DETROIT (CBS Detroit/AP) Football fans of Big Ten schools hold high standards for their university and its decisions on who’s coaching their team.
Bo Pelini, head football coach at Nebraska, is under fire for comments recorded candidly following a 34-27 win over Ohio State in 2011. Many Nebraska fans are calling for Pelini to be relieved of his job following profanity-laced statements about fans and media in the off-the-record interview.
Mike Valenti and Terry Foster of 97.1 The Ticket believe firing Pelini for the comments would be going too far.
“You cannot tell me that there is a coach in America that hasn’t thought or said the exact same thing,” Valenti said on his show Tuesday. “A two-year old, off the record recording should not cost him his job.”
Valenti said this is the effort of a certain sect of Nebraska fans who are trying to get Pelini fired in any way possible, echoing the division between Michigan fans during the Rich Rod era.
An audio of Pelini’s tirade leaked to the sports website Deadspin (WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT) has Big Red fans buzzing.
Pelini issued an apology in a statement Monday night and reiterated it during the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Chancellor Harvey Perlman has expressed disappointment in Pelini but declined to comment when asked if the coach would be disciplined. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst said he was “disheartened.”
Pelini told reporters he was shocked by the release of the audio, though he indicated he knew a potentially damaging audio existed. Pelini said he might lose some fan support but that he was confident many would understand that his comments were made during what he thought was a private conversation before his radio show.
Pelini repeatedly uses expletives while talking about “fair-weather” fans and how the day is coming that he’ll be gone and that he wonders how the team will fare without him.
“I’ve said it over and over since I’ve been here that we have great fans, but I’m human like anybody else,” Pelini said. “You say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances and like anybody else, you’re human, you make mistakes, you apologize for your mistakes and you move on. That’s all you can do in this situation.”
If these comments came from Brady Hoke or Mark Dantonio would you want them fired?
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