Top 10 Things Harder Than Being A Pelini in Nebraska

On Wednesday, it was reported that former Nebraska defensive coordinator (and fired Florida Atlantic head coach) Carl Pelini had expressed interest in coaching a high school football team in Des Moines, Iowa.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Pelini explained his interest (he wants a job that allows him to be relatively close to his children in Nebraska).  He also gave some insight into the recluse-esque lifestyle he’s led since being fired from FAU:

“I came back to Lincoln (Neb.), kept to myself. I don’t even go to restaurants,” he said. “I spend (almost) 100 percent of time with my children, I teach school at the community college here. For about 15 months, I just have lived liked a hermit.”

Jokes aside, I do feel for the guy.  Say what you will about some of the choices he has (allegedly) made, it still sucks to not be able to do the thing you love and want to do.  Plus, it would be really hard to live in a city like Lincoln and not enjoy some of the wonderful local restaurants (Honest Abe’s, C. Berry’s, Lazarri’s, Sebastian’s Table, and Lazlos, to name a few).

But there was one quote from the interview that left a bad taste in my mouth:

“It’s hard to be a Pelini in Nebraska.”

Setting aside the obvious fact that nobody is forcing the architect of Carlfense to reside in the Good Life (or whatever we’re calling it this year), the simple fact remains that there are things harder to be in Nebraska than a Pelini.

Without further ado, I give you the Top Ten Things Harder Than Being A Pelini In Nebraska:

10.  Being an (alleged) adulterer and drug user trying to write a children’s book in Nebraska.

9.  Being a Jaysker in Nebraska.

8.  Being a liberal democrat in Nebraska.

7.  Being a fan of consistent, moderate weather in Nebraska.

6.  Being a fan of Iowa Hawkeye football in Nebraska.

5.  Being a flamboyant homosexual in Nebraska.

4.  Being a homosexual in a committed relationship in Nebraska.

3.  Being a hater of Nebraska football in Nebraska.

2.  Being unable to find work when your last job didn’t pay $472,500 a year in Nebraska.

1.  Being a Cosgrove, Pederson, or Callahan in Nebraska.

Rejected Carl Pelini Children’s Books (R)

Last week, former Nebraska Defensive Coordinator) made some of his first public remarks since resigning as the head coach at Florida Atlantic University over allegations of marijuana and cocaine use.  This follows rumors of marital infidelity from his time at Nebraska.

Fear not friends.  Despite a rough end to 2013, Carl is doing well.  He’s visiting various college and pro teams in hopes of getting back into coaching, but more importantly, he finally found some time to finish up his novel.


We all know that the thought of a disgraced football coach writing a novel is comedy gold – especially said coach is the big brother of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.

My No Coast Bias colleague Chris Hatch has already checked in with some excellent excerpts and cover art from Carl’s book.

“Hey! You! Read my $%#@%W book!” (photo courtesy

Since I a) have only read children’s books in the last five years, and b) really suck at Photoshop, I figured I would speculate on the children’s books Carl is likely working on for his next release:

  • The Very Horny Caterpillar
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Crack Cocaine
  • This Little Pelini Went to Jail
  • Where The (Girls Gone) Wild Things Are
  • Green Eggs and Weed
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Mistress
  • Pot the Bunny
  • Chicka Chicka Bang Bang
  • For the slightly older readers, a four-part Harry Potter-esque series:  Coach Pelini and the Chamber of Dirty Secrets / Coach Pelini and the Goblet of Four Loko / Coach Pelini and the Half-Stoned Punter / Coach Pelini and Genital Warts at Hogwarts
  • The Little Pelini That Could
  • Llama Llama Invisible Pajamas
  • Puff the Magic Defensive Coordinator
  • Old Pelini Had A Gram (E I E I O)
  • Pot Goes The Weasel
  • Where, O Where Has My Little Bo Gone?
  • Humpty then Dumpty

*   *   *

While you’re here, I’d appreciate a quick vote in my poll to see which Incomplete post I should finish next:  Vote here.

