In the wake of the release of a two-year-old, profanity-laced tirade directed at Nebraska fans, Bo Pelini has come under a tremendous amount of friendly fire, with some even laughably suggesting that he should be canned for the content of a piece audio caught in a private moment.
Pelini apologized in a statement released through the university Monday evening, while statements released by both the chancellor and athletic director suggested some type of punitive measures could be forthcoming. A day later, no determination has been made as to what if any punishment the head coach could be facing.
Confronted by the Omaha World-Herald following his annual state-of-the-university address, chancellor Harvey Perlman sidestepped questions about Pelini and the growing brouhaha.
“I’m not going to talk about football today,” Perlman told the paper, adding, “We’re disappointed and we are reflecting on the situation.”
When asked how long said reflection will take, Perlman stated, “Until we decide not to.”
Meanwhile, on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference, a contrite Pelini confronted every question lobbed at him by the media head-on. Pelini, in his sixth season with the Cornhuskers, again lauded the fan base in Lincoln, but did allow that “I’m human like anyone else. You say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances.”
The audio, apparently recorded without Pelini’s knowledge, came in the immediate aftermath of an Oct. 2011 game against Ohio State in which Nebraska came back from a three-touchdown deficit. Pelini’s raunchy ire was directed at fans who had left the stadium prior to the comeback.
“I think our fans would understand the situation, the circumstances regarding this,” Pelini said on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. “I might lose some, I don’t know, but I think that I’ve built enough points with our fans over the last five years in how I’ve conducted myself, how I’ve run this program and what we’ve done with this program … to earn some forgiveness for something that, like I said, was made in a private setting.
“I think people will understand this isn’t representative of how I feel.”
Again, it’s laughable to suggest Pelini should be dismissed over this episode. Fire him for failing to return the football program to the national stage to which they had become accustomed, not for dropping myriad f-bombs on what the coach considered to be “f****** fair-weather” fans.