Blog Entry

Death threats in the Big 12

Posted on: November 28, 2010 8:03 pm

This will probably get me a couple of death threats, but Dan Beebe was right in not going to Lincoln, Neb. on Friday.

In a story that may have been buried because of the big football weekend, the Big 12 commissioner said that he feared for his safety and that of other conference employees had they traveled to Nebraska to present the Big 12 North Division trophy. The commissioner is traditionally on hand, but not always, to present a trophy for division titles.

"I've been involved in major institutions and had some major feedback," said Beebe, a former NCAA enforcement officer, "Obviously, I've suspended players and coaches, fined coaches but I've never had the volume and degree of vile nasty messages. It's not just me, it's several on our staff. It's the most disgusting things that people would ever say to anybody."

Beebe estimated that 2,000 messages made it to the Big 12 office in the week leading up to Nebraska's 45-17 win Friday over Colorado. He was so concerned about some of the threats that Beebe said he didn't think it was proper to send even Ed Stewart, a former Nebraska player, who works in the Big 12 office.

"It's really pretty shameful," Beebe told in an interview over the weekend. "My wife and my family weren't too thrilled with me going up there. I reviewed it with folks that I've dealt with in security before. They said, 'Hey, this is not something you want to mess with until we figure it out more.' I didn't want to do anything to take away from the great accomplishment of the Nebraska players. It's not their fault."

Beebe was in Stillwater, Okla. Saturday night for the South Division showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The commissioner said some of the negative messages, which he termed "disparaging", were directed to his daughter's Facebook page. She is a college student.

I hope Nebraska doesn't have to be told, again, this is beyond reprehensible. The negative reaction from Nebraska toward the Big 12 seemed to intensify after linebacker Eric Martin was suspended following a helmet-to-helmet hit on an Oklahoma State player in late October. Beebe stressed that he believes the messages came from only a fraction of Husker Nation. There now seems to be a lunatic fringe out there who actually believe that the Big 12 has conspired against Nebraska in its last year in the conference before going to the Big Ten. When I linked to a Beebe story on Friday and posted on my Twitter account saying that it, "made my stomach turn," some of the reactions surprised me.

At that point, I began to understand what Beebe was feeling.

We can only hope this is a very small group of delusional radicals. Beebe balanced the tradition of handing out a piece of hardware against the possibility of being harmed by one of these crackpots. I know what I'd do. He said some Nebraskans have called to apologize for the crazoids but that they're "about a one-to-200 proportion."

Nebraska fans, some of the best in the country, are now earning a dark and sinister rep, fair or not. This is two weeks in a row they have made Big 12, and national, news. A lot of us criticized Bo Pelini after his outbursts in the Texas A&M. Pelini was sincere, apologized and moved on. He didn't let the episodes ruin a sterling coaching career.

But what has happened last week indicates a chronic problem. Let's hope that Nebraska doesn't leave the Big 12 with some sort of stain. You can already foresee an awkward moment next Saturday if Nebraska wins the final Big 12 trophy. Imagine Beebe presenting the trophy to Pelini with boos cascading down from the Cowboys Stadium stands.

"I don't have any reservations about giving them the trophy," Beebe told me. "If their kids win it, they deserve it. By that time we'll sort out if there are any kind of maniacs that we have to be aware of."

Nebraska doesn’t deserve this. It is going to a conference that is noble and full of class. To this point, its program has been noble and full of class.

Beebe was asked if all this has altered his opinion of Nebraska.

"I haven't had anything but great experiences with Nebraska fans and people of Nebraska," he said. "I also know this represents a very, very small portion of a fan base that's classy."

Let's hope that while it takes those Big Ten millions in the future, Nebraska also contributes to its new conference's tradition, in the right way.

Those who don't agree with me know how to reach me. And that scares me.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:46 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

well even here in New York City we know there are only 2 things in Texas; steers and ...knuckleheads like you. Nebraska tradition & excellence are multi levels above any Texas school. It's a shame that a great university like Oklahoma is stuck with you.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:43 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Nortex...Animal House reference was brilliant!

Since: Nov 26, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:40 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

  Why is everyone so hostile and judgemental on these blogs? There surely must be some good stories out there. I must say, these bitter attitudes are usually dealt with swiftly and completely..i.e(happy valley).. and the always tasteful and classy Columbus fans. Sense the sarcasm people? Best of luck to the Husker nation on your new ventures,and the rest of the Big 12 for your soon to be ventures. Sorry y'all were not competent enough to run a successful conference, please don't piss on ours (Big 10) when you arrive

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:39 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether a minority of Husker fans acted poorly or took a few potshots at our wimpy commissioner - we did.
[winks at Dennis Dodd]
But you can't hold a whole fanbase responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole student athlete system? And if the whole student athlete system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our academic institutions in general? I put it to you, - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:23 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Sorry got Dennis Dodd's name wrong.

