KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Nebraska has said goodbye to the Big 12, but athletic director Tom Osborne hopes not to Kansas City.
"I don't know how Kansas City views us, but we've had a lot of good memories here, and there's a lot of Nebraska fans here," Osborne said.
Osborne wouldn't rule out the possibility of having Nebraska meet Big 12 teams as non-conference opponents in the future. The Cornhuskers and Oklahoma have discussed a future series.
In 1998, Nebraska played in the first Division I-A game at Arrowhead, as the visiting team against Oklahoma State, and Osborne said the Huskers would consider a similar arrangement, playing as a visiting team in Kansas City.
"Anything is possible," Osborne said.
Osborne was in town to pick up the Casey Award for amateur sports excellence at the PROPS (Party Recognizing Outstanding People in Sports) ceremony on Thursday at the Midland Theatre.
He assuredly would like to have left with assurance of fall enrollment and football participation from another award winner, Gardner Edgerton all-sports standout Bubba Starling, one of four high school athletes honored.
That didn't happen, although Starling made sure to acknowledge Osborne in his acceptance speech.
"It's especially cool to have Tom Osborne among the honorees," Starling said.
Starling, who was the Royals' first-round selection and No. 5 overall, has until Aug. 15 to sign a baseball contract likely worth $6-7 million. He declined to comment on the situation.
Former Chiefs standout Bobby Bell had his own recruiting story, but not from college.
Bell, who received the Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award, said he signed with the AFL's Dallas Texans, which became the Chiefs, over the NFL because of Hunt.
"He's the one who recruited me, and I didn't talk to anybody from the Texans except Lamar Hunt," Bell said. "I didn't talk to Coach (Hank) Stram until I had agreed to sign my contract. I got to be friends with Lamar over the years. We laughed about a lot of things."