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Neb chancellor, AD: Put Pelini audio issue to rest
Nebraska is ready to move on from Bo Pelini’s profane rant against fans two years ago.
Chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Shawn Eichorst said in a joint statement Wednesday that they believe the football coach was sincere in his apology for what he said in an audio leaked to the Deadspin.com sports website this week.
There was no mention of any disciplinary action taken against Pelini.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
Pelini’s rant has captivated a Cornhuskers fan base that has sold out an NCAA-record 328 consecutive games since 1962.
Pelini became unhinged minutes after the Huskers had beaten Ohio State 34-27 in Lincoln in October 2011. Nebraska erased a 27-6 second-half deficit in the biggest comeback in program history.
Pelini criticized people who left the stadium in the third quarter, when the Huskers trailed by 21 points. Pelini repeatedly used expletives while talking on the audio about “fair-weather” fans and how the day was coming that he would be gone and he wondered how the team will fare without him. He also used profanity while criticizing two Omaha World-Herald sports writers.
The Deadspin audio surfaced Monday, two days after the Huskers squandered a 21-3 lead and lost 41-21 to UCLA and on the same day Pelini said at his news conference that the program didn’t need the support of Tommie Frazier, the 1990s Huskers great who had tweeted that Pelini should fire his defensive staff.
Pelini said in an interview on SiriusXM Radio on Wednesday that he had an “idea” of who leaked the audio.
Management of the Husker Sports Network has not returned calls from The Associated Press.
Former athletic director Tom Osborne, in a statement released Wednesday, said he told Perlman and Eichorst on Monday that he was aware of the recording more than a year ago and addressed the matter with Pelini at the time.
“While the comments were certainly not good, I realized that Bo had gone through an emotional week and an emotional game and was in a setting where he thought his comments were entirely private,” Osborne said. “I visited with Bo on a weekly basis and did not find that his attitude toward the fans or the press as expressed by those comments were at all in keeping with what I knew his true attitude to be.”
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