Bo Pelini has never been one to mince words. Most players and many fans appreciate the Husker football head coach’s candor, but there comes a time when saying nothing is the better option.
Following practice on Aug. 20, Pelini said the following in regards to junior defensive tackle Aaron Curry’s decision to transfer:
“He didn’t like the fact that he was the fifth tackle…so there ya go.”
Curry wasn’t wished the best on his way out, at least publicly. It was a tough statement from the face of the program. Honestly, it was a shot at a 20-year-old. With that short comment, Pelini made it clear that Curry was a quitter. Nothing more, nothing less.
That’s a tough pill to swallow for fans that saw him start eight games last year and finish the season with 26 tackles. If nothing else, he was going to be a solid reserve.
Alas, Husker football will move on without him.
Another player that Nebraska will be without is Damore’ea Stringfellow. We all remember him, right?
Pelini had some choice comments regarding that situation at Big Ten media days in Chicago earlier this summer about that saga. Sam McKewon of the OWH reported:
“Read between the lines,” Pelini said. “I think we all know what happened in that situation.”
When asked if parents making decisions for their kids on colleges was frustrating, Pelini said: “Yeah. And especially when it’s a clueless parent.”
One time is too many, but twice in such a short period shows a pattern of petty behavior from Nebraska’s seven-year head coach.
For every person who says “I love the honesty”, there is another person (namely an opposing head coach on the recruiting trail) who will use these comments against Pelini and his program.
There are a few other recent examples.
Regarding the transfer of Tyler Moore, who left Nebraska to play for the Florida Gators:
“When somebody leaves the football team for any reason, you wish them well,” Pelini said. “(But) believe me, I don’t have time to spend that kind of time on it. Obviously I tried to help him through it initially. You wish him well, but he’s not a part of our football team so he’s the least of my concerns.” – Lincoln Journal Star Report
It’s an interesting take. Still honest, but not a direct attack on a player.
Offensive lineman Ryan Klachko also left the program prior to 2012. Upon the announcement Pelini stated in an OWH article by Sam McKewon:
“We have a culture around here,” Pelini said, “and if somebody doesn’t feel they fit into that culture — for whatever reason — he decided to take his talents someplace else. I wish him well.”
I don’t believe him to be a cold-hearted man. How could anyone? Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report laid it out extremely well in his latest piece regarding Nebraska football’s head man titled ‘Meet the Bo Pelini Nobody Knows’.
Kramer cited specific examples of him being good-natured and having fun. Clearly, the man is more than just snide comments and angry outbursts.
Indeed, Pelini is not a bad man, but the decisions to make the comments he did regarding the last two young men (and one of their families) were the wrong ones.
“When it was your job to compete, you competed. That’s not who you are 24 hours a day,” Pelini said to Kramer.
Were his comments regarding Stringfellow and Curry made in the spirit of competition? Maybe, but they’re going to be used against him when he’s competing to fill his roster up in the future.
For every cat held high or amazing video in support of Team Jack or ALS awareness, there seems to be another example of a hat being flung or the badmouthing of recruits (or even fans).
With that said, I don’t think it is too much to ask from the Nebraska football head coach to show better judgment than he has lately in his comments about those who decide not to be part of his team.
Honesty, intensity and passion are great…but being petty about the players who chose to leave the program is not.
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Tags: Nebraska Cornhuskers