(Author’s note:  Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post?  Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge?  Like clicking on links?  These questions are all answered here.)


My Two Cents: Dueling Press Releases

In the wake of Friday’s home loss to Iowa – which was equal parts ugly on and off the field – the noise surrounding Bo Pelini’s future at Nebraska escalated to a fever pitch.  The only thing louder than the calls for Pelini to be fired, were for athletic director Shawn Eichorst to say something – anything – regarding Pelini.

On Saturday, Eichorst spoke* and tried to calm the storm.  The text of his statement is below

*via press release.  A notoriously quiet man, I saw a tweet on Saturday wondering if Eichorst’s own family knows what his voice sounds like.

“My approach has always been to not comment publicly about our coaches until their full seasons are complete, as I strongly believe it is unfair and counter to best practices. However, given the volume of unfounded speculation and conjecture about our head football coach, I want to reaffirm what I have said many times since I have arrived at the University of Nebraska — that I positively respect, appreciate and support our football student-athletes, coaches and staff, as we do everyone in the Husker family. We very much look forward to our upcoming bowl game and Coach Pelini continuing to lead our program in the future.”

A few hours later, Coach Pelini issued a response:

“I want to thank our administration and Shawn Eichorst in particular, for his continued and full support that he has given me and our football program since his arrival on campus.   I am honored to represent this university and its great fans and I’m proud to lead this program into the future.

“I apologize for reacting emotionally yesterday and for showing frustration both with the game officials and the media.  I fully understand and respect their difficult jobs, and I regret any and all actions or words which may have shed a negative light on our program and university. Accountability is a core belief throughout our program, and as the head coach, I must set and maintain a high standard.

“Our football staff is hitting recruiting full throttle and looking forward to the upcoming bowl game.  We are committed to working with Shawn and our entire department staff to continue to build this program and bring championships back to Nebraska.”

Here are my thoughts and questions on these releases:

These statements – especially the one by Eichorst – are a great example of using public relations to your advantage.  Clearly, Eichorst could see that this story was not going anywhere, and adhering to his standard practice would only make things worse.  So he did the smart thing:  he got out in front it, took control of the narrative, and put things back in his terms.

Seriously, look at that statement again.  What does it really tell you?  Here is the concrete information in there:

  • Eichorst would rather not saying about any coach until after the season is over.
  • The speculation on Pelini’s job status forced me to say something.
  • Eichorst respects players, coaches, and staff – from all sports, including football.
  • Eichorst is looking forward to the bowl game.
  • Pelini will coach said bowl game.

Anything else you may have taken away from that is speculation and conjecture.

Eichorst’s statement may not meet the textbook definition of the “dreaded vote of confidence” but it is definitely in the family.  All we know for sure is that a) Eichorst would rather not say anything until after the season ends and b) Bo Pelini will coach the bowl game.

I love the ambiguous usage of the word “future”.  When is this “future” Eichorst speaks of?  2014?  2015?  15 minutes after the bowl game ends?  A week from Tuesday?  I don’t know how he meant it, but I would not automatically assume that Bo Pelini is your coach for the 2014 season.  Heck, depending on when the bowl game is, Pelini may not be the coach when the ball is fumbled…err, dropped, in New York City on 12/31.

My opinion – and it is just that – is Bo only has a job through the bowl game.  After that game, Bo will sit with Eichorst and they’ll have their end of season evaluation where Eichorst will have everything (fire Bo, keep Bo but fire some assistants, keep everybody) on the table.  I don’t yet know who Nebraska will face in the bowl game, but I do know that Pelini should consider it a “must-win” game if he wants to remain employed at the University of Nebraska.

I’ve seen a lot of people who are absolutely, positively certain that Pelini didn’t write his remarks.  Gee, ya think?  Sure, the mental image of Bo, dressed in grey hoodie and busted white hat, sitting over his laptop banging out a response with hunt-and-peck accuracy before Mary Pat removes all of the curse words is pretty funny, but no, I don’t think Bo wrote his response.

