It appears the higher ups in the Nebraska football administration have gotten their signals crossed when it comes to whether or not the Huskers want to continue the tradition of playing on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Just days after making it clear to most onlookers that they were perfectly fine with getting rid of the Black Friday game, Nebraska athletic director issued a statement that says, in part, that the school does indeed want to play games that day.
Shawn Eichorst put out a statement through social media on Thursday afternoon where he claimed the uproar over getting rid of the game was blown out of proportion. This all started because the Big Ten schedules for 2020 and 2021 were released earlier this week. Those schedules showed that not only wasn’t Nebraska playing Iowa the last week of the season, it wasn’t playing any game on the last Friday of the regular season.
The Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes have been going against one another on Black Friday since Nebraska joined the Big 10. In the future schedules, the Cornhuskers will be squaring off against Minnesota, and the official dates of those games both fall on a Saturday.
As the Quadcity Times reports, Husker head coach Mike Riley was perfectly fine with doing away with the special game date. Among other things, Riley said, “I do not like to get out of the routine of what we do week to week to get ready for a game, so changing that is no fun for me.”
It appears that Riley and Eichorst are not on the same page. In Thursday’s release, Eichorst claims the Saturday games can be very easily changed to Black Friday games. He added he will be doing “everything possible” to keep Black Friday games. Either way, those games would be against Minnesota in 2020 and 2019.
It’s a safe bet that Eichorst heard from more than one fan about the chance of Nebraska no longer playing on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It makes sense that the conference would be able to move those dates should it want to. We’re still three years away from the first of those now-Saturday matchups.
If Nebraska football fans make it abundantly clear they want a Black Friday matchup, the Huskers will indeed do everything they can to change it back. Oddly enough, that will be in direct opposition to what their head coach would like to see happen.
[Featured Image by Nati Harnik/AP Images]