Not only is Nebraska coach Bo Pelini dealing with fallout from a tough 41-21 loss to UCLA that saw the Huskers blow a 21-3 lead, he now is at the center of firestorm surrounding an audio recording from 2011 that was posted today by the website Deadspin.com, which said it obtained the 102-second recording from a tipster.
The recording was done on Oct. 8, 2011, after Nebraska mounted a 21-point comeback in a 34-27 win against Ohio State. The recording reveals an unvarnished Pelini, who uses profane language and makes disparaging remarks about the Nebraska fans.
No doubt, all coaches get frustrated from time to time, and many use salty language. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a fact. And many similar things probably are said behind closed doors in many coaching offices across the country about the media, too. Pelini is a fiery personality in a profession filled with them.
But Pelini’s biggest sin here is his disparaging remarks about the Cornhusker fans, who are among the most rabid and loyal in the nation. I wonder if he ever will be able to curry the fans’ favor again after the revelation of this audio tape. It’s gonna be difficult. In the audio recording, Pelini seemed to not know he was being recorded.
This evening, Pelini, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Pearlman and school athletic director Shawn Eichorst all issued statements regarding the recording.
Here is Pelini’s statement, as it was posted on Huskers.com:
“I want to sincerely apologize for my comments from two years ago which became public today. I take full responsibility for these comments. They were spoken in a private room following the Ohio State game. I was venting following a series of emotional events which led to this moment. That being said, these comments are in no way indicative of my true feelings. I love it here in Nebraska and feel fortunate to be associated with such a great University and fan base. I again apologize to anyone whom I have offended.”
Here is Perlman’s statement:
“I am aware of the publication of Coach Pelini’s comments, I am disappointed and in discussions with Shawn Eichorst about addressing the issue.”
Here is Eichorst’s statement:
“I am disheartened and disappointed by the 2011 comments published today attributed to Coach Pelini about our dedicated and passionate fans and supporters. I have spoken with Chancellor Perlman and I have addressed the situation with Bo and expressed our deep concern.”
Earlier Monday, Pelini responded to criticism from former Huskers quarterback Tommie Frazier, who is unhappy with the direction of the team’s defense.
Pelini is 51-21 in six-plus seasons as the Huskers coach. In 2009, he signed a contract extension through the 2014 season. The Huskers are 2-1 this season and play host to South Dakota State on Saturday. Before the season, some felt Nebraska was the favorite in the Legends Division. Read more here.
Among their various media commitments, the Big Ten coaches are part of a Tuesday morning teleconference with reporters the week their teams play games. Nebraska faces South Dakota State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
|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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