Statement from President Milliken on Big 10 ConferenceThe Big Ten Conference –the premier athletic and academic conference in the country – is a great fit for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and today’s decision by the Board of Regents is an exciting development for the University, the Big Ten, and college athletics.
There has obviously been a great deal of work to get to this point, and I want to express my appreciation for the leadership of UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne. They have represented the University very well and have, after much consideration, recommended a path that I am confident best serves the University and the state. I commend the Board of Regents for its thoughtful approach to this opportunity and for approaching this issue as it does all issues—what is in the best interests of the University and the state.
Like Chancellor Perlman, I think very highly of the institutions in the Big 12 conference, and UNL has enjoyed great success and had strong relationships in the conference. However, change is inevitable in college athletics, and this is not the first time that we have made changes in our conference affiliation – each of our affiliations is part of a rich athletic tradition at the University of Nebraska. Now, we look forward to a new “home” in the Big Ten.
We look forward to joining an extraordinary group of institutions that have demonstrated strength in athletics, a loyal and dedicated fan base and an exceptional level of academic achievement. Over the past few weeks, in the wake of abundant news and rumors, I’ve received many calls and other expressions of support from donors, business and political leaders, faculty and fans across the country who recognize the importance of this decision. Almost to a person, the Nebraska fans who contacted me commented on the academic, as well as athletic, leadership and fit of the Big Ten.
The University of Nebraska would have new opportunities with membership in the Big Ten – and I believe the Big Ten would be a stronger conference as well. I want to thank Harvey and Tom for their hard work, the Board for its thoughtful deliberation and Nebraska fans everywhere for their support and dedication to this institution.