potential interim athletic director. Dave Weber,
Johnny Rodgers and others believe Tom is the obvious choice if he is willing
to accept the challenge. I agree with them and hope Coach Osborne will
be asked and will accept the interim AD position. The biggest complaint
from the anti-Pederson camp was the abandonment of the "Program".
The perception was that the current administration and coaches did not
care about or respect the history of the program. The former players did
not feel included. This was accentuated when the last connection to the
past, Paul Meyers, resigned recently without another job lined up. He
was the latest in a series of former Huskers employed by the athletic
deparment leaving what outsiders perceived to be career jobs. Naming Tom
Osborne interim athletic director would change the work environment at
the athletic department from the current negative into a huge positive
and restore the "Program". For us Husker fans it's a no brainer.
I just hope he will consider saying yes if asked.
interesting comment that Chancellor Perlman made at the press conference
was that he only received two replies to a department wide athletic department
email asking for feedback about Steve Pederson's performance before he
gave him his recent contract extension. One positive and one negative
essentially negating feedback in his decision to extend the contract.
The search for the next interim and permanent athletic director is going
to receive a lot of public scrutiny and will not be confined to feedback
from athletic department personnel. Let's not make the same mistake in
assuming everyone else is giving their feedback. I have established a
draft Tom Osborne for Interim Athletic Director petition and the Husker
Nation can sign the petition at this link to give Chancellor Perlman their
have signed it. What about you? The next chapter in Husker history is
about to be written. Who better to get the Program back on track than
the symbol of the program since the 1970s.
Integrity, Teamwork, Tradition, Tom Osborne.
my 2 cents. What about yours?