Cornhuskers need to show Bo the door


The Nebraska Cornhuskers’ athletic department needs to take decisive action in response to the audio recording controversy surrounding Bo Pelini. And that action must include the firing of Pelini.

On Monday, the website Deadspin released a recording of Pelini cussing out the fans in Lincoln for leaving the stadium early during a 2011 game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, which the Cornhuskers won 34-27 after trailing 27-6.

In the recording, Pelini, the highest paid public employee in Nebraska state history, rips the fans, particularly the students, who left the game early.

“Our crowd. What a bunch of fucking fair-weather fucking—they can all kiss my ass out the fucking door,” Pelini said, according to Deadspin.

According to the Associated Press, both Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst both expressed displeasure with the comments.

“We are taking some time to consider it and what impact it would have on the university,” Perlman said in reports.

Pelini also released a statement of apology to the fans.

“They were spoken in a private room following the Ohio State game,” Pelini said in the statement. “I was venting following a series of emotional events which led to this moment. That being said, these comments are in no way indicative of my true feelings. I love it here in Nebraska and feel fortunate to be associated with such a great University and fan base. I again apologize to anyone whom I have offended.”

None of that is enough. If I was part of the Cornhuskers community, I would be outraged that the coach, who hasn’t won a bowl game in four years, would say such things about the fans who have done nothing but love and support him, as well as pay the taxes and ticket costs that fund his salary.

Pelini has been a combative personality since arriving in Nebraska. He is known for his angry outbursts and for alienating members of the media.

And here is what you should know, Nebraska fans: This is your coach. This is Pelini. A tirade like this is not out of character for the 45-year-old Ohio native,” ESPN columnist Mitch Sherman wrote. “Pelini has regularly accosted local media members in such fashion over coverage with which he disagreed. I got the phone call once when I worked for Omaha World-Herald, covering his first three seasons in Lincoln — and many others heard the same tone and language evident in that ugly audio.”

So it’s clear that this outburst that was made public is not just an isolated incident, but the modus operandi of a guy who clearly has no respect for people in his community who make his job possible.

The athletic department needs to stand up for those members of the fan base who feel deeply offended by Pelini’s comments by firing the coach.

From a football perspective, Pelini has been an OK coach at best. He ranks just 13th out of 28 coaches in school history in winning percentage at .708. He also hasn’t won a bowl game in his last three tries and has yet to lead the Cornhuskers to a BCS bowl game as he enters his sixth season at the helm in Lincoln.

Pelini’s inability to instill consistency in his players and to finish football games the right way was on full display this past week as well. After building up a 21-3 lead on UCLA in the first half, Pelini allowed his team to give up 38 unanswered points and ended up losing 41-21 at home.

After the game, he called out Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier. In Pelini’s postgame press conference after the loss to UCLA, Frazier criticized Pelini’s effort on Twitter. Pelini responded by saying he didn’t want the support of Frazier, one of the program’s most historic players.

Above all, what should really cut Nebraska fans deep is what Pelini said about them. Clearly, this coach has no grasp of how special his job is and also that it is those fans and those students who pay his $2.8 million a year salary.

Nebraska is one of the most storied programs in college football history. The Cornhuskers have five national titles and 43 conference titles to their credit. They deserve a better man coaching their team than a guy who can’t even make a BCS bowl or refrain from cursing out his fans.

The administration has to step up in Lincoln. It needs to show that it has its fans’ backs and fire Pelini from his job as the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.