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March 14, 2011

Sadler appears set at Nebraska amid latest report

Less that 24 hours after learning its postseason NIT fate, Nebraska may have also gotten an answer to its biggest rumor at the moment.

On Monday afternoon, Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com and Lubbock, Texas, sports talk radio host reported that Texas Tech would hire Billy Gillispie as its next head basketball coach.

Since the Red Raiders announced the firing of Pat Knight before last week's Big 12 Conference Tournament, Nebraska's Doc Sadler has been named as one of the leading candidates to take the job.

While Level said nothing had been made official by the university, he expects Tech to announce Gillispie's hiring on Wednesday, which would be the end of the 10-day waiting period to hire a new coach. Level said TTU asked Gillispie not to discuss the job until it's officially announced, but said it was the position has Gillispie wanted all along.

On Monday, I asked Sadler about the rumors prior to Level's report, and he stressed they were nothing more than talk, following right along with Level's latest report.

In fact, when asked if he could confirm that he planned to be back at Nebraska next season, Sadler responded simply: "No question."

"I don't think there's anything to talk about right now," Sadler added regarding the Texas Tech job. "In my opinion, that's not going to happen. It makes good for talk."

As reported over the weekend, Sadler said he expected to meet with NU athletic director Tom Osborne sometime Monday afternoon to address his future with the Huskers and possibly begin talks for a contract extension beyond his current deal. The fifth-year coach is currently under contract through June 30, 2014, with a base salary of $800,000 per year.

That salary ranked 10th among Big 12 coaches heading into the season, and it would rank 11th among the 12 Big Ten Conference coaches next year.

Sadler was asked how important a new contract would be for him to stay at Nebraska, especially considering that Knight was given a $1.3 million at Texas Tech when he took over three years ago, which was the median figure among Big 12 coaches.

Also, any uncertainty regarding his job security could be used against Nebraska by opposing coaches during the recruiting process, which Sadler said could be a very real possibility.

"There's probably some guys that might use it against you," Sadler said. "But my deal is Coach (Osborne) has told me he wanted me to be his coach, and as long as he's the A.D. here that's made me comfortable with it. Now, probably in the profession, yeah, you probably need (an extension). There's no question about it, because there's so much uncertainty.

"You're fixing to see a big turnover now. I guess, if it's true, (Oklahoma head coach) Jeff Capel I guess got fired today, and Texas Tech's open. There are some awful big jobs that are open right now. That leads to turnover, and I think yeah, you probably do need it."

Level said he expects Texas Tech to announce the hiring of Gillispie sometime this week, but didn't think it would hold an official press conference until next week.

Almeida questionable

Junior center Andre Almeida hasn't practiced since injuring his knee during the second half of Nebraska's loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday.

According to NU trainers, Almeida re-aggravate the knee injury he suffered prior to joining the Huskers last offseason. While he apparently didn't suffer any further damage, his knee has been very sore since getting it rolled up on during a loose ball against the Cowboys.

As of Monday, Almeida is listed as questionable for Wednesday's game at Wichita State, and the final ruling on his status will likely come after seeing how he feels on Tuesday.



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