Bo Pelini responds to Tommie Frazier's harsh words

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier apparently is fed up with Cornhuskers’ football in its current incarnation. And he let the world know about it after witnessing Nebraska’s 41-21 home loss to UCLA on Saturday.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Huskers fans, who saw their team race to a 21-3 lead and then not score again in a 41-21 defeat. Frazier was on hand in Memorial Stadium, honored at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Here is what he tweeted after the game.

Here’s the full script:

“After letting it sink in for about 4 hours I still struggling. It’s time to get rid of the defensive play caller, the Dc, lb dl and db coaches. I hate saying this but this crap is getting old. How in the hell do you not make adjustments or put your players in the position to compete? If this is what is going to happen for the remainder of the season, count me out. I don’t care if we lose a game but the way we are losing is just not what #Nebraska fans deserve. I have fought, bled, and cried over this program. I didn’t do all that for the program to become what it has today. Time for change! I will comment about the offense this week on Tommie’s X’s and O’s. Trust me you don’t want to miss it. #Huskers”

Harsh stuff, no doubt, spoken from the heart and apparently with a cool head.

[ MORE: Dienhart: "This was a big step back" for Nebraska ]

Huskers coach Bo Pelini was asked Monday for his response to Frazier’s criticism.

“We have a staff, players and administration — everybody here — who’s busting their butt to do everything we can to win football games and to do everything we can for student-athletes,” Pelini said. “Since I came back here, I’ve embraced the former players, and if he feels like that, so be it. We don’t need him. That’s a shame. Until you’ve sat in this seat — until you’ve sat and done it — anybody can have an opinion. Anybody can do that. It’s easy to point fingers and stand outside and throw stones. I take it for what it is.”

Frazier responded to Pelini’s remarks on Twitter:

This is a season of big promise for Nebraska. It’s 2-1 with many big games left. The Huskers still could win the Legends. They still could win the Big Ten, which would be the program’s first league title since 1999.

But, issues still need to be ironed out on a defense that has upset Frazier. Nebraska’s defense is currently ranked 106th in the country in yards per game with 460.5, and they are currently allowing nearly 30 points a game. And, frankly, the offense also needs more consistency. What is its identity?

Now, Frazier has picked a public spat with Pelini, whose defensive coordinator is John Papuchis, defensive line coach is Rick Kaczenski, linebackers coach is Ross Els and secondary coach is Terry Joseph. This isn’t what a Nebraska program with so much on the line needs, as it looks to make a push for big things in 2013.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And some people’s opinions matter more than others. The next few weeks in Lincoln will be interesting.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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15 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (15 Comments)
bob jones on 9/16/2013 @ 3:26pm EDT Said:

Bo has had the last 3 years to get the defense’s problems ironed out, they are obviously not better and maybe worse, the talent seems to be upgraded, so you have to look at the coaching and the system. Way too many embarrassing losses in big games to give Bo the benefit of the doubt, it’s his 6th year. Everyone wants him to succeed, but the total meltdowns cannot be ignored any longer. Bo and his inexperienced coordinators appear clueless on how to fix the glaring problems in this program. Frazier’s comments were harsh, but heartfelt, he is understandably frustrated, Bo could have handled the response better, he does not want to start alienating the fans and ex-players like Callahan did, he has already learned how to lose big games with embarrassing regularity like Callahan.

huskerfanbb on 9/16/2013 @ 3:33pm EDT Said:

I get what Bo is saying, I really do–but this isn’t some random fan giving just an “opinion”. Plus, he speaks for THOUSANDS of Husker fans who are tired of watching their team melt down, get blown out, make stupid penalties and turnovers, and generally stink it up whenever we have a big game on national TV.

It’s not just the losing, anymore. It’s the fact that outside of Lincoln and maybe some other B1G cities–it’s that nobody really cares. Not only was it unsurprising and even expected by many that UCLA came to Nebraska and won, it’s the fact that the national media barely made mention of it. It’s happened so often under Bo, especially the last two plus seasons, that it’s not even B1G news. Nebraska is slipping into mediocrity and irrelevancy.

