May 2, 2005


Tom Osborne Running for Nebraska Governor (KEVIN O'HANLON, April 30, 2005, The Associated Press)

Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne plans to seek the Republican nomination for governor instead of a fourth term in Congress.

The 68-year-old Osborne made the announcement Saturday in his hometown at Hastings College, his alma mater.

"You can tell by looking at me that I've got more miles behind me than I've got in front of me," said Osborne, who retired as a coach at the end of the 1997 season.

"When you reach that point, if you've got some good years left, you want to make sure that you use them wisely."

While seemingly good news for Ben Nelson, it does mean that the GOP is going to have a powerhouse ticket statewide in November '06.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2005 1:40 PM

Heineman still thinks he can win.


Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 2, 2005 2:38 PM

Heineman is the current acting Gov? Let's hope polls show him getting trounced by Osbourne which convinces him to take on Nelson.

Posted by: AWW at May 2, 2005 4:09 PM


Nelson will kill him. I'd rather have Stenberg.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 2, 2005 6:30 PM

Heineman won't beat Nelson. Don Stenerbg (the former long-serving AG - the guy from the US Supreme Court partial-birth abortion case, Stenberg v. Carhart) is running against Nelson in a repeat of the 2000 senate race. Stenberg lost in a pretty close race. I like Don Stenberg but some GOP party officials don't like him.

Nelson is popular, he was elected governor twice. What might hurt him is this little scandal in which his administration got caught up in involving a nuke dump in Nebraska which cost the taxpayers $150 million. I believe this was from a judgment or settlement. People may forget this because the state isn't in the financial situation that it was in when this $150 million judgment popped up.

One thing is that Chuck Hagel (whom I don't really like) dislikes Nelson immensely (for what that is worth).

Posted by: pchuck at May 2, 2005 6:30 PM

If elected, will he provide pardons for all scholarship athletes convicted of violent felonies in Nebraska or merely the Cornhuskers?

Posted by: bart at May 2, 2005 7:42 PM

Naw, if they're irredeemable he'll make sure they get kicked off the team like he did in 1991 with the starting I-back, at a position with less depth than was available four years later.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 2, 2005 9:30 PM

He'd have to get elected to the Wisconsin governorship to pardon Ahman Green.

Posted by: pchuck at May 3, 2005 9:34 AM

What's Green been guilty of since coming to the Packers, other than fumbling too much?

Osborne wasn't any worse than about 100 other Division I coaches when it came to covering up for his players, but he wasn't any better. I wouldn't vote for Jimmy Johnson or Barry Switzer or Jim Cooper or Lou Holtz either.

Posted by: bart at May 3, 2005 9:54 AM


Green has just been accused of domestic violence and actually filed for divorce a few days ago.

Osborne was clean -- he was never a win-at-all-costs coach and in fact I've heard more than one of his former players say they never once heard him talk about winning a ballgame, as opposed to playing well, etc. The NCAA only investigated NU once during his tenure and that was for something that was, believe me, completely ridiculous. I think he's far from being the only coach to get his reputation trashed by a media with no particular concern for facts (just ask any Nebraskan about Bernard Goldberg sometime).

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 3, 2005 10:10 AM

Miami and Florida State were the all-time All-Felon Teams. Not sure about Nebraska, but I do know that Zach Weigert pushing Warren Sapp around like an overstuffed sofa in the fourth quarter of the '95 Orange Bowl was a pretty good day for good versus evil.

Posted by: joe shropshire at May 4, 2005 1:31 AM


My view is that we should dispense entirely with the notion of 'student-athlete' in the revenue-producing sports and allow colleges and universities to own sports teams as they would laundromats and apartment complexes. They would have to pay the players, no shenanigans about boosters slipping kids cash or giving them cars while enrolled. The players wouldn't have to go to class if they didn't want to, wouldn't have to meet even minimal academic standards(there is no significant correlation between football and basketball ability and academic ability), wouldn't lose eligibility. As long as they could play for the team, they would be allowed to. It would be a pure minor league. The kids could organize and bargain collectively too.

Everyone would win. The schools would make money. The kids would make money. The fans would get their sports. The dishonesty endemic in the system would end.

In all honesty, I think Osborne tried to run a decent ship and would have liked to have run one more along the lines of Penn State in its halcyon days. He is no Switzer, Johnson or Holtz, or even a lying sack of manure like Bill McCartney. He was under tremendous pressure from administration and alumni to win at all costs, so he brought in criminals like the Peter brothers and Lawrence Philips and countless others who fell through the cracks. He certainly had lots of kids who were incapable of performing college level study, as his Prop 48 candidates showed.

Posted by: bart at May 4, 2005 2:27 PM