Nebraska officials, Osborne release Pelini statements

Bo Pelini has to feel better knowing he has the support of Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and A.D. Shawn Eichorst. The duo issued a joint statement Wednesday in support of Pelini. So, too, did Nebraska legend Tom Osborne.

[ MORE: Pelini offers apology | Reaction to Pelini audio | Pelini responds to legend's harsh words ]

Here’s the full statement:

“The comments made by Head Football Coach Bo Pelini in 2011, published Monday, are unfortunate and deeply concerning to us, as they would be to anyone who loves this university. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes must be held to a high standard and Coach Pelini’s remarks were unfair to the legions of Nebraska fans and not what we expect from a representative of this university. Former Director of Athletics Tom Osborne became aware of these comments and the existence of a recording more than a year ago, and addressed the matter with Coach Pelini. We have observed, and many others have commented, that Coach Pelini’s demeanor has significantly improved since the time of this incident. Coach Pelini has given us his assurance that he understands the seriousness and inappropriateness of his comments. We believe he is sincere in his apology and in his regret. We are prepared to put the matter to rest. Our football student-athletes, coaches and staff deserve all of our support and we know the Nebraska faithful will be there for them.”

Now, Pelini can move forward and focus on his 2-1 football team, which still has a lot to play for after last Saturday’s disappointing 41-21 loss to UCLA. The defense needs to be sorted out, and offense needs a tighter focus.

Still, it will be interesting to see how the Nebraska fan base reacts to Pelini during Saturday’s home game vs. South Dakota State after Pelini was recorded making disparaging remarks about the fans on a secret recording. No doubt, stacking wins on top of each other will make him very popular once again in the state.

Tom Osborne also released a statement:

“I was asked for comments concerning the recent incident involving Coach Pelini by members of the press and felt that it was inappropriate to respond until University officials had reviewed the situation.

“After the comments were made public on Monday, I informed the Chancellor and Director of Athletics that I had become aware of the tape involving Coach Pelini last fall, about a year after the Ohio State game in 2011 when the comments were recorded. After I had listened to the tape I visited with Coach Pelini about it and expressed my concerns. Bo had not heard the tape at that time.  I visited with all my coaches regularly about their conduct and language throughout my tenure as Athletic Director.

“While the comments were certainly not good, I realized that Bo had gone through an emotional week and an emotional game and was in a setting where he thought his comments were entirely private. I visited with Bo on a weekly basis and did not find that his attitude toward the fans or the press as expressed by those comments were at all in keeping with what I knew his true attitude to be. He understands that the most important asset the Athletic Department has is the amazing fan support that we enjoy.

“Bo’s academic record with the football team has been the best in my recollection. The behavior of his players has been excellent for the most part, he has won three divisional championships and had one of the best win-loss records in college football for the past five years. I recognize that there have occasionally been controversies but I have seen a willingness to change, reflect and improve in Bo over the years. I am very hopeful that the players, coaches and fans will pull together as unity of purpose has been one of our major assets over the last 50 years.”

Listen to Pelini on Tuesday’s teleconference:

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21 Comments

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Terry on 9/18/2013 @ 1:17pm EDT Said:

It will be put to rest if Bo can eliminate the embarrassing losses. We’re not saying he has to win every game but when your record is as bad as Nebraska’s has been against ranked teams the past 5 years, there has to be immediate improvement. He has to prove he can win a big game or else he should be replaced based on his record and direction of the program and not necessarily his comments about Nebraska and its fans.

Grant on 9/18/2013 @ 1:22pm EDT Said:

Lets hope then that nothing comes of this so whoever released the tape doesn’t have the satisfaction of getting what they want. If something would have come of it, then it would have happend when Osborne was made aware, if Osborne was ok to move forward, then we should all be ok to move forward. GO BIG RED

Husker Rich - Ark. on 9/18/2013 @ 1:32pm EDT Said:

Enough said, let us move on and support our team saturday.

Kenny on 9/18/2013 @ 1:42pm EDT Said:

Finally, some common sense and brains on this incident. If it wasn’t good enough 2 years ago, it isn’t good enough today. This is just some mealy mouth rabble rouser trying to make themselves feel important. Go crawl back in the hole you came out of!!

Denny on 9/18/2013 @ 1:47pm EDT Said:

Husker fans will put this behind them. We forgive Bo and understand that no one is perfect. I certainly have been able to tell a change in Bo over the past year or so. I would like to keep moving in that direction. Our biggest concern is the product on the field. The QB is not getting the job done and the defense has got to figure out a way to complete games. I think giving Tommy Armstrong a chance to show us what he has would be a good choice in a game like this. I welcome Bo and the entire team with open arms. GBR

James on 9/18/2013 @ 1:50pm EDT Said:

And continued embarrassing loses will lead to him being fired for the right reasons, his lack of ability as a head coach!

Ryan Senkbile on 9/18/2013 @ 1:51pm EDT Said:

I personally think that this will just unite our fan base that much more. Be prepared to hear a louder crowd on Saturday when the Huskers take the field!!! GBR!!!

Aric Nagel on 9/18/2013 @ 1:56pm EDT Said:

I’m like any other Husker fan and want to see the Huskerrs win every Saturday, but that rarely happens where teams can go undefeated. I’m disappointed when they lose and armchair quarterback just like most everyone else. Putting yourself in Coach Pelini’s position and the atmosphere of the moment, I completely understand how he felt. He loves the University and the athletic department, otherwise he wouldn’t be so emotional about the things that involve the football program. The first twenty years of Coach Osborne’s tenure,, people always wanted someone else because there were no National Championships. I support Coach Pelini and the direction the program is headed, even though I don’t always agree with the play calling!

