Update: No Punishment for Pelini

By: 10/11 Sports Email
By: 10/11 Sports Email
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Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletics Director Shawn Eichorst released a joint statement regarding the comments Head Coach Bo Pelini made about fans. They said they addressed the issue more than a year ago and are ready to put it to rest.

“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.”

Pelini, once again, apologized for the comments he made about fans during the weekly Big Ten Teleconference Tuesday.

During the call, Pelini said he knew the audio existed, but never expected it to be released. He added that he doesn't know who leaked the tape. When asked about his thoughts on that person, Pelini said, "I don't want to go there - it's not worth commenting on."

"You apologize for your mistakes and you move on," said Pelini. "That's all that you can do in this situation."

He added that he was venting in a situation that he thought was private.

Monday afternoon, deadspin.com posted an article with a link to a recording from 2011. The deadspin.com article claims that Nebraska Football Coach Bo Pelini is cursing fans and a reporter. It didn't take long for Husker Nation to spread the link via social media.

Nebraska head football coach released a statement around 7:30 p.m. Monday in response to an online article that claims Pelini went on a profanity-laced tirade the night of the Ohio State game in 2011.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my comments from two years ago which became public today. I take full responsibility for these comments. They were spoken in a private room following the Ohio State game. 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.”

Just a few minutes earlier, UNL Officials released statements.

"I am aware of the publication of Coach Pelini's comments, I am disappointed and in discussions with Shawn Eichorst about addressing the issue," said Chancellor Harvey Perlman.

“I am disheartened and disappointed by the 2011 comments published today attributed to Coach Pelini about our dedicated and passionate fans and supporters. I have spoken with Chancellor Perlman and I have addressed the situation with Bo and expressed our deep concern," said Shawn Eichorst, Director of Athletics.

10/11 Sports Director Kevin Sjuts spoke with the author of the article, Dom Kosentino, over the phone Monday. Kosentino said deadspin.com acquired the audio link from a tipster Monday afternoon and published it two hours later.

Kosentino said after comparing the audio to other tracks by Bo Pelini, they believe it is Pelini's voice.

Below is a transcription of the phone interview Kevin Sjuts did with Deadspin.com article author Dom Kosentino.

How long have you had this audio?
"No more than 2 hours since we first heard from the tipster until we published."

Were you able to confirm the authenticity that it is, in fact, Bo Pelini?
"By comparing his voice to other recordings and videos and audio of his voice, yes. We were confident that it was Bo Pelini."

"We published everything they (the tipster) gave us."

Do you feel, the tipster, that there may be an agenda there?
"There may be. That's not for us to decide. From our vantage point, it's a matter of putting it out there for people (to know) that this thing exists. They can judge for themselves how they want to view it. I have no doubt that other coaches may talk this way in an unguarded moment."

What kind of discussions did you have at Deadspin on how to handle this material before publishing it?
"Once we had the confidence it is Bo Pelini's voice on the tape, we had no doubt that we were going to go ahead and publish it. After talking to our source, we came to the understanding that it was two years old. That still doesn't take away the news value of having a tape like this with a major college football coach saying these sort of things. We had over 100,000 page views on Deadspin within three hours."

"I realize this is something that is going to stir things up in a state like Nebraska where this is the main team and the main sport. It's just something that happens. From my vantage point, I don't doubt that other major college coaches talk this way in unguarded moments. Bo Pelini, based on our understanding, had no idea he was being recorded. But he was. The news value is in the recording itself. People can judge for that any way they want to. That's not what we're here to do a Deadspin."


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