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Nebraska Football Practice, 8.27.16

Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley, center, talks with University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, right, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green during practice in 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

LINCOLN — As with all high-level employees of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a change in the athletic director or football coach would come only on the recommendation of Chancellor Ronnie Green.

Green made that clear Tuesday, adding that he hasn't been a part of any discussions on the future of athletic director Shawn Eichorst or football coach Mike Riley since the Huskers' stunning loss Saturday to Northern Illinois.

Speaking with reporters following his annual State of the University address, Green said he, too, shares in the frustrations stemming from the football team's most recent defeat, which dropped NU to 3-6 in games dating to last season.

"We certainly are frustrated at the moment at the level of performance on the field and are hoping, pulling for our team to improve over the course of the next several weeks," Green said. "Like most of Husker Nation, we're certainly frustrated."

Green was appointed chancellor in 2016 by Hank Bounds, who became the University of Nebraska system president a year earlier. Eichorst hired Riley to replace fired football coach Bo Pelini in December 2014.

Eichorst, uncharacteristically, spoke with reporters following Nebraska's second straight defeat on Saturday, saying the loss to Northern Illinois was "not acceptable."

Earlier last week, Eichorst met with reporters and admitted his mistake in not being clear on intentions to continue playing on Black Friday, a Husker tradition dating to the 1990 season.

Green said he did not encourage Eichorst, who generally prefers to work behind the scenes, to speak publicly in either case.

"Shawn's his own leader. He's a very effective leader," Green said Tuesday. "That was his choice, I think a wise choice on his part."

Eichorst was hired by former Chancellor Harvey Perlman in 2012.

Green said he hears often from fans and boosters who all care deeply about the football program. He hopes that recent losses won't turn fans against the student-athletes representing NU.

The Nebraska football team plays at home again Saturday, facing Rutgers at Memorial Stadium.

Said Green: "I hope our public will be there supporting them on Saturday and cheering them on."


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