Now A Week Off—Well, Mainly Off—
From 2 ½ Days Of Column-Writing Effort

 Regular readers of these weekly offerings will recall that two weeks ago I announced a new game plan:  A customary-length column one week, followed by a much shorter offering the next week.

Object:  Free up some time for me to address other concerns, rather than every week spend two and a half Monday-Wednesday days (frequently with a Sunday evening involved to get a head start) in the work of researching, deciding the subject matter, writing a rough first draft, revising and editing that draft into final form.

I promised to offer on my “off duty” alternate weeks some briefer comments or a cartoon or two or something else that might encourage readers to go to every week.

I invite you to take a look today but remember that last week’s longer version is still available if you call it up on this website.

Thanks to those of you who sent encouraging messages of appreciation for what I’ve been doing weekly for some 20 years in full-length columns first in print, then electronically delivered for the past five years.  Especially appreciated, of course, were the messages which indicated you would continue your readership!

This week’s short version:

Omaha Cartoonist, North Carolina Columnist
See Dollar Signs All Over Big 10 Expansion

Once again The Omaha World-Herald’s superb cartoonist, Jeff Koterba, has been right on target, expressing the truth more clearly than has been expressed in news stories.

This time the subject matter was the announcement that the Big 10 conference is—without any prior notice to the public that the matter was even under consideration—is being expanded to 14 universities (and, of course, 14 football teams).

It was reported that expanding the conference to include Rutgers University and the University of Maryland would broaden the audience—and enhance the revenues—of the Big 10 television network.  There was talk, of course, about the additional benefits which supposedly would flow to current Big 10 members, including Nebraska, from association with the research and academic programs offered by Rutgers and Maryland.

Koterba cut through to the heart of the matter with his cartoon published below.

Incidentally, I have yet to hear a single Nebraska football fan, with the exception of UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman, express a positive reaction to the Cornhuskers’ forthcoming affiliation with two universities half a continent away.

Beyond Jeff Koterba’s incisive cartoon comment, the best comments which came to my attention were in a column in the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer by Luke DeCock.

DeCock wrote that the Big 10 “has become a television network with athletic conference attached.”

Addressing specifically what Big 10 conference expansion would mean to the University of Maryland, DeCock wrote.  “Maryland is willing to gamble that its future will be better in the Big 10 (editor’s note:  rather than the Atlantic Coast Conference) because it has nothing to lose.”  The columnist continued:

“It will make more money for an athletic department that is awash in enough red ink to dye the football field ten times over…

“What’s really lost here?  Tradition, of course, but that matters little in these crazy, silly days of conference-swapping money grabs.”

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