But I also don’t think that Eichorst wrote his out either.  Yes, Eichorst has a law degree, and probably could knock out something like this, but amusing mental imagery aside, let’s not forget that Pelini was an academic all Big Ten player – three times.  He’s probably just as capable of stringing together vague, non-conversational sentences as his boss is.  But let’s be honest:  somewhere in Lincoln there is a Public Relations team that is sitting back with a cocktail after a long day of crafting press releases.

Pelini’s response, to me, feels directed more at recruits than at Nebraska fans.  Imagine you’re Bo (or one of his coaches) heading for a big recruiting stretch between now and the bowl game.  At every stop you know you’re going to get questions on your future, the blow ups during the Iowa game, and the long-term direction of the program.  If the kids and their families/advisors aren’t thinking of them on their own, I can guarantee you that coaches from other universities are placing those seeds of doubt in their minds (“Pelini is going to be fired”, “Bo is a hot head”, “You’ll never win big at Nebraska”).

To me, it feels like this response is something that Bo and Co. can use as a reference to verify that Bo has a future in Lincoln, he’s sorry for what he did, and his goals remain focused on championships before they launch into the sales pitch about the culture of accountability.  I say this mostly because, as a fan, there isn’t much in here that I haven’t already seen.

I’d almost prefer it if Bo didn’t apologize for his behavior on Friday.  Yeah, we all know that Bo screwed up – snapping at the sideline reporter, getting the unsportsmanlike penalty while almost hitting a ref, and describing a call as “chicken____” – and a public apology is probably warranted.  But that doesn’t mean that all Husker fans want to hear it.

There are many fans who were okay with what Bo said to the ABC reporter (ask a stupid question…).  A week ago, there were many people who said they wouldn’t be mad if Bo punched the ref who flagged Sam Burtch for his block during Ameer Abdullah’s long run against Penn State.

Aside from those who think Pelini was (at least partially) in the right, there are those who have heard it all before.  The apologies, the promises to change, and then the cycle repeats itself.  Some fans feel like they are in a Bo-dependent relationship with their coach, and every apology is more hollow and meaningless than the one before it.


New Husker F_____ Game Day Traditions

Yesterday on Twitter, local radio host John Gaskins (@937JohnGaskins) posted several tongue-in-cheek suggestions for new Husker game day traditions, using the hashtag #newgamedaytraditions, playing off of the now infamous Bo Pelini audio where the coach drops 753 f bombs in  60 seconds

I thought several of the suggestions were pretty f_____ funny, so I’m stealing the idea, and contributing with my own ideas.*

*As far as I know, the ideas below weren’t posted by anybody else.  But if I inadvertently copied your idea, my apologies.  It was unintentional.  Also, since there were some good suggestions from Gaskins and others, I’ll toss those in too.

