Pelini pens letter of apology, thanks to Husker fans

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When it comes to worst… weeks… ever, Bo Pelini’s ranks right up there, football-wise.

Last Saturday, Nebraska coughed up an 18-point lead — at home, no less — en route to an embarrassing double-digit loss to a very good UCLA team. Shortly thereafter, a former Cornhusker great very publicly called out Pelini’s defensive coaching staff, with Pelini responding in kind.

A couple of days later, a surreptitiously recorded audiotape surfaced in which Pelini was heard strafing “f******* fair-weather fans” with a barrage of f-bombs. The reactions to that release were swift, as were the apologies on all fronts.

After a pair of public mea culpas from Pelini, the university decided that its current head football coach — who some felt should be the former head football coach — would continue on in the role he’s held for the past six-plus seasons with no punitive measures. Ahead of NU’s first home game since all f-bomb hell broke loose, Pelini has again offered up an apology* to a fan base that’s sold out every single home game since early November of 1962.

Here’s the text of the letter, in its entirety:

There is no better time than right now for me to personally thank you for your support of Nebraska Athletics and Nebraska Football.
This past week has obviously been a difficult one for many people associated with the University of Nebraska and our football program. I wanted to take this opportunity to say I regret the comments that I made in private two years ago, and apologize to Husker fans everywhere.

We all make mistakes in our lives, both personally and professionally, and like everyone else I am human. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and correct them to improve yourself as a person. I hope you can see that I have done that and continue to strive to improve each day.

Most importantly, I want all of you to know that my comments in 2011 were not in any way representative of my true feelings about our great fans and donors here at Nebraska. The time, energy, money and passion you invest in our football program and all of our athletic programs is second to none.

It is an honor to lead our football team into Memorial Stadium in front of more than 91,000 fans for each home game. It never ceases to amaze me how many of you show up on the road, no matter where we travel. That type of fan support makes a difference and certainly does not go unnoticed.

On the field, we have the opportunity to be a good football team. Last week’s game wasn’t the result any of us were looking for, but we will bounce back. There is still a lot of football to be played and I like the attitude of this football team.

I appreciate the support of Chancellor Perlman and Shawn Eichorst, and once again the support that all of you provide for our athletic programs. Your support makes it possible for student-athletes, coaches and staff to have a great experience at Nebraska, and provides us with every opportunity to succeed.

Thank you and Go Big Red!

Bo Pelini

(*Neil Cornrich, PR genius extraordinaire with a grammatical game that puts most other agents to shame.)

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.