Trev Alberts officially begins his work as Nebraska’s athletic director Monday.
But there’s little doubt his mind is already thinking about some of the work that awaits him at Nebraska as he wraps up his 12-year tenure as athletic director at UNO.
What’s ahead for Alberts at NU? He takes over Nebraska Athletics during an important stretch where just some of the things on his plate include a new era of college athletics via name, image and likeness, where players can be paid in a variety of ways, including promoting products and appearing at events. Also, Nebraska now is running its own radio network and other media enterprises instead of having guaranteed income from an outside company.
And construction and fundraising for a new training facility for the football team — and all Husker athletes — is ongoing. That’s in addition to Alberts getting to know and building trust with the coaches and staff.
It’s time to go to work, Alberts said.
“Nothing ever happens by happenstance,” Alberts said. “So we have to be the hardest working athletic department in the country. That’s something we can control.”
And Alberts says all 350 employees of the athlete department are important to the department’s success.
“We're going to create an organization that respects one another, it doesn't matter who you are,” he said. “Every single person in this athletic department will have a very critical role and we cannot be successful if every single person isn't operating at an elite level.”
Players being able to profit off their name, image and likeness is a complex issue, but one Alberts is ready to embrace.
“Let’s be honest, this is a very uncomfortable time for administrators in college athletics,” Alberts said. “The key is we’re going to be comfortable being uncomfortable, because at the end of the day this is about student-athletes. We’re going to support their opportunity to monetize their name, image and likeness.”
Alberts praised the work of Garrett Klassy, the interim athletic director who has been working on NIL well before it began on July 1.
“Garrett has done a really great job in trying to get ahead of that,” Alberts said. “I think a lot of it has to do with relationships as well. Those are going to be really important, our corporate donors and sponsors and bringing people in our state together. And recognizing how all of us are going to have to participate in this to help make sure that our coaches and student-athletes have every competitive advantage we possibly need to be successful in competition.”
Nebraska hasn’t had the success it hoped for in its most prominent sports of football and men’s basketball despite the hires of Scott Frost and Fred Hoiberg.
But Alberts said that wasn’t a focus during his meetings with UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green and University of Nebraska system President Ted Carter.
“In all honestly those conversations never came up with Chancellor Green or Ted Carter,” Alberts said. “They were looking for leadership. I think there is a strong feeling that while the pace of progress you could debate, nobody is suggesting that the leadership we have isn’t the right leadership and that we aren’t on the right trajectory. I’m really excited about this football season.”
Alberts is excited to help all of the coaches.
“I want to be helpful,” Alberts said. “I will never call a play, I don’t tell coaches who to recruit. But I think bigger picture some of the culture things I think I can be helpful. And I’m really excited about the future of Husker football, and the rest of our sports.”