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Soccer's gain is loss for football and wrestling
by Paul Kennedy, April 12th, 2011 6:16PM



[NEBRASKA-OMAHA] Just how complicated college sports are to administer and how impactful Title IX is on men's programs is all set out in the decision of Nebraska-Omaha to move to the NCAA Division I level and -- most important, join the Summit League. It resulted in a decision by the Nebraska University Board of Regents to add men's soccer and golf -- both sports offered by the Summit League -- and drop football and wrestling. The announcement from the UNO Chancellor John Christensen and Athletic Director Trev Alberts came the day after the Mavericks won their third straight NCAA Division II wrestling title ...

Nebraska-Omaha football is not the same as Nebraska football -- the Cornhuskers, based in Lincoln -- but as Christensen told the Omaha World-Herald, "this recommendation was unimaginable two or three years ago, it's clear to me business as usual is not sustainable.''

To move up to the Football Championship Subdivision -- the smaller of the Division I football alignments -- UNO would have had to add 27 football scholarships and create new women's sports to add a comparable number of scholarships for women -- the Title IX factor.

Up until now, Nebraska's only Division I men's sport was ice hockey. Its move to Division I and the Summit League creates natural rivalries against Midwest schools that don't have football.

One of those schools is Omaha's Creighton, one of the nation's best-supported men's soccer programs. It recently attracted North Carolina's Elmar Bolowich to fill its coaching vacancy.

The decision to drop football and wrestling didn't come lightly. Christensen was a college wrestler, and Alberts was an All-American football player.

UNO currently has a national powerhouse Division II women's soccer program.

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