Big Ten reprimands Bo Pelini, fines Nebraska $10K

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten office today issued a public reprimand of Nebraska football head coach Bo Pelini for violating the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy following Nebraska’s game against Iowa on Nov. 29, 2013. In addition, the conference announced that the institution has been fined $10,000 as a result of the violation.

[ MORE: Big Ten reprimands Marcus Hall, Ohio State staff ]

The Big Ten determined that Pelini’s postgame comments regarding officials were in violation of Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01, which states in part that “The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.” Coaches are teachers as well, and there is an expectation that they set the example for student-athletes and others in areas of sportslike conduct.

“The University of Nebraska embraces and supports the Big Ten Conference’s Sportsmanship Policy,” said Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst. “In that regard, we were disappointed with Coach Pelini’s actions this past Friday regarding game officials. We immediately recognized and addressed the situation with Coach Pelini and the Big Ten Conference. In addition, Coach Pelini acknowledged and accepted responsibility for the inappropriateness of his actions and issued a public apology in advance of this reprimand.”

The Big Ten Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.



Your Opinion?
Show Comments (53 Comments)
dalton on 12/2/2013 @ 7:14pm EDT Said:

why does Ohio State not get fined for players flipping off the crowd when leaving the stadium. I think that requires more action than this.

Lee Gaus on 12/2/2013 @ 7:20pm EDT Said:

Bo Pelini gets a reprimand and Nebraska gets fined and neither punched anyone. Amazing! Maybe next time Pelini should rush the field and punch someone that way the University will save 10K.

delmar1950 on 12/2/2013 @ 7:30pm EDT Said:

Hey Dalton first of all it was one player and though I didn’t like what he did what do you think that the crowd was saying to him as he was leaving the stadium. Give that a thought!

Dave on 12/2/2013 @ 7:31pm EDT Said:

How come there is no investigating those ref’s for really bad calls!!!! How come they are not fined or fired for this!!!!

bruce on 12/2/2013 @ 7:44pm EDT Said:

well you know its Ohio State where memorabilia can be traded for tattoos –so flipping someone off is no big deal and the players that threw punches on the field won”t be in anymore trouble either

Charlie Harrington on 12/2/2013 @ 7:47pm EDT Said:

only 2 letters separate Bo Pelini and Kirk Ferentz the letters C@L Coach Ferentz has class and Bo Pelini is an ………GO HAWKS! CAH

JonnyJ on 12/2/2013 @ 7:50pm EDT Said:

Ohio gets zero suspensions for what they did?? BTW I am not a fan of either team. But when you have a team that just came off of NCAA violations. The NCAA and BIG and the coaches should expect more!

John on 12/2/2013 @ 8:03pm EDT Said:

Bo get fined what about Ohio st and Michigan and the fight bullshit

NOYFB on 12/2/2013 @ 8:24pm EDT Said:

i want to know about whether both Michigan and Ohio State will get sanctioned for unsportsmanlike fighting?

nick on 12/2/2013 @ 8:31pm EDT Said:

I think the Big 10 needs to educate there officiating crews in the rules of football. They need to be trained to call the same penalties for all teams. When they make questionable calls over and over it makes fans, players, and coachs angry. Maybe they can use the 10000 they are fining Nebraska to pay for some of this. In my opinion the Big 10 has some of the worst officiating crews and this should be taken care of.

Justin on 12/2/2013 @ 8:58pm EDT Said:

The ref all year long have called bs call on neb Bo is getting tired of the bs and so are the players if Bo gets fined then ohio st and michigan should also get fined

Mark on 12/2/2013 @ 9:00pm EDT Said:

“Classy” Kirk Ferentz screamed bullsh#t directly into the camera shot and had to be restrained by his coaches on Friday. Sorry, Charlie, that’s not class in my book.

Devin Kilpatrick on 12/2/2013 @ 9:15pm EDT Said:

So do the refs get fined for making a bad call?

Mel Herman on 12/2/2013 @ 9:30pm EDT Said:

Nebraska has been getting screwed all season on the officiating. Every game, they made bad calls against Ne. A lot of holding on the line and on our wide outs.Never call.

