Late Monday night, rumors started swirling that Husker Athletic Director Bill Moos might be on his way out of Lincoln. Social media postings on Reddit and Twitter claimed Moos’ job performance was being negatively impacted by alcohol, among other things. To this point, there has been no concrete reporting published on Moos or any wrongdoing, but Tuesday morning UNL leadership released a public statement in support of their athletic director.
“In his first 15 months, Bill has done a great job guiding our Athletic Department,” NU President Hank Bounds and UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “He has our full support, and we look forward to his continued strong leadership.”
Moos told the Lincoln Journal Star Tuesday that accusations against him were “disgusting” and without merit. On Wednesday night, he doubled down.
“Unfortunately in this industry, you have chat lines and social media and people who get out in front of things and make up stories,” Moos said during his monthly appearance on Sports Nightly. “There’s nothing to it. Hey, I’m still here and I’ll be on the show next month, too.”
Moos said Bounds and Green informed him when he took the NU job that he will have “never seen anything like [Nebraska]” in his 26 years as a Division I athletic director. Moos said they turned out to be correct but the visibility and subsequent fishbowl that comes with the head chair for Nebraska athletics is something he thrives on.
“My practice is to be out and spend some time with the state, with folks, and if the scoreboard reads right that usually is OK,” he said. “Sometimes with some people, the guy needs to get straightened out here and we’re going to make up a story.”
Asked if rumors and allegations about his public behavior would force him to re-evaluate how accessible he makes himself, Moos reaffirmed that he’s not changing what got him to where he is. “Not one bit,” he told host Greg Sharpe.
“It’s how I operate, I’m not going to change and, quite frankly, these people don’t want me to,” Moos continued. “They’ve been starved for this. That’s how I operate and I think that’s why the President and the Chancellor were interested in me.
“I’m going to be Bill Moos. I was hired because I’m Bill Moos. If people are tired of Bill Moos, I hope they’re not because we’ve got a lot more to accomplish here and are certainly gaining strides. We need people on board, we don’t need people casting stones. We need to have everybody pulling in the same direction and we’ll get back to our rightful place.
“If we have a cold beer here or there, or a cup of coffee or a piece of pie, hey, that’s me and I’m not going to change.”
Moos was asked later in the show if the allegations came from an anonymous source inside the athletic department and he said he doesn’t know anything about “who’s at the root of all this.” Moos said if it is an employee of his, they won’t stay an employee for long.
“If that’s the case and it’s identified, they won’t be on my staff anymore,” Moos said. “I can’t command respect. Respect goes both ways. I need to earn the respect of my 350 employees and they need to earn my respect. And by and large that’s all happening and most of it has happened.
“The one thing I can demand is loyalty, and not necessarily loyalty to me. Loyalty to our brand, to our university and to our mission. And if I have people within my program who are not loyal to the University of Nebraska, and are not passionate like most of them are, then it’s just like having somebody in the locker room that’s not part of the team and not wanting to win games. We’ll sort all that out. It’s not like there’s a witch hunt or anything. I say it usually it rises, or it lowers itself or illuminates itself along the way.”
On Saturday, when the Husker basketball team lost at home to Ohio State, Moos was not in attendance. Perhaps that was the catalyst for the last few days. A caller into Moos’ show wanted to know why he wasn’t at the game and Moos said it was because he was in Orlando, Florida, for an NCAA convention. He called it a necessary trip as the athletic director rather than one he wanted to make.
Moos was at Tuesday night’s loss to Wisconsin.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.