OMAHA, Neb. —
On the day he was introduced as Youngstown State's new head coach,
the ugly nature of Bo Pelini's departure from Nebraska was
Pelini, who was
fired on Nov. 30, lambasted Nebraska athletic director Shawn
Eichorst in a profanity-filled talk during his final meeting with
his players. The Omaha World-Herald on Wednesday reported that it
had a writer listen to an audiotape of Pelini's address to the
players on Dec. 2 at a Lincoln high school.
said in a statement that if the audiotape is authentic, "it
only reaffirms the decision that he should no longer be a leader
of young men at Nebraska."
habitual use of inappropriate language, and his personal and
professional attacks on administrators, are antithetical to the
values of our university," the statement said. "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. This behavior is not tolerated
at the University of Nebraska and, among many other concerns,
played a role in his dismissal."
didn't say who audiotaped Pelini's talk.
Press left messages for Pelini and Youngstown athletic director
Pelini was fired
after going 9-3 this season and 66-27 over seven years. He also
won a bowl game as interim head coach in 2003. Eichorst hired Mike
Riley away from Oregon State to replace Pelini.
Pelini, 47, was
under contract until February 2019, and the university must pay
him a settlement of as much as $7.9 million. That amount will be
reduced by an amount dependent on his salary at Youngstown State.
According to a
transcript of the audio, Pelini told the players he wasn't
surprised to be fired.
really have any relationship with the AD. The guy...," Pelini
said before using two vulgarities for female genitalia to describe
I've been here — he's been here for about two years — I've
probably had a conversation with the guy a couple times. You saw
him. He's never been in the locker room.
"At the end
of the day, he was never going to support us... The scrutiny, the
taking shots at you, and everything else — when you aren't
getting support from your boss, it can be stressful," Pelini
said. "It was stressful on me, it was stressful on my
in response to Pelini's contention that he wasn't supported, said,
"Any assertions that the campus or athletics administration
was not supportive of our student-athletes and our football
program are flat-out false and are contradicted by the facts.
grateful that the new leadership in our football program is
aligned with our values and will establish that you can be
successful at Nebraska and that you can do it with integrity and
class," the university said in its statement.
Pelini touched on
administrative support early in his introductory news conference
in Youngstown, Ohio, on Wednesday. Former Ohio State coach Jim
Tressel is the university president.
"I believe I
have a great situation here," Pelini said. "Have a
tremendous athletic director, a president who understands
football, who's going to support me, something I don't know if
I've ever had."
Pelini drew detractors for his volatile temper. He was reprimanded
by chancellor Harvey Perlman for sideline meltdowns during a loss
at Texas A&M in 2010. Last year, Pelini found himself in a
storm after the website Deadspin released audio of Pelini's
profanity-laced tirade against what he called fair-weather fans
and two newspaper writers.
reporters in Youngstown if accounts of his explosive sideline
demeanor at Nebraska were blown out of proportion, Pelini said,
"Did it ever get blown out of proportion? Yeah, a little