After 102 years as a member of the American Association of Universities, a collection of 63 top research institutions, the University of Nebraska got the boot Apr. 26. It was the first time in the AAU’s 111-year history that they’d kicked out a member. Why? UNL officials say it is partly because the formula for ranking research expenditures doesn’t include the university’s work at the Nebraska Medical Center because it’s a satellite campus, or programs like Nebraska’s world-renowned research work in agriculture because that’s a federally funded program. Some worried that the academic hit could jeopardize Nebraska’s standing in the letters-loving Big 10. Jennifer Heppel, the conference associate commissioner, however, gave a verbal shrug of the shoulders in a statement to ESPN.com’s Big 10 blogger Adam Rittenberg. “Nebraska is a substantial academic institution. It was when its application to join the Big Ten Conference was unanimously approved by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and it is today. The Big Ten Conference does not have control over other organizations’ actions. We’re excited for July 1st,” Heppel wrote. I interpret it like this: It does kind of suck that Nebraska is the only school in the Big 10 without AAU membership but, lest we forget, football. The move to the Big 10 was supposed to bolster Nebraska’s academic reputation. Now at least the university has a clear goal. Get back in the AAU. That is, of course, if Nebraska wants back in after 44 of their peer institutions said the university was no longer good enough. –Fun Fact: The Omaha Beef scored 68 points to beat the Wyoming Cavalry in Omaha on Saturday. It seems like a lot of points but Nebraska used to do this all the time. Between 1980 and 2000 the Huskers topped 68 points 12 times. From 1993 to 1997 Nebraska scored 70 or more against at least one opponent for five straight seasons, including the 73-21 trouncing of Oklahoma in 1996 that was followed by a 69-7 beating the next year. Those were the days. —Werner Park is apparently working. Through 25 games the Storm Chasers had the best home record at 9-3 in the Pacific Coast League. Omaha returns home to face the Oklahoma City Redhawks on May 6.


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