UPDATED 4:24 p.m. ET: At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, athletic director Pat Chun confirmed that head coach Carl Pelini, along with defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis, has resigned. Chun also confirmed that the resignations occurred after the two coaches were confronted about reports of illegal drug use, which the AD said both admitted to.
It was previously reported that Pelini and Rekstis were in attendance at some type of gathering in which marijuana was being used.
Pelini apologized “for exercising poor judgement.”
While police escorted the two coaches from the football facility this morning, Chun stated that this situation was simply “an HR matter.” No police, other than the escort, were involved.
Offensive coordinator Brian Wright will serve as the interim head coach. Linebackers coach Jevan Dewitt will replace Rekstis as defensive coordinator.
Chun said that a national search is already underway for a permanent replacement.
Here’s the complete statement, attributed to Chun, released by the university:
“On Monday, I was made aware of these concerns and I immediately reported the allegations to our General Counsel. The University acted quickly and decisively to follow up and take action that is in the best interests of our student-athletes and the University overall. I can assure you that we have no information that suggests anyone other than these two individuals engaged in these activities.
“I am personally very saddened for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. I just met with the players a few moments ago and notified them of the news. As you could imagine, the reaction was shock, dismay and disbelief. What I do know is that the FAU football team is a resilient group of young men and they will work through this, and learn and grow from this experience. It is a heartbreaking day for us all.
“I’d like to emphasize that nothing takes a higher priority than the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We will work to ensure that any student-athletes’ questions and concerns are addressed. And let me reiterate, we have no information indicating any student-athletes were involved in any illegal activities.
“Offensive Coordinator Brian Wright will serve as interim head coach, effective immediately. I have great confidence in his abilities to lead this football program. When I asked Brian to take this role he accepted it without hesitation. He is surrounded by eight assistant coaches that are 100 percent committed to our program and student-athletes.”
Based on one report, we’re back to one Pelini brother as a head coach at the FBS level.
ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy is reporting that Carl Pelini has stepped down as the head coach at FAU. A press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET today to announce the move.
It’s unclear if the decision to resign was voluntary on Pelini’s part or involuntary. What is clear is that the resignation is effective immediately.
Pelini, the brother of Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, was in his second season with the Owls. He went 3-9 his first season, with FAU tripping and stumbling its way to a 2-6 mark his second year and the football program’s first in Conference USA.
UPDATED 3:49 p.m. ET: Ahead of the press conference, there were a couple of interesting developments regarding Pelini’s resignation.
First, coachingsearch.com reported that “cops were at the FAU facility this morning;” for what reason is unclear.
Secondly, it was reported by Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com that Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis were in attendance at a “recent social event where pot was used & agreed to resign.”
It’s highly unlikely school officials will confirm publicly the reported developments, but stay tuned.