Shawn Eichorst introduced as new Nebraska A.D.

Shawn Eichorst introduced as new Nebraska A.D.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Incoming Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst vowed Tuesday to keep the department largely unchanged once he replaces Tom Osborne, saying he wanted to immerse himself in a Husker culture known for integrity, trust and respect.

``I don't think this is a place that you have to reinvent the wheel,'' Eichorst said as he was formally introduced to the media. ``I think what you've got to do is get yourself immersed in everything Nebraska. My goal is to make something that's already great better.''

Eichorst left his job as athletic director at scandal-ridden Miami last week for a five-year contract to succeed Osborne, the storied former coach who announced last month that he will retire Jan. 1 after five years on the job.

Eichorst said the scandal at Miami had ``zero'' impact on his decision to accept the Nebraska job. He said he did not actively seek the position, but was recruited and interviewed by Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman. Perlman interviewed Eichorst and one other unidentified candidate.

Perlman said he was drawn to Eichorst because of his experience at Wisconsin, where Eichorst grew up, and his work at that university's athletics program.

``He's had experience across the range of the complexities of running a modern athletic department, which is far beyond what people see,'' Perlman said. ``The second reason was, I connected with him. And the reason I connected with him and he connected with me was he fits the culture of Nebraska.''

Osborne, 75 said the selection helped eliminate any concerns about his age.

``Doubt and uncertainty is the enemy of progress, and at some point I knew we had to eliminate that doubt,'' Osborne said. ``That's what we're doing at this point. We've got a guy, obviously, who has another 20 or 30 years in him, and so you don't have to worry about that anymore.''

Eichorst will start at Nebraska on Oct. 9, first as a special assistant to Perlman, then assume Osborne's role on Jan. 1. Osborne will become athletic director emeritus and stay involved in department operations through July 30 at Nebraska, where he won 255 games, 13 conference titles and three national championships as football coach.

Eichorst was hired by the Hurricanes after serving as Wisconsin's chief operating officer for athletics, overseeing a $90 million budget and being closely involved with a $100 million construction project for ice hockey, swimming and football. Eichorst was highly recommended for the Miami job by his one-time boss at Wisconsin, athletic director Barry Alvarez - a close friend of Shalala and a Nebraska alum.

Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles said he had ``done some digging'' on the new director, and came away impressed after talking to Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan and other former Eichorst colleagues.

``Everyone I've talked to who has worked with Shawn admires him,'' Miles said. ``They love his energy level. He's really sharp. He's a lawyer, you know, so he's a process guy, and he has the highest accolades.''

Eichorst's salary at Nebraska will start at $973,000 annually, believed to be a significant raise over his Miami deal. As a private school, the Hurricanes typically do not release contract information.

Eichorst arrived with Miami's athletic department in flux: Funds were being raised for facility upgrades, and the school was in the process of hiring a basketball coach to replace Frank Haith, eventually deciding on Jim Larranaga. Quietly, though, the Hurricanes were also under NCAA investigation over their compliance practices, which wound up overshadowing everything Eichorst did at Miami.

The story over Miami's NCAA mess broke publicly in August 2011, when claims made by former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro - now serving a 20-year prison term for his role in bilking investors out of $930 million - were published by Yahoo Sports. Shapiro said he provided dozens of Miami athletes and recruits with impermissible benefits over an eight-year period starting in 2002.

Eichorst will receive a $750,000 retention bonus if he stays at Nebraska for five years. He'll pay a $2 million penalty if he leaves within a year. That penalty decreases $500,000 for each year he stays through the fifth year overseeing a 23-sport department with an $85 million annual budget.

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Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.

Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.

With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done. 

The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.

Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.


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SPOILER ALERT! Wizards make appearance in New York Times crossword on Sunday

SPOILER ALERT! Wizards make appearance in New York Times crossword on Sunday

Fans of both crossword puzzles and the Washington Wizards had a leg-up when completing the New York Times crossword puzzle on Sunday. 

The clue: "Wizards, but not witches."

The answer: 7 letters, "NBATEAM." 

This isn't the first time famous crosswords have included sports-related clues. The Washington Post and LA Times have used Bobby Orr as an answer many of times (trust me, we always have a half-finished crossword puzzle hiding somewhere in our living room). 

But athletes aren't the only answers to clues. Remember when the Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan revealed the Washington Capitals' "cult of crossword men" back in 2016?

The New York Times even published a list of the top-10 sports names to know for crossword fanatics everywhere. 

Just further proof that sports continue to permeate every aspect of life.