  • The block N on the Nebraska helmet is replaced with a block F
  • During the band’s pregame spectacular, the announcer say’s “It’s f_____ Football f______ Saturday, and there is no f_____ place like Nebraska.
  • At the conclusion of March of the Cornhusker, instead of spelling out N-E-B-R-A-S-K-A, the crowd spells F-_-_-_ Y-_-_.
  • Instead of spelling out “HUSKERS” during Hail Varsity, the band spells F____ You.
  • The official game ball is present to the referee by the F____ Off Kid, (presented by Runza).
  • After the national anthem, there is a fly over from a sputtering prop airplane pulling a banner that reads “F___ You, You F_______ F___s”
  • When the Huskers take the field, they raise a single finger in the air.  (Nope, not their index finger).
  • Instead of carrying the U.S. flag onto the field, a player is selected to carry a flag of Pelini flipping everyone off.
  • Corporate sponsor Verizon gives giant foam fingers (nope, not the index finger) to all fans.
  • The pump up song before kick off is reworked to be “Can You F____ Feel It?”
  • When the blue hair behind you asks you to sit down, they do it with an f bomb.
  • The HuskerVision tribute to Nebraska players in the pros:  “F___ers in the NFL”
  • Students paint F___ You on their chests.
  • The Husker Sports Network places recorders in the bathrooms, concourses, and luxury suites.  All audio is reviewed and archived for potential use in a few years.
  • The Referee works as many f-bombs as possible into his calls:  “F____ Holding.  Number Seventy-F_______-Three of the f_____ offense.  Ten f______ yards.  Fourth f________ down.”
  • Every time the Huskers score, after the PAT is kicked, the fans raise their arms and wave them back and forth with a single finger extended.
  • The scoreboard tracks the number of f bombs dropped by both teams during the game.
  • Voice of the Huskers, Greg Sharpe ignores all of the profanity and chooses to focus on the performance of Stanley Jean Baptiste.
  • Bo’s halftime interview with the sideline reporter consists entirely of George Carlin’s “Seven Words” routine.
  • During halftime, the band marches into the shape of a hand with all five fingers extended.  They march until only one finger remains.
  • The Today’s Attendance total is broken out into real and fair-weather fans.
  • Fans curse the team whenever they go three and out on offense or give up points on defense.  (Oh wait – that’s not new at all).
  • Former offensive and defensive linemen are stationed at the stadium exits.  If anybody tries to leave before the game ends, they are asked “Where the f_____ do you think you’re going?”
  • After the game, Ron Brown leads players from both teams in prayer, where they give thanks and praise to Jesus F. Christ.
  • As the visiting team leaves the field, they are flipped off by the fans in the southeast corner of the stadium.

Some of my favorites from Twitter:

Bo Pelini Salutes the Greatest F___ing Fans in College F___ing Football

By now, you are familiar with the (NSFW) bomb dropped on the state of Nebraska, Bo Pelini, and the 2013 season.  Having read the article, listened to the audio, and witnessed the media explosion that followed, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the situation.  Here are some of my random thoughts as of Monday night:

You have every right to be pissed off.  I was upset when I first heard it.  It was unsettling.  Disturbing.  Hurtful.  As Nebraskans and fans, we have a deep pride in the program.  Over the years, we’ve come to expect that our passion will be mocked and ridiculed by outsiders who don’t understand what we have and why we treasure it.  When the barbs come from some east coast media member or fan of a rival school, it is easy to deflect their words because they don’t get it.  The quote from former walk-on Todd Peterson says it best:  “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it, and from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”

I think that is why Bo’s comments are so hurtful – rarely have such words ever come from somebody on the inside.  Yes, Bo is not a Nebraska native or an alumnus, but when the recording was made in 2011, he was in his fourth year as head coach, and fifth season associated with the program.  By then, he should have known exactly how we tick – how to make us happy and how to piss us off.  That he chose to attack us as fans – regardless of the situation or setting – is upsetting.

I don’t think I’m pissed at Pelini.  But I am disappointed.  And hurt.

And that may end up being worse.

Some will forgive.  Few will forget.  There is a segment of fans who have already forgiven Bo.  They understand these things were said two years ago, in the emotional heat of a big win after a stressful week (after which I wrote this).  They like Bo’s fire, his passion, how much he cares about his players and fights for them.  They may say things like “I wouldn’t want my worst moments to be recorded and published”.  They believe certain media members have an ax to grind with Pelini.  They see his good traits – the way he graduates players, runs a clean program, and has very few guys getting arrested.  They like how Bo talks stresses things that Nebraskans believe in – accountability, honor, family, and a no-nonsense black and white approach.  They will always love him for what he did for Jack Hoffman and his family.

And yet, even for the staunchest Pelini backer, the biggest of the Bo-lievers, the memory of this tirade will never go away.  That audio clip is going to linger in their minds for the remainder of Pelini’s tenure at Nebraska.  Nebraskans are generally a trusting people.  We are caring and generous, but will defend our own tooth and nail.  But when that trust is gone, look out.