Jill on 12/2/2013 @ 9:40pm EDT Said:

What Mark said to Charlie.

Karen Baker Mattison on 12/2/2013 @ 9:44pm EDT Said:

IT was the players at Ohio State and Michigan not the coaches, there is a difference.

mark luhr on 12/2/2013 @ 9:51pm EDT Said:

Did the referee get fined, demoted or reprimanded for a ball that was so far out of reach that he would have needed to jump off a step stool to have a chance to catch it. Human error only goes so far. Way to many times officials get let off the hook. Only a few of them are man enough to own up to mistakes.. And yes their performances are reviewed, but by who. Other officials that never have to make a comment.

B Brown on 12/2/2013 @ 9:56pm EDT Said:

How about the Iowa head coach and his 5 minute rant on the officials during the Nebraska game where his assistants had to restrain him several times? No fine ? Looks like poor sportsmanship by a head coach per Big 10 guidelines. I guess a double standard applies.

Eldon Bailey on 12/2/2013 @ 10:11pm EDT Said:

the big ten refs made bad calls over and over on ne. go thru the games and you will find 4 to 6 bad calls all the way around on NE..Matinez was hit several times in the head at minn. and no call ,ne gets called for it though.Are these refs not screened at all. bo has a right to be mad ,but complain to the right people. ohio and mich deserve a fine too because a coach should control there players refs were not on top of that either. Poor sportsmanship in the big ten.

Big D on 12/2/2013 @ 10:33pm EDT Said:

LOL@ Mark…yeah, I bet he saw the camera too and did it intentionally too, right? If you knew ANYTHING about Ferentz you would know that his “outburst” of needing to be restrained by his coaches is out of the norm. He is normally looking at his clipboard and smacking his gum during a game. Never gets his feathers ruffled. Ferentz is one of the classier HC’s in College Football, hands down. This is coming from an Iowa fan who has been highly critical of his program in the last three years.

Some may not like Bo’s style but I like his fire and passion for the game. Although, I was surprised he didn’t get tossed from the game after nearly hitting that ref in the face with his hat. I thought it hit him but there has not been any discussion regarding that so I can only assume it didn’t. It was damn close though.

Joe Gustafson on 12/2/2013 @ 11:07pm EDT Said:

When is the Big 10 going to get rid of all the old and outdated officials. I used to think the Pac 12 had the worst followed by the Big 12. Now I think the Big 10 has the worst, all the other conferences updated their officials except for the Big 10. I am part of a small but growing minority that want to return to the Big 12. I used to go to away games but no longer will in the stodgy B1G because of weather and boring football. I still watch the Big 12 games anytime over the Big 10 games. The B1G is falling further behind the other conferences especially the Southeast conference. The other conferences have much younger and better officials and more modern and exciting football. The Big 10 needs to modernize before it becomes the Boring 10.

Gary Williams on 12/2/2013 @ 11:10pm EDT Said:

Charlie Harrington,
I am a huge Nebraska fan and I support Bo Pelini, but the CL comment was classic!

dude on 12/2/2013 @ 11:13pm EDT Said:

Nebraska has gotten screwed alot on bad calls, i personally dont like nebraska a whole lot but id be pissed too. Like that call against neb. In the msu game that took back their running back 60 yrd td run. The refs were even overheard talking how the ref didnt know what he saw but it didnt look rite, when in doubt call it unnecesary roughness… i guess

Robin on 12/2/2013 @ 11:37pm EDT Said:

I’m a Cornhusker fan & I thought Bo should have been ejected for his behavior that got him a penalty. I also think the Big 10 officials need some serious training/retraining. They are all about calling penalties against aggressive teams. Ask Michigan State about that. I saw the lowlights after their game against Notre Dame & Dennard’s int was NOT PI. They have as much to gripe about as Nebraska does.

