The University of Nebraska has announced the hiring of Ari Fleischer to take over football media relations beginning the spring of 2011. The move brings a new era to college sports media relations as Fleischer will handle pre- and post-football game interviews from now on, leaving Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini free to concentrate fully on coaching.
Fleischer's resume' is impressive, having worked as White House Secretary under President George W. Bush from January 2001 to July 2003. Previous to being hired by Nebraska, Fleischer worked as a consultant, working with several sports organizations as part of his firm Ari Fleischer Sports Communications. His clients include Major League Baseball, the Pac-10 conference, the NFL and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"There's nothing that says a head coach is required to conduct media interviews before and after the game. Just because that's the way it's always been done doesn't mean that's the way it must be done. We felt that it was time to start a new era in college football public and media relations and that Fleischer was the right person to do it", stated Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne.
"With his background and experience Fleischer is fully capable of answering any football-related questions that might arise during a post-game press conference. Anyone who can handle the White House Press Corps can certainly handle the college sports media with ease", said Osborne.
It is unsure as to whether Pelini will continue to do his own coaches show or what Fleischer's role will be in that area.
Keith Man, existing Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations will retain his current position, which mostly consists of responding to over 20,000 daily media requests, 19,000 of which are rumored to come from web sites of dubious origin.