Bo Pelini, John Papuchis

Nebraska chancellor releases statement on Pelini’s profane tirade; Pelini apologizes


A 2011 profanity-laced tirade directed at fans by Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was caught on tape and published by the website Deadspin on Monday, prompting the school’s chancellor and athletic director to issue the following statements:

Harvey Perlman, Nebraska chancellor:

“I am aware of the publication of Coach Pelini’s comments, I am disappointed and in discussions with Shawn Eichorst about addressing the issue.”

Shawn Eichorst, Nebraska athletic director:

“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.”

Pelini, in turn, apologized for his comments:

“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. I again apologize to anyone who was offended.”

It’s been a rough week for Pelini. First, UCLA pounded the Cornhuskers, 41-21, as Big Red blew a 21-3 second quarter lead.  Then Cornhuskers legend Tommy Frazier called him out and demanded sweeping changes on the coaching staff. Pelini got down in the muck and responded to Frazier rather bluntly. Then his barrage of 2011 F-bombs hit the media and, before you knew it, the talk was about whether Nebraska would be looking for a new coach. An online poll at the Lincoln Journal-Star was basically split between those who want Pelini to be fired and those who don’t.

It’d probably be a bit rash for Nebraska to move in the direction of firing Pelini. The Cornhuskers have a legit shot at a Big Ten title and it’s hard to say what kind of coach the school could attract right now. Any coach would certainly feel some trepidation about taking such a job in these circumstances.

For now, the best cure for this crisis is for Pelini to start winning some games…and maybe to keep his big mouth shut for a while.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.