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#pounditMonday, September 20, 2021

Nebraska tried to back out of game with Oklahoma

Nebraska Cornhuskers logo

Nebraska fans aren’t terribly happy after learning that the school tried to back out of a scheduled rivalry game with Oklahoma in 2021.

Under the terms of a deal agreed in 2012, the Cornhuskers are slated to travel to Norman to reignite their football rivalry against Oklahoma. The two schools have not played since the 2010 Big 12 Championship, the final game Nebraska played in the conference before moving to the Big Ten. However, reports surfaced that Nebraska was looking at ways to get out of playing the game in order to schedule another home game instead.

In a statement, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos confirmed the reports, and tried to defend the efforts by citing pandemic-related revenue losses. Moos ultimately committed to playing the game in the statement.

“Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with our game at Oklahoma in 2021,” Moos said in the statement. “We have the utmost respect for the University of Oklahoma, and this storied rivalry, and I know our fans have been excited about this series for a long time.”

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione had previously weighed in on the reports by noting that the Sooners were very enthusiastic about playing the game, essentially making clear that any reservations were solely on Nebraska’s end.

It doesn’t really matter how legitimate or understandable Nebraska’s reasoning is. Their fans have been looking forward to this game for a decade. This is a rivalry that dates back a century and was once one of the most heated in the sport. The fans want to see it happen.

Nebraska’s coach talked about silencing the doubters in 2021. Maybe the team still will, but this isn’t really a great start from a PR perspective.

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