The Nebraska Cornhuskers opened fall camp last night, and the media was not allowed access to practice. This should come as a shock to no one, although it seemed to ruffle the feathers of some members of the main stream media. Some of them took to twitter last night believing that reporters asking players about Thomas Brown and Ernest Suttles is the reason for Pelini keeping the media from last nights practice.
Bo Pelini is obviously not comfortable with the press, and more than likely never will be. He doesn’t care for the media, and honestly, I am fine with that. His job is to coach the team, not make friends and kiss babies. It’s not like the guy is running for mayor.
Pelini is chastised for almost everything he does. Sometimes for not walking up to groups of children and saying hello, sometimes by fans for personal reasons that are never explained. I don’t know Pelini personally so I cannot make that judgement, but it seems like people expect him to be something that he is not.
Take a look around college football. Nick Saban is not known as being the friendliest of coaches, but he has national championships. I guess that excuses him from needing to be cordial.
I am not a Pelini apologist. He has a lot of work to do if he wants to make his mark as the head coach of The Nebraska Cornhuskers. There are still championships to be won if he will go down as one of the great coaches in program history. I will not, however, be a critic of Bo Pelini the man. I have never walked in his shoes, and cannot imagine what it feels like to be responsible for a group of young men finding their places in the world and on the field.
He is a football coach. His job is to mold kids into men, both on the field and off. I am guessing that his job description says nothing about wearing a fake smile and pretending that everything is great. He is human just like the rest of us. He makes mistakes, can be distant with media, and can come off as a bit moody. So what!
Some believe that he should be fired. There have even been social media references to the classic Steve Pederson line of mediocrity. It’s almost like people have forgotten what happened the last time Nebraska fired a nine win coach. Bill Callahan was not the first choice for the job when Frank Solich was fired. People turned the job down and it’s easy to see why. When you fire a guy who wins nine or ten games a year, it would be foolish to try to replace him.
It seems that the “Nebraska Way” is losing it’s identity. When outsiders look at Nebraska’s football program, they see it much differently than most Husker fans do. Just look at the article we published a few weeks back that focused on how others perceive it. Many Husker fans think that Nebraska is falling apart. I wonder what it would be like for Husker Nation to trade places with an Iowa State fan. They get excited when the Cyclones play in a bowl game, any bowl game.
I am not trying to say that Bo Pelini shouldn’t face criticism, he should. Not for media being allowed at practice or bitter fans who hold a personal grudge, but for the performance of his team on the field. Those are fair criticisms.
For those that believe he is just a horrible person, unfortunately they have a jaded perspective. The Bo Pelini who yells at officials and players on the sideline is the same guy who allows Jack Hoffman to score a touchdown in the Spring Game. He is the coach who stands by his quarterback when many are calling for a change. Pelini is the guy who promotes young assistants instead of bringing in people with experience. These are traits of integrity and belief, not arrogance.
As for Pelini not allowing media to attend the first practice of fall camp, no worries. It’s not like any position battles were determined last night.
To be in