The wound may heal, but the scar will remain.

Bo’s profane attack is not a fireable offense – today.  As the Pelini tape played across the state and nation, there were several audible sounds beyond Bo’s vast collection of F-bombs.  There was the sound of jaws hitting the floor in disbelief.  And for many fans, there was the faint sound of a final straw landing on their back.  But as shocked as I was to hear the audio, I’ll be even more surprised if the recording gets Bo fired before the season ends.  Multiple losses or another blowout may do the trick, but I don’t think a two year old string of expletives is enough cause to make a change mid-season.

Make no mistake, everything else that Bo does or says, every loss or disappointment is now under a much greater microscope than it was yesterday.  No, Bo probably won’t be fired this week, but the Deadspin piece will definitely make such a decision easier down the road.

There are so many questions about that tape.  There are lots of unknowns here.  Deadspin said the tape came from a person who “only recently had come into possession of this audio before sending it our way”.  Assuming that to be true (and I’m not sure I do), here is a partial list of things I (and everybody else) would love to know:

  • Who made the initial recording?
  • As of the UCLA game, was this person still employed by the University or the Husker Sports Network?
  • Was Bo aware that he was being taped?
  • If the tape changed hands, when did that happen?  Why?  Who arranged the trade?
  • Who released it to Deadspin?  Are they a media member?  A booster?  A disgruntled employee?
  • Why release it now?  Why not last year after the Big Ten Championship or the bowl game?
  • There was some buzz on Twitter that the existence of the tape has been known for over a year.  Who knew and when?

I have no respect for whomever made (and kept) that recording.  Hopefully we can all agree that whomever recorded Bo – presumably without his knowledge – and then held onto that tape for their own use is a low-life scumbag.  I’m not versed on Nebraska statutes to know if any laws were broken, but the law of common decency was clearly broken by this individual.  As much as Bo’s words hurt, it is equally as troubling to know that somebody with such low character was working either for the Athletic Department or the Husker Sports Network.

Take away the profanity, and Bo actually has a point.  You may not want to hear it, but Bo does state a couple of cold hard truths. There is a fair-weather contingent within the fan base.  For most of the Pelini era, the public perception of Bo’s Huskers is based solely on their last game.  Even though it is long after the recording was made, consider the first two games of the 2013 season:  Nebraska eked by a decent Wyoming team and there is near panic over how bad the season will be.  Nebraska follows it up with a blowout of a bad Southern Miss team, and suddenly all is sunshine and lollipops.  And when Nebraska is perceived to be “down”, there is a vocal piece of the fan base, media, and message board posters that calls for coaches to be fired, starters to be benched, and changes to be made in Bo’s schemes.

In my opinion, Bo was right to call out the fans who left that Ohio State game.  Right before halftime, many fans showered the team with boos.  Lots of those fans left at halftime or shortly into the 3rd quarter.  Those fans quit on the team that night, and in Bo’s black and white world, that is unacceptable.  Looking back on what I wrote after that game, I was pretty hard on our fans too.  I didn’t use any expletives, but I was in row 47, not coaching on the sideline against my alma mater.

And finally, Bo was right:  the night’s biggest play was made by a “f_______ wide receiver playing cornerback”.

Now what?  We all wake up on Tuesday and realize it wasn’t a horrible dream.  So what happens next?  What does the fallout look like?  Even before the loss to UCLA, I was expecting a lot of tickets to be available for Saturday’s game with South Dakota State.  Now?  I would not be too shocked to see empty pockets in the stands.

As for the rest of the season?  Who knows how this will impact the team.  Surely they are little fragile after the UCLA game, and the increased scrutiny on their coach won’t help.  In my opinion, it goes one of two ways:  either they completely and totally collapse in a 2007-esque ball of horror or they go into the famed Pelini “bunker mode” and do just enough to win the Legends division.

