The University of Nebraska found another opponent to fill the hole left by cancellation of its game against the University of Akron in the teams’ season opener earlier this month.
The Cornhuskers announced Thursday they would play Bethune-Cookman, an FCS team, Oct. 27 to fill out their schedule.
That leaves the Zips with one very significant question and a slightly lesser one.
UA was due to collect $1.17 million for the game. It cost approximately $165,000 for the trip to Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska hasn’t yet indicated whether it will pay UA.
“It’s in the hands of the lawyers now,” UA Director of Athletics Larry Williams said.
Action has been taken in an attempt to get some clarity.
“We sent a demand letter today,” Williams said. “Our disappointment is they haven't committed to paying it yet. We asked for confirmation that they're going to pay it.”
That disappointment is twofold for UA. Hindsight being 20-20, the Zips might have had an opportunity to win that game, given Nebraska’s struggles. The Cornhuskers are 0-2 and lost last week to Troy.
“Clearly we're out money, but more than anything we're out the opportunity on a national scale to make a statement, not just for our football program, but for our entire university,” Williams said. “Worst of all, our kids don't get to play a game that they've been looking forward to forever.”
It also puts the Zips in a bind if they come up short with respect to bowl eligibility. It leaves them seeking another game to fill their schedule and improve that situation. UA officials stated on more than one occasion they were willing to find a solution with Nebraska.
“We'll look forward through the next couple of weeks to find a potential game if at all possible,” Williams said. “We'll just have to approach that with a different mindset.”
Nebraska issued a statement from Athletic Director Bill Moos through its athletic department.
“We notified Akron of our intent to move forward with a different opponent, and we will be continuing to have discussions with them,” Moos said in the statement.
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByGeorgeThomas.