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September 18, 2013By now you know about the tape which was anonymously released, on which Bo Pelini, Huskers head coach, is caught uttering a series of F-bombs, 39 of them if I heard right, when describing Husker fans and most of the World-Herald sports department.
What Pelini said on that tape was deplorable but it won't cost him his job, as University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst have said there will be no sanctions against Pelini over the matter.
Here is the joint statment released by Perlman and Eichorst"
"The comments made by Head Football Coach Bo Pelini in 2011, published Monday, are unfortunate and deeply concerning to us, as they would be to anyone who loves this university. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes must be held to a high standard and Coach Pelini's remarks were unfair to the legions of Nebraska fans and not what we expect from a representative of this university. Former Director of Athletics Tom Osborne became aware of these comments and the existence of a recording more than a year ago, and addressed the matter with Coach Pelini. We have observed, and many others have commented, that Coach Pelini's demeanor has significantly improved since the time of this incident. Coach Pelini has given us his assurance that he understands the seriousness and inappropriateness of his comments. We believe he is sincere in his apology and in his regret. We are prepared to put the matter to rest. Our football student-athletes, coaches and staff deserve all of our support and we know the Nebraska faithful will be there for them."
Bad as that performance by Pelini was, and it was very bad, my initial thought when I heard about it was what a gutless move it was for somebody to hold onto this tape - clandestinely taped in an off-the-record moment two years ago - and then released anonymously when it could do the most damage to Pelini's standing as NU coach. That was wrong, dirty pool at best, and in my mind I'd want to know where that tape came from before any action was taken against Pelini.
This all happened just minutes, it seemed, after Pelini had dismissed criticism of his program by Husker legend Tommie Frazier, saying if that's how Frazier felt (basically fire all the defensive coaches, including Pelini) then "we don't need him." That was a dumb thing for the head coach to say.
So what's going to happen to Coach Pelini? In a Tuesday radio interview he said two things which made my ears perk up: 1. He "had an idea" of where the tape came from; 2. He felt secure in his future as Husker head coach.
I don't know much but I know this - if won't be the little people who decide Pelini's fate. If word comes down from the sky boxes Pelini is to be shown the door, he's gone. If not this week then at season's end.
I also believe Coach Pelini when he says he loves being at Nebraska, loves the people of Nebraska and wants to build a winner (big-time winner) at Nebraska. I don't believe it should come as a surprise Coach Pelini can use a little saucy language, not based on some of his sideline performances, but at the same time there isn't a person among us who would want everything they've ever said secretly recorded and then made available when it could damage you standing as a coach, a player, a mom or dad or even a sports reporter.
Again, dirty pool, and I can't wait until (soon) when they find out who released the tape; and why they felt the need to hold onto it for so long.
In the meantime, wouldn't it be nice to win a game against somebody good; that would help Pelini's long-term cause more than anything else.