The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 19, 1986, Page Page 7, Image 7

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    Wednesday, March 19, 1986
Daily Nebraskan
Page 7
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By Bob Asmussen
Sports Editor
Nebraska Athletic Director Bob
Devaney said Tuesday he has talked to
three coaches about the NU's basket
ball coaching job left open by Moe Iba's
One of the three, Ohio University
coach Danny Nee, has withdrawn his
name from consideration.
Devaney said he also has talked to
Jacksonville, coach Bob Wenzel and
Illinois State coach Bob Donewald.
Jacksonville qualified for the NCAA
tournament this season. Illinois State
was 15-14.
Devaney said because basketball re
cruits must sign by April 9, Nebraska
must hire a coach quickly.
"We've got to hurry on it," Devaney
said. "I'm going to have to work at it."
Devaney said he is trying to reach
other coaches about the Nebraska job.
One of these is Cleveland State coach
Kevin Mackey. The Vikings have become
the Cinderella of this year's NCAA
tournament, advancing to the final 16.
"The guy is very personable," Deva
ney said of Mackey.
Cleveland State has knocked off
Indiana and St. Joseph's to reach the
regional semifinal. Cleveland State will
meet Navy, another Cinderella, in a
regional semifinal game Friday in East
Rutherford, NJ.
Devaney said Nebraska plans to
bring in three of four candidates soon
and have them meet himself, Chancel
lor Martin Massengale and one or two
of the NU regents.
One thing that Devaney said will
hurt Nebraska's chances of landing a
top coach: former coach Moe Iba was
under pressure to leave despite an
NCAA invitation and a 20-win season.
"We want a winning program," Dev
aney said. But he questioned what
Nebraska basketball fans expect.
Devaney said he thinks some people
expect Nebraska to hire a coach with a
national reputation, such as Bobby
Knight of Indiana or Eddie Sutton of
"It's not that easy," Devaney said.
"Those people have jobs where basket
ball is king."
Devaney said it is unlikely that the
new basketball coach will make more
of a salary than Nebraska football
coach Tom Osborne. Football produces
revenue that supports most of the rest
of the athletic program, he said.
Nebraska assistant coach Tom
Baack's name has been mentioned as a
successor to Iba. Devaney said it would
be hard to promote Baack to the coach
ing job.
"It's one thing to promote a coach
like Tom Osborne, where the program
is successful," Devaney said. "It's
another thing to promote a coach from
a program under fire."
Devaney said he wants to meet the
returning basketball players and get
their input on a successor.
"I will talk with them and listen to
what they have to say," Devaney said.
Devaney said an early practice viola
tion by the Nebraska coaching staff has
hung over the staff this season.
"I was not happy with that early
practice incident," Devaney said.
"Actually, the NCAA doesn't seem to
jump on anybody for doing it."
Devaney said that one incident put
the rest of Iba's career at Nebraska in
the background. -
"Moe had never tried to buy a
player," Devaney said. "He had done
things right straight down the middle
of the road as far as recruiting.
"It seemed that (the early practice)
played a more important part in his
career here than any other of the good
things he has done."
Devaney said Nebraska's search for a
new coach won't be hurt any because
Iba resigned so late in the season.
"Moe didn't hurt the progress at
all," Devaney said. "This didn't slow us
Mark DavisDaily Nebraskan
Iowa State's Jeff Hornacek goes up for a shot earlier in the
season against Nebraska. The Cyclones have reached the
final 16 teams In the NCAA tournament.
Top seed Kansas
an NCAA favorite
By the Associated Press
Jud Heathcote says he can't find a
weakness on the Kansas team that
awaits his Michigan State Spartans in
the semifinals of the NCAA Midwest
"They're a great running team with
the size to work inside and great
perimeter shooters to work from the
outside," Heathcote said Monday in a
telephone news conference with the
four head coaches of Midwest semi
finalists. Michigan State's date with the Jay
hawks the Midwest Regional's top
seed is at 1 1:10 p.m. Friday. The first
semifinal at 8:37 p.m. in Kansas City's
Kemper Arena matches Jim Valvano's
North Carolina State Wolfpack against
Johnny Orr's Iowa State Cyclones, who
lost by two points to Kansas in the
finals of the Big Eight Tournament in
Kemper March 9.
Heathcote said Kansas' versatile
lineup is keeping his entire staff awake
at night.
"We're always trying to figure out
what the other club cannot do, and
adjust our game plan accordingly," he
said. "Kansas is a great running team,
but they also have great size. They can
beat you so many different ways."