Take OSU v UM on Saturday. Watch OSU’s right tackle hog tie the defensive end that gives Miller the corner on a touchdown scramble that tied it at 21.

akble on 12/2/2013 @ 11:43pm EDT Said:

Boy you Cornhusker fans deserve Bo for sure. Excuses excuses and excuses. I have never seen such whining about being picked on “every game” . DVR a game and look at it from neutral site. Hardly a play goes by when there is not holding on the line from ALL teams. That pass to Fedorowizc was over his head- of course when you are 6’7″ and can reach at lest 10’5″ on a jump but have some guy physically holding you down pretty hard to gauge how if catchable or not. The ball did not land that far away either.
Face it you are a middle of the road team in the Big Ten and with Bo will probably be lucky to stay at that level. Iowa had bad season last year and you got out of Iowa City by less than one touchdown. Bad calls and questionable calls happen every game and in a close game one can probably find a couple that might have changed the outcome- but a stretch to suggest tit would have helped much losing 38-17. Fake punts in 3rd quarter around your own 30 when trailing by only 7 was much bigger problem. Did Bo sanction that? Or was the refs fault also?

Ralph Davis on 12/2/2013 @ 11:50pm EDT Said:

Bo threw Ferentz under the bus and called Big Ten refs penalty on him a “chicken—-” call. I’ve never seen the conference let any coach in this league get away with that. Coaches are held to a high standard. I think the ejected players should have to sit out next game. Hoke and Meyer both got a break here they didn’t deserve.

Jeremy on 12/3/2013 @ 12:15am EDT Said:

I guess I would like to see some consistency in how they treat each school and treat the ALL equally

RtWgNt on 12/3/2013 @ 12:19am EDT Said:

Oh the irony, the BTN talking about sportsmanship, ethics, etc. Meanwhile during “The Game”, you have a bunch of thugs throwing down on the field. Ripping helmets off, pushing each other, coaches…and REFS. Actually laying hands on refs, not just swinging a ball cap in their general direction, but actually laying hands on them. I guess BTN ethics are only upheld in regards to NU? Frickin’ joke.

Dallas on 12/3/2013 @ 12:59am EDT Said:

i find it funny how a few people have pointed out that the refs are to blame for Pelini’s inappropriate actions…they are doing their jobs, a few bad calls, it happens. huskers lost get over it. I’m a hawkeye fan and i say yes they made some very bad calls but they stand by their calls and you cannot change their decisions and neither can Pelini. he should have just said “that was a very bad call” and help in his anger. the record is 2-1 against the Hawkeyes. how about being a good sport and say “great job hawkeyes” instead of being childish. i say the Huskers did a good job the last 2 years against the hawks. and did poorly this year and the hawks capitalized on their oppurtunity. there has to be a winner and their has to be a loser (unless its a tie) and the huskers lost fair and square. 38-17 F. get over it and move on.

KA on 12/3/2013 @ 1:02am EDT Said:

BIG officiating has been at best a BIG disappointment for Nebraska since entering the league. My wife (from Wisconsin) also sees it game after game (HD DVR reply reveals much to see) and she can’t believe it’s still going on in year 3 of Nebraska being in the league. Bo, as well as other members of Nebraska’s athletics dept must have sent hours and hours of footage to the BIG office requesting explanation. It is infuriating for the fans, I’m sure it must be a helpless feeling for the coaches and players. Unfortunately everyone has a breaking point where the frustration mounts and Bo had that (again) on Saturday. In some ways I can’t blame him, but he needs to figure out another way to get the officials to behave the way they need to because they obviously aren’t going to be objective with Bo’s reputation. The officials are flawed human beings like everyone else and will look for opportunities to make calls for the opposition when they feel Bo’s wrath.

gene on 12/3/2013 @ 6:43am EDT Said:


Andy G on 12/3/2013 @ 8:16am EDT Said:

hey CHARLIE….it wasn’t BO PELINI that had to be restrained and held off the field Friday……no it was Kirk Ferentz….ya right….nice class…he did every bit as much as pelini did on Friday….Kirk went bezerk on the officials too……but it wasn’t covered with the spot like that was on Pelini…… so back off with your haughty class stuff……

Lloyd Michael Severence on 12/3/2013 @ 9:14am EDT Said:

You guys are forgetting that the Ohio State and Michigan players already were suspended for a game.

