Bo Pelini has an issue with expressing himself emotionally. His senior quarterback Taylor Martinez nearly left the program after Pelini chewed him up and spit him out on national television when he was just a freshman. Flashforward three years later and it appears his temper has gotten him in a deep hole with the Wisconsin fanbase.
His less than stellar records are one thing. Nebraska has never become a challenger for the Big Ten title and has been routed by UCLA in consecutive years, but a two-year-old recording in which he lambasted fans has poured more gasoline on the fire Pelini flames.
The tape caught Pelini speaking off air with Husker Sports Network play-by-play man Greg Sharpe before his postgame radio interview following Nebraska's win over Ohio State in October 2011. Pelini had been criticized by fans and media in the days leading to the Ohio State game for the Huskers' performance the week before in a 31-point loss at Wisconsin.
In the audio, Pelini repeatedly uses an expletive to refer to what he calls "fair-weather" fans.
"I want to sincerely apologize for my comments from two years ago which became public today," Pelini said in a statement released by the school Monday night. "I take full responsibility for these comments. They were spoken in a private room following the Ohio State game. I was venting following a series of emotional events which led to this moment. That being said, these comments are in no way indicative of my true feelings. I love it here in Nebraska and feel fortunate to be associated with such a great University and fan base. I again apologize to anyone whom I have offended."
His apology may be too little too late This week, Pelini was also not happy with Tommie Frazier, who took umbrage with the Nebraska legend suggesting that he fire his defensive coaches in the wake of their recent defensive struggles against Wyoming and UCLA. Arguing with a Nebraska legend the same week a recording emerged of him ripping Nebraska fans was not the wisest PR move to make..
Things are snowballing fairly quickly and Pelini is doing nothing to help his case. He's had three 10-4 seasons and that appears to be his ceiling at Nebraska. As Frank Solich can tell you, that's not acceptable at Nebraska.
Pelini is a lot like Greg Schiano. He's one of the best defensive coaches in the nation, but like many college football dictators his people skills need work. As a result, they both may be out of a job. Coaches like Mack Brown and Mark Richt are given a little more rope because of their congenial personalities. Resembling Lord Voldemort doesn't help his image either. It may be time for Nebraska to bring a coach to Lincoln who can lift morale instead of destroying it.