Valvano and Orr readily agreed that
the Jayhawks, ranked No. 2 behind
Duke in the Associated Press Top
Twenty, are the team to beat in the
They'll have something besides tal
ent going for them as well. Kemper is a
familiar facility close to home in a city
that seethes with Kansas fans. It sits
just 40 miles east of the Kansas campus
in Lawrence, and the Jayhawks have
played four games in Kemper already
this year.
"Let's face it, we're not exactly play
ing in friendly territory," Valvano said.
"I don't think Georgia Tech should be
playing a (Southeast) Regional game
for the Final Four in Atlanta. And I
don't think we should be playing Iowa
State and Kansas right there (in Kan
sas City)," he said. "But that's the way
it falls."
The Wolfpack lost to the Jayhawks in
North Carolina earlier in the season.
"We played them early in Greens
boro and hung with them for a half,"
Valvano said. "We're a much better
team than we were then, but so are
they. They should be the favorite right
"I absolutely agree," said Orr, whose
Cyclones were 1-2 against the Jayhawks
this year in Big Eight competition. The
Cyclones lost big in Lawrence but beat
Kansas by three points on their home
court in Ames, Iowa.
"I congratulate Larry and his team
on the job they've done," Orr said. "For
the Big Eight to have two teams in the
final 16 of the NCAA Tournament is
great. I would certainly say the Jay
hawks are the favorite. But trying to
pick a favorite is not a good thing in
these tournaments. You've seen the
upsets and what can happen. It's hard
to say one team's a favorite."
Brown couldn't agree more.
"Everybody in the tournament is
now so close to reaching the goal
they've set from the first day of prac
tice, everybody is going to be under the
same kind of pressure," the Kansas
coach said. "We're just going to take it
one game at a time. Being the No. 1
seed is fine, but it's not going to have
any affect on North Carolina State,
Iowa State or Michigan State and I
don't thing it will have any affect on
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Even mother didn't cheerfor this little leaguer
As the NBA season reaches the crucial stage,
everyone's thoughts turn, of course, to baseball.
It reminds me of when I was a wee lad. In
those years little league baseball was the thing
to do. That was before girls took the forefront of a
young boy's thoughts, only to be replaced later
by commerce and trade. Ah, the American cycle.
U I Allen
And to think it all starts with little league
I was possibly the worst little league baseball
player of all time. That probably explains why I
made the transition to girls faster than most
guys. I sat halfway through "The Bad News,
Bears" before I realized they were supposed to
be bad. They made our team look like the '27
Charlie Brown could have been our ace
pitcher. Since a day care center sponsored our
team, we were called the Toddlers. My coach
called me Diapers, but he never told me why. The
rest of the team also called me by various names,
but mostly they called me when they wanted
I really felt I was an underrated player who
was never given the chance to reach my full
potential. Sure, I was fat, but I was slow. My
speed did improve, though. By the end of the
season no one carried the ball to the first base
man when I got a hit. They rolled it.
I led the league on base percentage. I drew a
lot of walks. I didn't draw walks becssse I was a
cagey, intelligent hitter and presented a small
strike zone. 1 drew walks because the other
teams' pitchers liked to watch the ball bounce
off my face.
I'll tell you one thing, though, I never forgot
the lessons of my hero Pete Rose. I never walked
to first base, even when I drew a walk. I insisted
on being carried. Then they substituted a pinch
runner for me.
I played right field on defense. It was the field
my coach referred to as "Oh, no" field, because
every time someone hit the ball in my direction
he would yell "Oh, no, they hit to Diapers. Hend
erson, run out there snd get the ball."
My mother, of course, went to every game.
You've all heard stories of little leaguers' moth
ers who believed their son or daughter was the
best player on-the team and that the coach was,
biased against them.
Not my mother. It was really depressing to
hear my own mother yell, "Don't put that bum
in!" every time I stepped up to bat, which wasn't
often. The coach only put me in at all because
the day csre center owner insisted everyone gst
to play.
Being sponsored by a day care center wasn't
that great. How many teams do you know that
have a baby in, diapers on their uniforms?
I did have my rare minute of glory though.
It was, of course, the bottom of the ninth
inning, and there were, of course, two outs. We
were behind by one run in a consolation game to
determine which of the worst two teams in the
league would actually win a game.
I was, of course, at bat. Just as the pitcher was
about to deliver the ball, my dedicated coach
came back from the bathroom, saw the situation
and yelled "Oh, no."
Henderson immediately ran out into right
field, looking for the baseball.
The coach called time out and sat me on the
bench, Ferguson went to bat in my place and
struck out in three swings.
My mother still thought the coach made a
smart move.