Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Before the season started I wrote an article asking writers from around the nation to give me their perception of Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. Last night I reached out to some colleagues to see what they thought of him and the reactions of Husker fans after audio from two years ago with Pelini saying unfavorable things about Husker fans was leaked. Here are their responses.
Carlos Sandoval of GoJoeBruin.com: Nebraska fans are expecting too much. Pelini isn’t a legend but fans get upset over ten-win seasons and that seems unreasonable.
Michael Natelli of ScarletAndGame.com: Pelini’s known for getting very animated, so this shouldn’t come as an incredible surprise. However, it seems like it was behind closed doors that he said this, and who knows what other coaches have said in the locker room or in a team meeting that was or wasn’t picked up by a tape recorder. I’m obviously not happy to hear this news if I’m a Cornhusker fan, but at the same time, I’d take it with a grain of salt seeing as for every one guy that gets caught, there’s several that got away with it.
Jack Jorgensen of ChopChat.com: I’m not so much concerned with what happened on that tape because, let’s be honest, we don’t know what happens behind closed doors with a lot of high-profile head coaches. This was just a case of someone so bitter with Pelini after today’s earlier events that they leaked some dirty info.
Speaking of earlier today, that’s where my problem is. I don’t think that he should have alienated Tommie Frazier publicly like that. There were a number of different ways that he could’ve handled that other than saying “We don’t need” probably the most beloved figure in Nebraska history next to Tom Osborne.
: Average Nebraska fan, I don’t like you. No, scratch that: we all dislike you. Eleven 10+ win seasons over the past 19 (three of which were 9-win), and yet you guys still moan about something. You have a head coach in Bo Pelini that most teams would love to have, who rightly chastised your fan base for not living up to their reputation as the best. And now you’re up in arms. Get over it, Nebraska isn’t exactly a destination wedding to the Bahamas for prospective coaches. The next good one you get may be the last.Mind you, those remarks were made in 2011, off the record, probably illegally, and when you guys had just beaten Ohio State (you won nine games that year). Yet some jerk has the gall to unearth the tape after the Huskers get summarily beaten, just to brew a corn stew in Nebraskaville’s britches. Cut the guy slack and move on.This is why we hate you, though. Because we all want that success, and we’d appreciate it way more than you and complain way less. Not all your fans are bad, but the vocal minority needs to shut up.
: I think in Bo’s position he needs to be more professional, including in his personal life and personal conversations. Surely he’s aware that he’s in the spotlight 24/7 because he IS the team leader. What kind of example is he setting for the kids he’s been coaching? He’s a great coach on the field but these actions off the field show him as very unprofessional no matter how good he is or how much he gets paid. I understand that he’s angry, everyone gets angry but not everyone is in the spotlight. He is. His level of professionalism should set a good example for the kids he’s leading. His actions behind closed doors are likely similar to other high profile coaches in the NCAA; he just happens to be the one that got caught. My interest is in how this will affect the team and the rest of the organization. After this leak, how will the team play? Will they be distracted? Will they have less respect for Bo? After all, he did kinda called out Frazier in the audio. How many other people in the organization has he treated that same way in private conversations? Will the team/players wonder if he’s talked about them that way? How big of a distraction will this be on the field? That’s my interest in this entire situation. This is NCAA football. What happens on the field is what counts.
: Bo Pelini is a dying breed. I know this about yelling a cursing at fans, but we’ve all seen him yell and curse at players for years, and the product on the field certainly hasn’t improved. Men like Pelini may have been successful 50 years ago, but In 2013, yelling and screaming at fans and players won’t get you anything but fired.
: Maybe I’m old school but I don’t even consider this news. So a coach dropped an “f bomb” because his fan base has some high expectations. It’s not a coach’s job to live up to fan’s expectations, especially considering that he has had a very successful tenure at Nebraska.
: High profile coaches are scrutinized for some of the most incredible things. Husker Nation is a very passionate group of fans that I’m sure have yelled the most insane things at their coach because they expect not 9, not 10, not 11, not 12, but 13 win seasons every year! We simply don’t know what was said to him to illicit the response but it’s clearly not a situation where he publicly alienated his fans and I’m fairly certain he was speaking of a specific section. I doubt he really feels that way about his entire fan base, probably just a select few who hurled some threatening insults in his direction.
Fans can be stupid, ignorant and downright intolerable at games. Coaches actually put up with quite a bit that they shouldn’t have to. Far as coaching players goes, I think coaches step on or over the line quite a bit when it comes to cussing them out and such, Bo Pelini’s style is very abrasive. But you know that going in as a kid that you’re getting yourself into a position where you’re going to be tested mentally. The rewards of playing for Nebraska takes precedence over the coaching style for many of these kids.
Ultimately, Pelini just wants to win. He knows what it means to the fans and his kids and the athletic dept and he is doing his best to make that happen. I’m sure he’s as frustrated as everybody else and has a right to be fired up about getting lambasted by his own fan base when he loses to a top 15 team like UCLA. Again, it wasn’t supposed to come out publicly so this is a non-issue in my opinion. But then again, I’m not a Nebraska season ticket holder.