Sure, Nebraska has won at least 9 games every year under Bo. Many schools would LOVE to have that kind of a record–but Nebraska isn’t many schools. Nebraska is the home to conference and national championships that are rapidly becoming ancient history. Bo has done other good things at Nebraska. His kids don’t get in a lot of trouble. They excel in the classroom. They are good character kids that Nebraskans are proud of–BUT–we want to win, too.

Bo says things over and over such as “we know what the problem is and we know how to fix it”, or “it’s a process”. Sorry, but it’s becoming very evident that either they don’t know what the problem is or how to fix it, or they don’t have the means to fix it, and the process is going nowhere. Bo’s teams were more competitive in ’09 and ’10 when the offense couldn’t get out of it’s own way. Now they supposedly have this Cadillac offense (although you couldn’t tell that against UCLA), and the defense can’t stop anyone.

TomI get what Bo is saying, I really do–but this isn’t some random fan giving just an “opinion”. Plus, he speaks for THOUSANDS of Husker fans who are tired of watching their team melt down, get blown out, make stupid penalties and turnovers, and generally stink it up whenever we have a big game on national TV.

It’s not just the losing, anymore. It’s the fact that outside of Lincoln and maybe some other B1G cities–it’s that nobody really cares. Not only was it unsurprising and even expected by many that UCLA came to Nebraska and won, it’s the fact that the national media barely made mention of it. It’s happened so often under Bo, especially the last two plus seasons, that it’s not even B1G news. Nebraska is slipping into mediocrity and irrelevancy.

Sure, Nebraska has won at least 9 games every year under Bo. Many schools would LOVE to have that kind of a record–but Nebraska isn’t many schools. Nebraska is the home to conference and national championships that are rapidly becoming ancient history. Bo has done other good things at Nebraska. His kids don’t get in a lot of trouble. They excel in the classroom. They are good character kids that Nebraskans are proud of–BUT–we want to win, too.

Bo says things over and over such as “we know what the problem is and we know how to fix it”, or “it’s a process”. Sorry, but it’s becoming very evident that either they don’t know what the problem is or how to fix it, or they don’t have the means to fix it, and the process is going nowhere. Bo’s teams were more competitive in ’09 and ’10 when the offense couldn’t get out of it’s own way. Now they supposedly have this Cadillac offense (although you couldn’t tell that against UCLA), and the defense can’t stop anyone.

By responding to Frazier, Bo is defending his coaches, players, and his own reputation, and I don’t blame him for that. However, Tommie Frazier has earned the right to be critical when something isn’t right. He is firmly entrenched in Nebraska football lore along with the likes of Jerry Tagge, Rich Glover, Dave Rimington, Mike Rozier, and all the other great players that have went through the program. He isn’t going anywhere–but if Bo doesn’t right this ship, Bo might be.

shookwriter27 on 9/16/2013 @ 3:45pm EDT Said:

The coach is in a job that opens a man to critisim. If he can’t take it he should get out.

doug moore on 9/16/2013 @ 4:00pm EDT Said:

Look true CORNHUSKER fans know that all that really matters is “sell-out” streaks..you claim them in football & volleyball, but you’ve played in smaller venues than the other major, majors! Now your stadium is almost competitive with the big boys & VB has about doubled. So, Bo & JC better get their acts together. Should UNL loose their “sell-out” streak braggin rights what’s left? Haven’t won a conference title since 1999? Shocking!

Tom Fast on 9/16/2013 @ 4:24pm EDT Said:

Give the coaching staff a chance to right the ship. It seems like too many are eager to pull the plug on young coaches without giving them time to apply their philosophy and system to their team. I am sure everyone is working very hard and good values are being taught, especially by Pelini, who comes from a great Ohio family.

Steve Kremla on 9/16/2013 @ 4:51pm EDT Said:

Tommie would be best served to keep quiet and start eating salads.