Concerned on 12/3/2013 @ 9:24am EDT Said:

Are you kidding me. It is time Bo go to anger management training. This is getting out of hand, you people that think it is okay for him to act this way because it instills toughness in his team need to join him. When Nebraska teams were feared it wasn’t because we had a uncontrollable leader on the sidelines. Makes you wonder what will happen with these kids once they are no longer in school and they get upset at there Boss or company because they don’t agree with somethiing. RANT and RAVE and hope they keep their job. Bo has the ability to coach, he just needs to change the way he is doing it.

Lina on 12/3/2013 @ 10:05am EDT Said:

Other schools have LOTS of bad calls – and no one gives a hoot. So no crying the blues for your bad calls from here.

Little D on 12/3/2013 @ 10:10am EDT Said:

NB, I thought that is why you left the BIG 12 Conference because you where not getting fair treament? There are only a few one way streets left out there. Look in the mirror…

Frank on 12/3/2013 @ 10:45am EDT Said:

How much was Brady Hoke fined for “unsportsmanship conduct” per Big Ten rule 10.01 following the 2012 Ohio State versus Michigan game when he ran off the field and did not shake hands with Coach Urban? Also, what happened to the fine money when he paid it?

Nate on 12/3/2013 @ 11:04am EDT Said:

Half of these posts remind me of an article I read about fans. It mentions that in social media the most common / easiest excuse for fans today is blaming the refs when their team loses. Nebraska is a good program with rich history (90’s) but the refs aren’t the ones to blame for their poor play on the field this year. Saturday their very talented RB was kept quiet and their punter gave Iowa some gifts with pathetic kicks. Not all the refs fault. Holding is a call that a ref could call on every play but theyre not gonna do that cuz it would ruin the game. A few bad calls arent gonna make up for 21 points.

Steve H on 12/3/2013 @ 11:12am EDT Said:

There’s a huge difference between Kirk Ferentz and Bo. Kirk gets mad about 4 times a year and only when it’s something so ridiculously bad that he has to. Bo acts like an idiot 75% of the game. Kirk was mad because they called offsetting penalties on a play when the Nebraska player hit the Hawkeye player. It should have been an ejection not offsetting penalties. Get over it, your years of dominance have come to an end at least while you have the same coach!

Jeff on 12/3/2013 @ 11:20am EDT Said:

I am a NU fan but this was not a fine for what happened on the field, this was because of the press conference. I still think that is stupid but it is the way that ALL conferences and leagues “manage” their coaches.

Dave on 12/3/2013 @ 11:23am EDT Said:

First of all Waa, Waa, Waa. Secondly Waa, Waa, Waa. If it wasn’t for Waa, Waa, Waa then Waa, Waa, Waa would have won the game. Waa, Waa, Waa getting called for that is just Waa, Waa, Waa. Nebraska fans are the biggest babies in college football. You guys have excuses for everything. You know how many Nebraska football players it take to screw in a light bulb?. were not sure yet because all they do is stand around and talk about how bright it used to be. Now take your whipping, stop whining and please go away.

Larry Eisenhauer on 12/3/2013 @ 12:11pm EDT Said:

A@ Big D, one of your fans called out our coach and said he was an *** so all that someone said is your coach showed worse behavior, maybe if a husker asst. coach would have restrained Pelini this is a non issue. Pelini gets a bad rap for one outbust at Texas A & M two years ago. I don’t blame him 13 flag to 1…….really?

Mitch on 12/3/2013 @ 12:41pm EDT Said:

waa waa waaa you have to lie in Iowa= Idiots out wondering around

Yourdadsmother on 12/3/2013 @ 1:06pm EDT Said:

I think that the refs are complete idiots, and I agree with what Pelini said, although he should have known that he would get in trouble for it, but if it were me I would have done the same thing. Especially that “unnecessary roughness” call, in the RULES it says that that would not be considered unnecessary roughness, and that could have cost us the game. You Iowa fans are all babies, you should be punished for this too, and so should those horrible refs.

    Big D on 12/3/2013 @ 2:47pm EDT Said:

    Just how are all Iowa fans babies?

