Originally written on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 10/5/12
Well, that didn't take long, at least publicly, as earlier Thursday University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced the hiring of Shawn Eichorst as their newest Athletic Director. Eichorst will replace the retiring Tom Osborne in that role sooner rather than later as well, officially coming on board at the university on October 9th as a special assistant to the chancellor. He'll assume the official role of AD on January 1st, 2013. "After consideration of a large number of candidates, I was impressed with Shawn's credentials and experience but more importantly his respect for an appreciation of the tradition of the Nebraska athletic program," said Perlman at the press conference. "He expressed from the onset his hope to draw on the experience and knowledge of Tom Osborne and the rest of the current staff in working to continue the department's success both on and off the field." He's directed a major university's 17 athletics teams, he's overseen a university that has had national championships and he's overseen this all at universities that also prides themselves on a strong academic tradition. Add in his roots in the Midwest as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater,  becoming AD at 32 at Whitewater,  and experience in a major athletic department or three (Wisconsin, South Carolina, and of course Miami) and you've got a picture of someone seemingly perfect for handling one of the biggest and most high profile programs in the country. Yet, this isn't as slam dunk a hire as the rosy pictures, platitudes, and press conference would have you believe. This isn't a hire that's not without risk or controversy either. Eichorst was the man at the helm of the University of Miami program at a time when it's being probed for some major violations in it's most high profile sports of football and basketball. In fact the program he has been in charge of the past 18 months has been slammed not just once, but twice for some of the same exact violations - both of which could be program crippling as they await the results of a major NCAA investigation. Now, it's true that Eichorst wasn't there when the original violations occurred, but it's also true that he's only been at the job for 18 months and to this writer it smacks of another person leaving before things get real bad.  It has to make you wonder what it says about a person when someone sees the writing on the wall that things are about to get really ugly, yet jumps at the first chance to leave instead of staying and sticking through the hard times as well as the good times. Having said all of that, I don't know the man personally, so I can't speak to his character at all, but it also doesn't mean you don't ask the question - does he know how bad things are getting and making a smart career choice or is he leaving behind a university and it's players, coaches, and staff to fend for themselves? But beyond all of that the most important question of all is: Do the Huskers have the man to lead this department to the same heights or beyond? Let's remember this wasn't exactly a program looking up until Tom Osborne was asked to step in and be the savior five years ago. One of the biggest reasons to believe he very well could be the man they are looking for comes from someone with direct knowledge of what it's like to take over a high profile job - his former boss and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez. He gave his endorsement to Tom Osborne this past weekend in talks before the Badgers game versus Nebraska and when Barry talks, I've learned to listen more and question less as time goes on. Has he been perfect? No, but he's also been willing to learn from mistakes and as you stand here  Obviously only time will tell if this hire was the right one, but this is a program on solid footing and Eichorst has a vast realm of experience in virtually all levels of college athletics and the strong footing Nebraska is on now should allow him to grow into the roll faster and easier than when Osborne came to the rescue. For more of what Perlman and Eichorst had to say check out the full video below: Follow us on twitter @DelanysDozen and 'Like' us on Facebook.
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