Nebraska coach Tim Miles plays it coy on tattoo bet

Nebraska coach Tim Miles plays it coy on tattoo bet

Terran Petteway was chatting with Tim Miles one day earlier this month when the Nebraska coach said something his star player wasn't expecting.

Miles insisted he would get star tattoos matching the ones Petteway has on both shoulders if the Huskers reach the Sweet 16 this March.

"I thought he was just joking around at first, but he kept saying he was serious," Petteway said. "I'm like, 'Alright, I'm going to hold you to it."

Would a clean-cut 48-year-old father of two really get his first tattoos if Nebraska can win a pair of NCAA tournament games this March for the first time in program history? The second-year Huskers coach played it coy when asked about it Friday.

"I said it, BUT we didn't shake on it," Miles texted. He later added, "Let's just hope we have this conversation in March."

If Miles actually followed through on his promise, he wouldn't be the first coach whose NCAA tournament success resulted in a new tattoo. Rick Pitino infamously got a tattoo on his left shoulder blade celebrating Louisville's 2013 national championship, fulfilling a pledge he'd made to his team after it lost a five-overtime game to Notre Dame six weeks earlier.

The idea of Miles with a pair of stars on his shoulders makes Petteway laugh just thinking about it. The all-conference wing says the bet provides a little extra motivation for Nebraska to make a run this March, yet he also admitted he doesn't believe Miles would actually get the tattoos even if the Huskers went on to win the national championship.

"Not one bit," Petteway said chuckling. "I have no faith that he'll do it."

It's possible Petteway will find out whether his coach was actually serious because Nebraska has enough talent that a Sweet 16 isn't out of the question.

Buoyed by the enthusiasm of Miles, sparkling new facilities and raucous sellout crowds, Nebraska took a big step toward national relevance last season by reaching the NCAA tournament for just the seventh time in program history and the first time since 1998. The return of Petteway, slashing wing Shavon SHields and inside-outside threat Walter Pitchford give the Huskers hope of not only returning to the NCAA tournament this season but also winning games there for the first time.

Miles' tattoo bet received a fair amount of attention this week, so he was asked how his wife felt about the possibility of him coming home with stars on both shoulders.

"She doesn't know," he texted. A few minutes later, he added one more important word: "Yet."

- - - - - - -

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!