Big D on 12/3/2013 @ 2:56pm EDT Said:

@larry. I can’t speak for all Iowa fans and all ther fans don’t speak for me, but I like Pellini. He had a right to get upset, NE couldn’t even get a decent call on his home turf. But Nebraska lost because they couldn’t points on the board, not because of the refs.

dude on 12/3/2013 @ 4:07pm EDT Said:

We wanted a true rivaly now i think we are gettn there folks lol

Deb B on 12/3/2013 @ 5:24pm EDT Said:

so they are going to fine Bo but will not punish the QB of Ohio State who came off the bench and punched a guy out. According to the rules he should have set out the second have of the michigan/ohio state game and didn’t! He should be sitting out the next game.. Ohio State/ Michigan State game! But won’t!!!! Makes sense!

SSmith on 12/3/2013 @ 6:20pm EDT Said:

Can’t even tell you how frustrating it is, for years and years, the refs have gotten away with bad calls on Nebraska, yet they still get away with it. I would have been upset too, I think Pellini did pretty well considering how bad that call was. These refs know, one bad call can change the game. Pathetic.

DMHusker on 12/3/2013 @ 8:03pm EDT Said:

After reading through all these comments I think most of the readers missed the point of this article. It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game or Bos antics on the field after the bad call, but with the comments he made about the refs after the game. I am a fan of BO and I love his passion for the game but he did let his emotions get the better of him and according to Big Ten policy deserved the reprimand. I don’t think that one penalty changed the outcome of the game. Iowa played a good game in Lincoln and deserved the win. Nobody thought Auburn would beat Alabama, Penn State would hand it to Widconsin and some not believing IA could beat NE away from home. But that’s what makes this such a great game, anything could happen. Looking forward to next year in Iowa City!

Mark on 12/3/2013 @ 10:33pm EDT Said:

In reply to Big D (I have a pretty good guess what the “D” stands for), I went to the University of Iowa for 13 years and have forgotten more about Iowa football than you will ever know. Ferentz ROUTINELY screams at the refs and never gets called on it. Open your eyes. The guy got paid a million dollars per win last year. You can keep your “classy,” overpaid, NFL wanna be coach. Bo Big Red.

Chris on 12/4/2013 @ 12:15am EDT Said:

Find it humorous how quickly blame is placed on the refs for their bad season.

Fumble fingers

That’s the root of Nebraska’s turnover problem in 2012. The Husker defense produced 23 takeaways. Not great, not bad. The NU offense, on the other hand, gave it away 35 times, second-worst nationally. Twenty-two of those turnovers were fumbles. That’s worst in the country. How bad is it? Kansas State lost just three fumbles. Louisville lost five. Wisconsin six.
» Only eight Division I players lost six fumbles or more. Two of them — Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah — played for Nebraska.

» Over the past two years, only two Division I players have more than 20 fumbles. Army’s Trent Steelman has 23. Martinez has 29.

» Nebraska lost a staggering five fumbles on punt returns. Abdullah had three of those.

» The fumbles are not a one-year epidemic. The Huskers have put the ball on the ground 112 times the past three years. Second-worst is Georgia Tech with 99 fumbles.

» The difference in 2012 was the percentage of fumbles NU lost. The average D-1 team recovers approximately 50 percent of its fumbles. In 2010 and ’11, NU was lucky, recovering 64 percent and 66 percent. This year it recovered just 37 percent.

» How bad is NU’s ball handling? Consider that over the past five years, NU has more fumbles lost (77) than Alabama has total turnovers (72).
Tracking the trends: NU’s turnover margin over the past 25 years
From 1988-2000, Nebraska football had a positive turnover margin every season except 1994. Since then, the Huskers have been positive just twice.

Yeah clearly it’s the ref’s fault.

akble on 12/4/2013 @ 12:19pm EDT Said:

Excellent post Chris- but why think facts will override delusional fans ? Just like bad free throwing shooting – some coaches and programs never seem to understand the importance. Iowa has long had one of the lowest amounts of fumbles in the country. Am sure coaching has something to do with both .