The weird saga that is Carl Pelini‘s departure as FAU’s head coach has taken another unusual twist.
According to an email obtained by Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, Pelini’s departure has technically been termed a dismissal by the university for failing to report the conduct of a staff member, replacing what had previously been labeled a resignation because he had acknowledged the use “of illegal drugs,” FAU president Dennis Crudele wrote. At a press conference Oct. 30, FAU athletic director Patrick Chun stated that Pelini, along with defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis, had been confronted with reports of illegal drug use and admitted to doing so.
Crudele’s email, however, sheds the departure in a much different light.
“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs. Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff, as required by your contract.”
In the days after the “resignation,” reports surfaced that Pelini had not only used marijuana but cocaine as well. A week later, Pelini vehemently denied drug use, saying that he was pressured into the resignation for failing to supervise his staff and was seeking to be reinstated as FAU’s head coach.
In his letter, Crudele indicated that Pelini had waived his right to appeal the decision and pursue reinstatement.
The Owls were 2-6 at the time of Pelini’s departure. Since Brian Wright took over as interim head coach, FAU is 3-0 and on the verge of bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008.