“Fellas, this stays here,” fired Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini told his former players of the University of Nebraska’s athletic director. “But a guy like him who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core values is.”
It didn’t stay there.
University of Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst fired Bo Pelini. The coach fired off a series of unprintable words at the athletic director.
“I didn’t really have any relationship with the A.D.,” Pelini told his players at a December 2 post-termination meeting. “The guy, you guys saw him, the guy is a total p—y. I mean, he is, and he’s a total c—.”
The remarks, in which Pelini called Eichorst a “f—ing lawyer” who “pushes a pen all day” and “can’t look you in the eye,” made their way to the Omaha World-Herald after someone at the gathering recorded them.
“I wanted to find out then where they stood,” he says of a 2013 meeting with the AD and administrators. “Unfortunately, all I found out then was that they were p–sies.”
Pelini posted a 9-3 record this season, which included a comeback road win finale over Iowa, a victory the coach suggested bothered Eichorst and the administration. “At the end of the day, we won that game,” Pelini told his players. “I could see it in the athletic director’s face…. They were pissed. They didn’t want us to win that game, the Iowa game. That’s weird. That’s strange. It is what it is.”
Pelini claims that he used the occasion of his own termination on November 30 to lash out at his boss. “You can’t support someone under a f—ing rock,” Pelini alleges that he told the AD at his firing. “To do your job at this level and at a place like this, you’ve got to be a grown-ass f—ing man.”
“If these comments were, indeed, spoken by Mr. Pelini, we are extremely disappointed, but it only reaffirms the decision that he should no longer be a leader of young men at Nebraska,” responded school spokeswoman Chris Anderson. “His habitual use of inappropriate language, and his personal and professional attacks on administrators, are antithetical to the values of our university. His behavior is consistent with a pattern of unprofessional, disrespectful behavior directed by Mr. Pelini toward the passionate fans of Nebraska, employees of the university and, most concerning, our student-athletes.”
It’s unclear whether the “inappropriate language” objected to by Nebraska involved the coach’s reliance on curses or clichés. Pelini repeatedly leans on such meaningless phrases as “it is what it is” and “at the end of the day” as a verbal crutch that surely marred his diatribe as much as his fondness for slang for the female genitalia did.
Although the coach urged his charges to “play your ass off” in the Holiday Bowl against USC and “give the new guy a chance” next year, he appeared to poison the well for his successor by offering his support for players choosing to transfer. He divulged, “I will do everything I possibly can to help you.”
Pelini’s words came back to haunt him as they overshadowed Wednesday’s introduction of him as the new head coach of his hometown Youngstown State University. Though Jim Tressel coached there and Ron Jaworski played there, the Football Championship Subdivision team represents an obvious step down from the Big 10.
“I don’t give a s#!+ what that guy thinks of me,” Pelini concluded of his former athletic director. “I have no respect for him.”
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