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:20 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Yeah, this is lame.  I wonder if Dodds is a Texass homer or something.  Or if he's so busy blogging in his cave, he has nothing better to chime in about than his girlfriend Beebe getting death threats.  I think this is additional piling on:  the Huskers are leaving the Big 12 high and dry because the wooses in Texas wanted to continue raking in coin at their expense, and the Huskers weren't going to play the fool any longer like they had for the last 12 or 13 years.  I can believe there were maybe a few online death threats:  Beebe and Co. have done plenty to incite anger in a fan base which is loyal and above the crappy officiating and press the team has gotten in the past 2 years.  I think this article is a calculated move meant to cast the Huskers in a bad light.  I say we don't let the door hit us where the Good Lord split us after the Big 12 title game.  We should refuse the trophy and walk off the field like Beebe and Co. don't even exist.  They don't deserve our attention.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:17 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

I'm really beginning to become skeptical of this story.  Granted there are low-life idiots out there who would do such a thing as threaten somebody like that.  They should be brought to justice, but if he for once feared somebody would be injured that he wouldn't send an NU ALL-AMERICAN LB to give out the trophy, something smells funny.  And then, instead of going to law enforcement agencies to bring these low-life idiots to justice, he goes to NFL security, who says, "You shouldn't go up there.  Those people might have pitchforks and surround you."  Another thing is people on facebook, don't understand that everyone who asks to be a friend on facebook is PROBABLY NOT your friend.  Put the settings on private so only your TRUE FRIENDS can see something and you don't have every low-life idiot posting idiotic, vulgar, and stupid comments on your page.  That goes for everyone who is on the social networking sites.  From players, to movie stars, to the average everyday office workers.

"He was so concerned about some of the threats that Beebe said he didn't think it was proper to send even Ed Stewart, a former Nebraska player, who works in the Big 12 office." 

That's just ridiculous, and shows why Beebe was updating his resume a few minutes before Texas decided they could start their great TV network in time to go independent.

Again, the people who threatened him, whether Husker fans or somebody impersonating Husker fans (I know shocking to think someone might pretend to be NU fans to give NU fans a bad name), are low-life scumbags who need to be brought to justice.

Lastly, if you don't think there were some low-life idiot Texas fans who blew a gasket after they were denied a Championship game in 2008, they are very dilusional also.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:12 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Dan Beebe has neither been the first nor will be the last sports figure or official to have nasty, mean or even criminal things directed at him by fringe elements of a given fan base. Do you suppose the fans of the Texas Longhorns have, to a person, have sent get well wishes and flowers to Mack Brown and Greg Davis?

Still, that doesn't excuse the actions of those in this case who have wilfully crossed a lawful line. They should, and no doubt will be brought to justice, exposed in public and punished according to the law.

However, neither do the actions of those individuals lay the guilt at the feet of all. After all, a cross section of society of any size--whether you slice it by region, relation, religion, race occupation or sports team--will have bad elements, stupid elements and stupidly bad elements.

You may even know a few yourself.

Yet, evening logically knowing that as I'm sure you do, the tone of your article suggests that you have lumped all Nebraska fans together. All of them. You openly questioned (in the guise of a "hope") if the collective fans of the Nebraska football team will be able to contribute to the Big Ten in a postive manner. You expressed a generalized and melodramtic-leaning fear that Nebraska fans will want to hunt you down for writing this article. By loose association, i.e. being fans of the same sports team, you have managed in relatively few words to stigmatize a large and diverse group of individuals.

Nicely done.

By the way, did Dan Beebe show you (or anyone in the news media) any of these messages? Not that I'm suggesting that reporters shouldn't take public figures at their word, or that they should dig into stories they report on. I'm just curious.

And speaking of Beebe, I do have a differing opinion to yours on whether or not he should have attended the Nebraska vs. Colorado game and presented the trohpy.

To the point, every time a coach, his players and his staff walk into a stadium full of tens of thousands charged (and, at times, inebriated) fans, they are, to one degree or another, risking their well being.

How many 'crazoids' can a stadium hold do you think? One? Two? More? It only takes one to pull a trigger, one to inflict harm.

How many times do you see hundreds or even thousands of fans rush the field after a game? There is real potential for danger in such chaos, danger in the dyanmics of mob mentality. One percent of those in a stadium could rush the field and create bloody mayhem. Once the momentum starts, it's all but impossible to stop. It's happened before.

And, yet, the coaches and players on one side of the field or the other go out there into the middle of a sea of hostility each and every week. Why? Because they want to. Because they are asked to. Because it's their job. Because they are men and women of character.

They also trust the security of the school, the security of the stadium, the campus police, the city police, the state police, the FBI and whomever else is working to ensure their safety.

So, to me, having Dan Beebe and the Big 12 say that they didn't show up because they felt threatened is at best disingenuous. For them to exercise that excuse is for them to say that they do not trust the security measures that they, themselves, helped formulate, that they, themselves, ask players and coaches to trust week in and week out.

Dan Beebe didn't have to announce he was coming. He could have shown up quietly and not even gone onto the field or into the tunnels or the stands. He could have gone directly to the press box and from there directly to the locker room and presented the trophy to the team behind closed doors. All without ever having to step into public view.

And even if Beebe was that concerned, and even if he didn't trust all the protection and discretion available to him to keep him safe, he could have asked Big 12 Assistant Commissioner for Football and Nebraska Hall of Fame football player Ed Steward to go in his place.

I'm pretty sure Ed would have been all right in a house he helped build.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:12 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

Jcowpoke, have fun with your delusions of granduer. And your soon to be nonexistent conference.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:09 pm

Death threats in the Big 12

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