Richard Hand on 9/16/2013 @ 6:24pm EDT Said:

Tommy Frazier was an excellent football player for Nebraska and he deserves the induction to the college hall of fame. I am certain that it is hard for an ex-player to sit on the sideline and watch the Huskers self destruct on both offense and defense. BUT….the truth is that Tommy had his shot at coaching and he was not very good at it. He has every right to be critical along with everyone else but he certainly should not acting like he is a coaching advisor on who to hire and who to fire. Particularly with his failed coaching attempt.
Frazier, like all of us would like to think that the Huskers are capable of playing quality football for FOUR quarters. Jumping out to a 21 3 lead and then appearing to just shut down is , and should be , unacceptable and I am certain that it is to the coaching staff. I am not so sure it is to the players.
Tommy should know quite well that being an outstanding player does not automatically translate into becoming an outstanding coach. But….even more important is that Tommy should have learned in all his football career that naysayers do nothing to help encourage a team to do well. If Tommy has something significant which he thinks will help Bo and his staff… fine. But telling Bo how to do his job and Bo responding, is NOT good for either Tommy, Bo , or the football team.

jmeister on 9/16/2013 @ 6:31pm EDT Said:

Welcome to the B1G!!

ba on 9/16/2013 @ 11:06pm EDT Said:

Tommy is just saying what we all feel…how many times have we seen blow ups on players, coaches and refs. That’s not how a program is built, thats how a program is ruined. I agree with Pelini, players need to have fun but can they with extreme unprofessional experiences they see everyday? Its not about wins vs. losses, its about how a coach can handle adversity. Having the best athletic team he’s had and do nothing except say, “we missed tackles” and “someone has to make a play”, is blaming players. Saying the obvious is not coaching, having the kids prepared and discplined and in the correct place is. Watch the end of the first half of the ucla game where martinez is trying to kill time off clock and then we we run two more plays within 30 seconds to go 3 and out in 56 seconds and give them a chance to score again. That’s TERRIBLE coaching.

Daniel Puck on 9/16/2013 @ 11:59pm EDT Said:

when it comes to knowing how to WIN a football game i would take Tommy Frazier’s opinion over most people that have ever played a single snap at any level…..including Bo Pelini!

Daniel Puck on 9/17/2013 @ 10:05am EDT Said:

Lets face it Tommy Frazier has more credibility when it comes to winning footbal games than anyone named Pelini! For Pelini to act Frazier does not know is a joke….sounds like the coach needs to review some film.

theresa on 9/17/2013 @ 1:45pm EDT Said:

Tommy couldn’t do any better, that is for sure. Bo Pelini is having trouble, but, Tommy Frazier couldn’t even do what he has done, and that is a fact. Get someone else to comment like Scott Frost, now he would be someone to ask about about how to coach, not Tommy. Tommy is just one of those guys who can’t do anything else but bitch and work a regular JOB, not coach, he is an asshole.

huskerfanbb on 9/17/2013 @ 2:38pm EDT Said:

@Tom Fast

I’ve been as big of a “Bo-liever” as anyone. However, how much time does he need? This is his SIXTH season. Is the program truly getting better? Our supposedly great offense was shut out for an entire half. Our defense imploded. Maybe Bo is teaching good “values” (although, he did drop a lot of F-bombs)–but is he teaching winning football?

Alex on 9/17/2013 @ 7:25pm EDT Said:

It’s not about the wins, the losses, the meltdowns anymore. It’s about insulting and cursing out the loyal fans, throwing temper tantrums like a child. You say he’s a stand up proffessional guy who builds a respectable program. how is that behavior stand up, proffessional, or respectable AT ALL? huskerfanbb is right, it has been SIX YEARS and we still not only lose every nationally televised game, but get EMBARRASSED in every nationally televised game. in our last 5 games, 4 were a defensive embarrassment, and the other one was southern miss. but no, he has to go, this is not how to represent the University of Nebraska, his behavior is extremely intollerable.

huskerfanbb on 9/19/2013 @ 12:38pm EDT Said:

Don’t be naive, Alex. This is absolutely about wins and losses. If we had beaten UCLA by three touchdowns–obviously Fraizer would not have made his comments, nor would that tape likely have come out.

Plus, even if it had–no one would care.