When the Big Ten Conference announced on Tuesday that it would no longer protect Nebraska’s annual Black Friday game against Iowa after the conclusion of the 2019 season, it created quite a buzz around the Husker fan base.
When NU athletic director Shawn Eichorst and head coach Mike Riley followed that up by siding with the decision against playing future games on the Friday after Thanksgiving, feathers around the state were ruffled even more.
Less than 48 hours later, though, Eichorst issued a statement saying no final decision had been made on playing games on Black Friday from 2020 and beyond.
After Thursday’s practice, Eichorst went even further to state that he was already working towards convincing the Huskers’ new final regular-season opponent, Minnesota, to become NU’s next Black Friday rival.
“We will continue to do everything we can moving forward to ensure that we preserve that tradition,” Eichorst said. “In fact, as of yesterday, I have begun conversations with my counterpart at Minnesota about the prospects of getting that done.
“Again, I can’t express enough how important our history and tradition is here. Those of you who have been around me enough know that I cherish those things, that I think about those things, and that hopefully I’ve advanced that with a number of things I’ve done since I’ve been here.”
Eichorst said it was too early to comment on how far along the discussions with Minnesota had gone about moving the games up a day to Black Friday, but added that the conversations have been “positive”.
Eichorst admitted that the biggest issue following the Big Ten’s decision to move Nebraska out of the Black Friday date was poor communication on his part.
“I think you guys know that when I haven’t been clear, and I obviously wasn’t clear on Tuesday with a comment or few I made, I will let you know that I do make mistakes,” Eichorst said. “I’m not perfect. Over the court of the last 48 hours I’ve heard from a lot of constituents, I’ve had communication with the Chancellor’s office and the President’s office about our great history and tradition of playing games on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
“So that’s where we are today. Today we are working really, really hard and diligently to make sure that happens moving forward.”