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 Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff,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.
Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.
He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.
“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network…
Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.
Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.