LINCOLN, Neb. – Hours after coach Bo Pelini fired back at criticism from one of Nebraska’s all-time greats, he had to apologize for a profane rant in which he criticized “fair-weather” Cornhuskers fans.
Sports website Deadspin.com on Monday posted 2-year-old audio of Pelini going off on fans and media after a game.
Pelini’s problematic Monday came two days after Nebraska blew an 18-point lead and lost 41-21 to visiting UCLA.
The Deadspin audio caught Pelini speaking off air with Greg Sharpe, Husker Sports Network play-by-play man, before his postgame radio interview after Nebraska beat Ohio State 34-27 in October 2011. Pelini had been criticized for the team’s performance in a 31-point loss at Wisconsin a week earlier.
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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. “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.”
Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman said he was disappointed by the comments on the audio and declined to answer whether Pelini, who has a 51-21 record with the Cornhuskers, is in danger of losing his job.
During his weekly news conference, Pelini responded to criticism from ex-quarterback Tommie Frazier — who led Nebraska to national titles in the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
Hours after the UCLA loss, Frazier on Twitter called for the firing of Pelini’s defensive assistants and bemoaned what he saw as a lack of adjustments made in the game.
“Since I came back here, I’ve embraced the former players, and if he feels like that, then so be it. We don’t need him,” Pelini said of Frazier. “That’s a shame. Until you’ve sat in this seat and done it, anybody can have an opinion; anyone can do that. It’s easy to point fingers and stand outside and throw stones, so I just take it for what it is.”
Frazier on Monday tweeted: “He’s right, he doesn’t need me. I’m not the answer but he needs someone to help define success for this program.”