[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[March 13, 1995]
[Pages 333-334]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks to the NCAA Football Champion University of Nebraska
March 13, 1995

    Please be seated. Welcome to the White House on this beautiful 
morning. I am delighted to welcome all of the members of the national 
championship Nebraska Cornhuskers here, along with Chancellor Spanier, 
your athletic director Bill Byrne, and of course, Coach Osborne and all 
the players. I welcome the Nebraska congressional delegation: Senator 
Exon, Senator Kerrey,

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and Representatives Barrett, Bereuter, and Christensen. I do want to say 
a special word of regret, too, that Bob Devaney couldn't be here today, 
but we all wish him a very speedy recovery.
    I have been, since I was a very small boy, an ardent college 
football fan. I know that Coach Osborne's record alone justifies a 
national championship, an 820 percent winning percentage. Most of us 
would like to have that here. [Laughter] Cornhuskers have been to a bowl 
game in each of his 22 years, and as I said when I called him the night 
Nebraska won, nobody deserves it more.
    I want to congratulate your three first team All-Americans, 
linebacker Ed Stewart, tackle Zach Wiegert, and guard Brenden Stai, and 
also your three first-team Academic All-Americans, tackle Terry 
Connealy, tight end Matt Shaw, and the Academic All-American of the 
Year, who I just understood has never made a B, Rob Zatechka. We could 
give him a job here at the White House. It's sort of like playing for 
pro football.
    I want to thank this team and this coach not only for winning the 
national championship--that's obviously a great honor--but for the way 
that it was won and the character and teamwork and spirit that Coach 
Osborne has always displayed and that this team displayed. I think it 
inspired people all across the country who are fans of athletics, and I 
think even people who are not great football fans or particularly 
knowledgeable about all the details, who read about the Nebraska team, 
who saw not only that you had three All-Americans but three Academic 
All-Americans, and who have followed the work of Tom Osborne over the 
years. It inspired them all to believe in the value of teamwork and 
sacrifice and discipline, and certainly you were rewarded in ways that 
were well justified.
    I'd also like to say, I asked Coach Osborne on the way out if this 
was the largest football team ever to win a national championship, and 
he said, ``Yes, but they're good students, too.'' I liked it because I 
felt this is the only--when those three guys walked out with me, this is 
the only football team in America that could make me look like a 
ballerina. [Laughter] I liked it.
    So I welcome you here. I honor your achievement. We're delighted to 
have the players here. And I'd like to ask Coach Osborne to take the 
microphone now.

Note: The President spoke at 11:51 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Graham Spanier, chancellor, and 
Bob Devaney, athletic director emeritus, University of Nebraska. 
Following the President's remarks, Coach Thomas Osborne made brief 
remarks, and the team presented the President with a team jersey and an 
autographed football.