The University of Nebraska – Omaha is officially dedicating their new athletic facility, the Baxter Arena this afternoon. The arena will be used for Maverick hockey, basketball and volleyball games as well as for community and campus events. While most in the community is celebrating the new facility, others are upset that UNO cut their football and wrestling programs back in 2011.
UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts says officials had to look at the larger picture of athletics. Alberts says, “We were just doing everything we could. First, to save the athletic department and then create a department that was really valuable to UNO. UNO is an institution of higher education and the athletic department has to be helping to advance that objective and we weren’t doing that. We set out to create a department that had value to our campus and our students.”
Alberts says it was painful to cut wrestling and football and he still feels for those players and coaches. While he is disappointed UNO no longer has those programs the cuts were necessary to help the athletic program move forward.
Alberts says that is now happening at UNO. He says they had to export athletics across Omaha and events were held at different locations. He says that was not student centered. They now want to create a home for softball and baseball players and Alberts says, “If we are going to do that we are going to do that right.” He is very pleased with how the community has supported and continues to support UNO athletics.