Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts joined Greg Sharpe on Tuesday night for his monthly Sports Nightly sit down on the Huskers Radio Network. Of course, they talked football.
Alberts talked first about the Spring Game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on April 22 and airs on BTN. The First National Bank of Omaha is once again presenting the annual Red-White scrimmage and this year is releasing 3,000 tickets to veterans, in correlation with the Nebraska athletic department. Veterans and active military members can go online to www.huskers.com/fnbo starting Monday at noon to claim up to four tickets. Individuals will be asked to input their Military ID. Those tickets are also on a first-come, first-serve basis. Along with veterans, Nebraska is making the Spring Game more easily accessible for students. Youth ages 18 and younger can secure tickets for $1 by reserving a ticket in advance. Current University of Nebraska students can get their free tickets as soon as Monday at noon as well.
Season ticket holders can purchase tickets to the Spring Game starting Tuesday, January 31. at 10 a.m. General public on-sale Spring Game tickets will be released Wednesday, February 1, at 10 a.m.
“I think what you’re going to see is a worthwhile—it’s going to be a game,” Alberts said, “It’s going to be football. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what this new version of Husker football looks like under Coach Rhule’s leadership.”
Nebraska’s athletic director credited the work Matt Rhule’s done now in two months on the job. Alberts called Rhule a leader and noted he’s surrounded himself with people who relate to his vision. This coaching staff has spent large swaths of time on the road, including some traveling across Nebraska. Alberts believes those miles within state lines showed Rhule the passion and importance of Husker football. Through that fan interaction comes the respect for the program’s history and tradition.
Alberts said he enjoyed watching Rhule meet with his coaching staff and work together. The work to create relationships with coaches, recruits and parents reassured the athletic director. Moving up the national recruiting rankings from the mid-tier of FBS into the top 25 wasn’t bad either. Alberts later complimented the football team’s mix of developmental youth and transfer portal arrivals to fill positions of need.
“He’s far surpassed my expectations in terms of work pace,” Alberts said. “And it’s been great to watch.”
The former All-American linebacker admired the staff’s embrace for the program’s history while still striving for innovation. Alberts pointed to Hall of Famer Dr. Tom Osborne and his innovations at the time. He called his former head coach one of the “best strategic thinkers.” Alberts believes this coaching staff can navigate the tightrope of the program’s immense tradition with an innovative future. Rhule has met multiple times not only with Osborne but with former head coach Frank Solich.
Alberts loved the staff’s investment into the state. Be that time spent in high schools or the eight in-state scholarship players in the 2023 recruiting class.
Construction on the Go Big Project continues to please. It’s starting to take shape and recruits go through there on visits. That facility is important to this coaching staff, Alberts said, because of Rhule’s strong belief in player rest and recovery during a grueling season.
Some other items of note from the athletic director’s hour on the radio:
>> Alberts will do whatever he’s asked in terms of recruiting visits. He’ll stay out of the way or get involved as requested.
>> Alberts was gutted by injuries to the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Two of Fred Hoiberg’s standouts (Juwan Gary and Emmanuel Bandoumel) are out for the season. Allison Weidner’s injury also hit Alberts hard. He enjoyed how she’d do the gritty, tough things on the court.
>> The athletic director is cheering for the Bengals because of head coach and former Husker Zac Taylor. He also spoke highly of Cam Taylor-Britt’s growth this year.
>> Alberts said the future of the Big Ten conference will be interesting. Outgoing commissioner Kevin Warren leaves a vacancy behind at an involved time for the conference, considering growth, media deals and logistics. Plus, most school presidents and chancellors are young in their positions, including whoever replaces Ronnie Green upon his retirement at the end of the school year.