And the off-season?  In a sentence I did not think I would type 12 hours ago:  short of a Big 10 title or BCS bowl game, I do not see how Bo Pelini coaches this team in 2014.  I’m currently not against him as a coach, nor am I calling for him to be fired (yet), but I feel the damage done by this tape is going to be too much for Shawn Eichorst and Harvey Perlman to look past when the season ends.

Whether or not you choose to kiss Bo Pelini’s “ass out the f_____ door” is completely up to you.

Bo vs. Tommie

In the wake of Nebraska’s ugly 41 – 21 collapse to UCLA, lots of strong statements and opinions were issued by fans, media, and alumni.  As one might suspect, most of these opinions were not very positive towards Bo Pelini and his coaching staff.

But among the millions of opinions spoken, printed, or (in this case) tweeted, one stands out:

“After letting it sink in for about 4 hours I still struggling. It’s time to get rid of the defensive play caller, the Dc, lb dl and db coaches. I hate saying this but this crap is getting old. How in the hell do you not make adjustments or put your players in the position to compete? If this is what is going to happen for the remainder of the season, count me out. I don’t care if we lose a game but the way we are losing is just not what #Nebraska fans deserve. I have fought, bled, and cried over this program. I didn’t do all that for the program to become what it has today. Time for change!”

Those are strong words from anybody, but they didn’t come from Joe Fan.  They came from Tommie Frazier – one of the greatest players in college football history.  Quarterback of the 1994 and 1995 National Championship teams.  Heisman Trophy runner-up*.  College Football Hall of Famer.  Short of Tom Osborne, there are not too many people who would get a similar reaction with these remarks.

*That still hurts to type.  Tommie was robbed.  You know it.  I know it.  Eddie George knows it.

To make matters worse, Tommie’s remarks came on the same day he was honored at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Today in his weekly press conference, Bo Pelini was asked to respond to Frazier’s tweet.  Pelini said he had not seen the tweet, but was aware of it.  Here is his response:

“We have a staff, players and administration — everybody here — who’s busting their butt to do everything we can to win football games and to do everything we can for student-athletes. Since I came back here, I’ve embraced the former players, and if he feels like that, so be it. We don’t need him. That’s a shame. Until you’ve sat in this seat — until you’ve sat and done it — anybody can have an opinion. Anybody can do that. It’s easy to point fingers and stand outside and throw stones. I take it for what it is.”

Ouch.  This is one of those classic situations where nobody is right and everybody is wrong.  Let’s start with Bo.

Obviously, the money quote:  “if he feels like that, so be it.  We don’t need him” is what sticks out from Pelini’s response, and it will soon join “gravitate towards mediocrity” in the pantheon of ugly Husker quotes.

In print (or pixels) it looks horrible:  a hot-head coach coming off of another blowout loss disrespecting a legendary player.  But, the words don’t tell the whole story.

Watch Bo saying the full quote.  You’ll notice that he certainly appears to be speaking off the cuff, and in my opinion, looks to be searching for the right words to say.  You’ll also notice a lot of pauses, “um”s, and “you know”s in those 60 seconds.  His tone and body language is submissive and dismissive; not combative.  Reading those words, it is easy to picture Angry Bo spewing spittle, but the video tells a different story.

But regardless of tone, Bo made a big blunder today.  He was unprepared.

Surely Bo (or somebody within the University’s media relations team) should have known a question about Frazier’s tweet would come.  Of course it would.  The media might not lead with it, but everybody knew it was going to come up.

This is complicated by the fact that Bo is not an eloquent speaker.  His stammering, pausing response was awkward on its own before he dropped the “we don’t need him” bomb.  And that is a failure on Bo’s part.  He needed to be ready for the question, and have a prepared, diplomatic response teed up.  I’ll let Pelini’s critics do what they will with another documented case of failing to be prepared.

I truly believe “we don’t need him” was not what Bo intended to say.  But since he was unprepared and shooting from the hip, that is what we got.  That is on Bo.