Zach Higginson on 9/18/2013 @ 1:56pm EDT Said:

Unfortunately, this will always leave a bad taste in my mouth about Pelini. When you have 85k fans in a stadium who have paid premium prices to see a product and that product turns out to be garbage, they should have a right to voice or show their frustration w/ it. The fact that Pelini, instead of acknowledging this, seems to think He IS the program and everyone else can go to hell, is frustrating.

Pragmatic on 9/18/2013 @ 2:08pm EDT Said:

Harvey and Shawn did the right thing. The fact that Osborne had already addressed this with Bo a year ago and things have improved is enough said. I think that Bo’s comments about making it more fun following the UCLA loss is much more important. I think his intensity is sometimes overbearing but the players love him and the team needs to play to the level of the talent. At times they have shown that the talent is there. GBR

huskerfanbb on 9/18/2013 @ 2:15pm EDT Said:

Winning fixes everything–and 9 or 10 wins is still possible for this team, despite how bad they looked against the Bruins.

On the other hand, 6 or 7 wins–coupled with this and the whole Tommie Frazier “thing”, and things could go south for Bo in a hurry. Unfortunately, while 9 or 10 wins is certainly still within their grasp, 6 or 7 isn’t out of the question, either.

He needs to right the ship–fast.

Wild Husker on 9/18/2013 @ 2:58pm EDT Said:

To be honest, Bo is the man. All this rant shows is that he care about the team, the kids playing on the field. They pulled out a win when things looked bad. That was between him and the players.

I was mad at first, but when you take a step back and look, he had good reason to be mad.

As far as last weeks game, it was good till the half… We have a retooled D, mostly young talent that will take some breaking in to get it right. Yeah the loss sucks but we have more tape on what we need to fix.

More importantly, this means we will have a better defense moving forward this season and the years to come.

I’m a hardcore Husker fan, and I stand by Bo and the coaching staff.

Confidential on 9/18/2013 @ 3:19pm EDT Said:

I’m past his explosion and understand his frustration about people leaving the stadium. However, how come no one is focusing on his words about “moving on” from Nebraska in the near future? He’s not committed in my opinion.

Van on 9/18/2013 @ 3:21pm EDT Said:

ENOUGH IS NOT SAID! What if a student athlete made the same remarks and it was released to the media? I would expect their would be disciplinary action which would be appropriate. Double standard here by the university leadership. Apparently their is no code of ethics or standards that Coach Bo needs to hereto except winning. Very disappointed in their lack of appropriate disciplinary action! Now I am not for firing Coach Bo! Bit I assure you him being a hot head, a perfectionist and surrounding himself with people who need OJT in college football, other coaches to over his tracks he will do it again! By the way, how is Louisville Cards doing in football the last few years. Not bad from all I read and in comparison better than the huskers! Go Big Red players!

Frank on 9/18/2013 @ 3:45pm EDT Said:

Bo’s pals at OC and DC should be thanking him big time for deflecting the attention away from the poor job they did prepping the team to be competitive at the minimum. Bo and the gang sure do talk a lot about things that need to be “fixed”. They’re still broken and it appears that we have some 3rd rate mechanics on the job.

dave on 9/18/2013 @ 5:27pm EDT Said:

uhhhhg!… this is just going to perpetuate keeping a coach who can’t live up to his resume. his 9 wins a year are against weak teams, and his 4 blow out losses every year are against mediocre teams. It’s too bad his defense (the one thing we thought we’d get for sure) can’t live up to all the other accolades T.O. speaks of. I appreciate Tom sticking up for him, but believe me, this is detrimental for the short and long term success of the program. It’s real simple, ever since Callahans recruits have been gone, we’ve had one of the worse defenses in the nation and we are getting worse. Wake up! Bo sucks at coaching!

Jim Ryan on 9/18/2013 @ 5:35pm EDT Said:

the defensive calls have been terrible,I have faith in the players,they are young but they are very good athletes, with the right calls they will kick butt,Go Big Red

ronald makkekko on 9/18/2013 @ 7:40pm EDT Said:

bo pellini is one hell of a coach.lest not forget those heartbreaing times that tom could not win the big games.as a true big red fan,you get fustrated after the game,maybe last a day oGr two but you forget about it and cheer them on to the next game. bo is doing a fine job!!

Husker Fan In Iowa on 9/18/2013 @ 8:01pm EDT Said:

Give it a rest. How many of you have not flipped out and said things that you probably shouldn’t have, didn’t really mean or think anyone was listening. Bo is human – just like you and me. We make mistakes. He has more stress on him than most of us could even imagine. Let’s support the team we all love, forgive for mistakes and look forward to a good season of Big Read Football.

Keith on 9/19/2013 @ 12:48am EDT Said:

Yes…Dean Wormer should be putting Bo on Double Secret Probation. He and his assistants really do need to focus and do a better job on where to put the X’s and O’s. They’ve missed the mark to many times.

squeekeron on 9/19/2013 @ 12:51am EDT Said:

I understand the Husker fan’s frustration which is exactly the same as Bo Pelini’s frustration, but I don’t think their problem is a head coach problem. Competition for top recruits is a daunting task especially in the middle of the country, and Nebraska just hasn’t been landing enough of them recently for whatever reason. I think this will eventually swing the other way.