For the third consecutive year, the Nebraska basketball team took the court to a completely blackened arena. The tickets hadn’t been printed, the scoreboard was silent, the hoops were still in storage, and not a single light in the parking lot was on.
The Devaney Center, home to Nebraska basketball for over 30 years, had no power.
Doc Sadler, head coach of the team, took this news in stride, albeit with a look of disappointment and exasperation on his face.
“The AD’s (Athletic Director’s) Office forgot to pay the bills again, guys,” said Sadler to his team. “I know he promised this wouldn’t happen again, but we’ve just got to deal with it. I promise, it’ll be all set in time for the Big 10 opener.”
Despite the strides the program has made under Sadler, the athletic office freely admits to occasionally forgetting about the basketball team.
“The office is always looking toward the future, and right now that future is the Haymarket Arena,” said Stephanie Mangini, a spokesperson for the office. “The future home of Husker volleyball is very important to us.”
Sadler, for his part, claims that he sent “at least four” emails to Athletic Director Tom Osborne about making sure the electric bill was paid. Though Sadler was given a phone number his secretary claimed was Osborne’s, it remains disconnected.
“Generally, to reach Tom, I have to give Connie Yori a call,” said Sadler, referring to the Women’s Basketball coach. “She never has any problems getting to Tom. In fact, just last week, she mentioned that she had a pleasant half-hour chat with him.”
Sadler, however, has yet to give up hope. “They turned it on eventually last year, though they did require me to visit Lincoln Electric Systems and make the first payment myself. Hopefully they won’t make me do that this year. When it happened last time, I could barely pay out of pocket to hire a school bus to take the team to Kansas.”