A fantastic article published in the Sunday Omaha World Herald describes, in fairly good detail, how Nebraska and the Big 10 ended up happening.
Osborne had opposed the relocation of the conference offices from Kansas City to Dallas. He also fought anchoring the conference title game in Dallas, preferring it move between cities in the north and the south.
But Perlman didn't really share those geographic concerns. In fact, he actually would end up voting to play the title game in Dallas for the next several years. "I wasn't prepared to sit in Kansas City in the cold,'' Perlman said.
And on the issues of greatest import, "Nebraska was getting largely what it wanted,'' Perlman said.
While some schools complained about the league's unequal distribution of revenue from network TV contracts, Nebraska wasn't among them. It joined Texas as a strong proponent of giving big-time football schools — those most appealing to the networks — a bigger slice of the pie.
Again, reiterating the fact that Missouri was crying about the unequal revenue sharing and that Nebraska was thrown into the mix simply because both schools were Big 10 candidates and, thus, both schools must have had a problem with revenue sharing.
While many have blamed Texas and its plans to start its own Longhorn TV network as the reason a Big 12 network never got off the ground, Nebraska wasn't on board with a conference network, either. Nebraska's support was conditional on the high-profile schools taking a larger cut of that revenue, too — a condition some schools strongly opposed.
As a result of those talks, Nebraska, like Texas, was now moving to create its own network. A consultant's study had concluded that a Husker network would succeed and bring in seven-figure revenue on top of what Nebraska was getting from major network telecasts.
Perlman said NU was on track to have its network running by the fall of 2011 — actually ahead of Texas' timetable.
Nebraska likes to make money too.
To this day, Perlman, Osborne and Delany won't say where they met on May 25.
Perlman will describe it only as "a very remote private location'' far from both Big Ten country and Nebraska. It's a secret, Perlman said, because the Big Ten may use it for future business.
They went to considerable lengths to keep the meeting under wraps.
Because Osborne is a well-known figure who tends to attract attention, it was agreed he and the chancellor would fly separately. Perlman was joined by Joel Pedersen, the university's general counsel. Few on any of their staffs knew the reason for their travel.
After staying overnight in a city and eating breakfast separately to preserve their low profile, Perlman and Osborne received cell calls summoning them to meet a car outside. They then rode to a rural location about an hour outside the city.
They were greeted by Delany, Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia and the conference's legal counsel.
Cloak and Dagger shit. I can see the casting for the movie now. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Jim Delany, Al Pacino as Harvey Perlman, Master Yoda as Tom Osborne and Tom Cruise as Chip Brown.
Great read. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.