My hope is that Bo’s words are not taken as a blanket statement that past players aren’t welcome, or that negative opinions should not be shared.  We saw enough of that garbage during the Pedersen/Callahan regime, and nobody wants to go back to that time.

But Tommie Frazier is not above criticism in this matter.

First off, Tommie Frazier has every right to say or tweet whatever he feels, whenever he wants.  Period.

And yet…he also needs to consider the power the name “Tommie Frazier” has, and how negative comments about the program – even those that could be considered reactionary just a few hours after an ugly loss – may impact his reputation and legacy.

My guess is Tommie Frazier wants to be remembered as one of the greatest players in college football history, not as an all-time great who trashed the coaching staff of his alma mater on social media.  As great as Frazier was, he is fortunate to have played in an era before social media*.

*Although one wonders what Jerry Tagge might have tweeted after the 1992 loss at Iowa State…

Does Tommie’s name and legacy mean that he shouldn’t be vocal with his opinion?  Absolutely not.  But Frazier needs to have both the knowledge and responsibility to understand that his words carry much more weight than almost all former players or coaches.  When is outspoken like this, it gets noticed. Nationally.  For someone who “fought, bled, and cried” over the program, there is a lot of opportunity to do damage of your own.

I’ve seen some folks implying that Frazier’s bold words were intended solely to promote his weekly analysis web-cast.   The last two sentences of his original tweet (“I will comment about the offense this week on Tommie’s X’s and O’s. Trust me you don’t want to miss it.”) could certainly make that point, but I don’t buy it.  One of the things Frazier is revered for is his competitive spirit and will to win.  While he wouldn’t be the first person to take a strong opinion to drive web traffic (*ahem*), I do not believe that was Frazier’s motivation.  If it is, then I’d direct Mr. Frazier to the previous paragraph.

I also disagree with the notion that Frazier shouldn’t weigh in on Nebraska’s coaches because of his own coaching career (fired as an assistant at Baylor; 3-17 as head coach as NAIA Doane College).  Yes, by many accounts, Tommie was a lousy coach, but that doesn’t take away his right to an opinion.  Let’s face it:  if a strong coaching resume was a prerequisite for criticizing football coaches, thousands of message boards, media outlets, and blogs (*ahem*) would be out of business.

So how should have this whole thing have been handled?

In a perfect world,  Pelini and Frazier handle it offline.  Bo and the football operations staff need to appreciate how big of a shadow Tommie Frazier casts in this state.  Every week, there are still hundreds of #15 jerseys in the stands – and those people didn’t buy them because of Steve Octavien, Beau Davis, Willie Miller, or any of the other guys to wear #15 in the last 20 years.

Over the weekend, Bo should have talked to Tommie (or at least reached out) to address Tommie’s concerns privately.  Then, during the weekly press conference, say something to the effect of this:

“Given his stature within our program’s history, I have personally reached out to Tommie to discuss his concerns regarding our performance on Saturday, as well as the program’s direction.  We agree Saturday’s game did not turn out in a way that either of us wanted, and nobody has lost more sleep over that than me.  I respect Tommie Frazier as a player, as a member of the Nebraska Football family, and especially as a person.  However, I will not make coaching or personnel decisions based upon input from those outside of our day-to-day operations.”

Tommie gets his concern addressed.  Pelini shows respect for a Husker legend, addresses the issue, but firmly states that he’s in control.

Tommie has responded to Pelini with the following:  “He’s right, he doesn’t need me. I’m not the answer but he needs someone to help define success for this program. Nebraska fans deserve more.”

I hope this is the end of it – that Pelini and his team go into the their bunker and try to fix their weaknesses before conference play begins, and Frazier continues to do what he does, albeit with some increased tension between him and the program.

I definitely hope we can avoid this from skidding into a worst case scenario:  An increasingly ugly war of words via social media that leads to Tommie Frazier becoming the de facto face of the Fire Pelini contingent.  Former players, alumni, and fans become alienated, creating tension that further splits a divided fan base, while tarnishing the reputation of one of the greatest players in school history.

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