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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Nov 23

Now It's Tom's Turn to Weigh In...

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By HuskerLocker

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Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne released Tuesday his own statement on Bo Pelini's sideline behavior - which Pelini apologized for Monday. Once more, with gusto, here's Osborne's take:

“Bo and his staff have done some very fine things in the three years he has been at Nebraska. The players have done very well academically, the off-the-field behavior has improved considerably and team chemistry, and unity of purpose have been exceptional. Our team has been well-prepared and played with intensity every week. Bo and his staff have turned the football program in a very positive direction.

“It is important that people maintain a sense of perspective and balance concerning the football program in view of the events of last Saturday. Bo has indicated that events such as those will not happen again. I take him at his word, and agree that it is very important that going forward we do not see a recurrence.”


The first paragraph is a review of Pelini's strengths.

The second paragraph has some teeth in it. Osborne expects Pelini to keep his word about sideline rants never happening again. Additionally, Osborne makes it clear: There better not be a recurrence.

Tags: tom osborne, bo pelini

Comments (29)

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NCBoy

runfaster3 said, "So does Bo need to calm down? yes..does he need to be fired as some suggest No!"

I haven't seen anyone say he should be fired. But it's not too much to ask someone who makes more than $1 million per year representing the University and State we all love to act like an adult.

I had friends in Indiana all those years Bobby Knight was acting the fool. I would be a hypocrite if I now said, "well, he's winning more games than "coach x". Bo can do a lot better, and he doesn't need us excusing him

– Nov 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

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SD_Husker

By the way, this behavior could hurt our recruiting significantly! I don't know many mom's and dad's that would want their son berated on national TV like that. Very unprofessional and just plain dumb,. If it's needed it's done privately.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

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SD_Husker

Put things into perspective - this is a University that happens to participate in NCAA football. Not a professional football team that happens to have a university associated with it. Graduates like me - who are die-hard college football fans are also proud of the University and the State. Our reputation is far more important, lasting and significant than our current football success. That's why is so very important that our reputation as the classiest college football fans MUST NEVER DIE no matter our football team's success.

Keep in mind that the Pelini brothers are helping these young men mature. They must behave like adults. It's OK to be passionate. But the Pelini's themselves would tell you that passion without self-control is out of control. So they need to follow the same advice they give their players. Play with passion, but under control. Same with coaching.

Tom and Harvey are correct. Those of you "pure footballers" - go start your own team league, or follow pro football. But don't hurt our university for the sake of winning alone.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

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CHEEZHEADHUSKER

Look Folks, we all knew the Big 12 farewell tour would be tough, but who we thought that would come from the opposition and fans, not from the Big 12 front offfice and the officating crews who have made it personal for them. How' does NU not make it personal. Just winning against all 18 (eleven players and 7 officials), check that, make it 19 including BeBee, would be great, but in a tight game against a good team the same crap NU has endured all season has to be called.

You damn right Bo should make it personal and if Tom and Perlman had any balls they would stand up for what is right not sit and take this like a prison rape at the big house in Texas. TO and Perlman's having Bo's back would do far more good for recruiting and doing the right thing than publically calling him on being miffed about the officials hose job. As a parent I want to see someeone coaching my kid who has their back and if my gifted child starts to think they are above the TEAM, I want him to call my son on itm as Bo did to Martinez.

Now put all this baloney behind us, back our players, coaches and our recruits. Our recruits need to know they are going to a school that will help them maximize their mental and physical abilities and prepare them for life. .


Bo is a winner. I would rather have a coach I have to reel in, than someone I have to kick is the butt. I built a giant company in the medical field from nothing as CEO & President with passionate managers like Bo and that type of coach who has his players backs will always be a winner. I hear all this baloney about Nebraska fans worried about their hard, get over it, or go back to the Callehan, Solich years.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

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runfaster3

You know I would like to see some of the people who post here act when they are watching football in the privacy of their own home or at a sports bar. Anyone who says that we have a serious issue when we are defending our coach really does not have a lick of sense. Yes, Bo had some very bad moments, but what does one do when the flags are flying relentlessly and not all of them were accurate and everyone knows it. Yes, Bo is a very passionate man when it comes to football..also he is under the scrutiny of the public 24/7...I would like to see those who are complaining when they have heated moments. He has brought football back to NE. People seem to forget Callahans mouth. His choice words! As far as having the back of our coach those words came from the players themselves so if one thinks that they are overrated that would be something they need to talk to the players about. Also the "kids" are not "kids" they are young men. Some of them will go on to Pro ball does anyone think (unless they have Coach Dungy) that they are not going to have a little bit of what happen this weekend..? Not one player has complained. So does Bo need to calm down? yes..does he need to be fired as some suggest No! it would be the biggest mistake NU has ever made to date. Lets give the man a break. Please keep in perspective that he is human. He will make mistakes..when was the last time anyone walked on water? exactly! Does he need to practice restraint? yes we all do in something or other..So lets encourage him by praying for him and standing beside him when he makes blunders not scrutinize and make him feel that he should not be who he is. We all need improvement in all areas. Lets not put ourselves above him. Everyone one us has had very heated moments those moments just are not under the eye of the Country if they were how would we feel? So..lets move on and let Bo coach and let his LOYAL players play!!.. as Osborne says.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

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bugeaters1

Let's ask Coach Ditka his thoughts on this topic.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 9:10 am

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HuskerKP

HuskerKP
Lincoln, NE
11/24/2010
As Husker fans, we need to have our coach’s, and team’s, backs the same way they have each other’s backs. People make mistakes, and that’s life. This mole-hill has been turned into a mountain, and the fans and media are a large part of it. We don’t have to accept inappropriate behavior, but we also need not jump to conclusions without all the facts. Sometimes things are not what they seem. I say give Bo the benefit of the doubt, and give him due respect for stepping up and apologizing… taking reponsibility for his actions. It’s too bad, in my opinion, that Harvey Perlman made those public comments… instead of letting Tom Osborne (Bo’s direct boss) handle the situation in his own way. I think Harvey owes Bo a public apology for doing the very thing he admonished him for… publicly chastising him instead of doing it behind closed doors. I trust Tom Osborne and Bo Pelini to do the right thing for their University, their team, and their job. I should think Harvey Perlman would do the same. Again, mistakes were made… let’s forgive and move forward now that those mistakes have been admitted and addressed. They have already been blown up to be bigger than they ever should have been, so let’s not contribute to it continuing in that direction. Let’s go out and show our resiliency and cohesiveness against Colorado the way only the Nebraska Cornhuskers can… as a team, as a University, and as HUSKER NATION ! GO BIG RED !!!

– Nov 24, 2010 at 8:29 am

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Hater

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

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jfgaver417

As a big fan of Pelini's since 2003, I was disappointed in his behavior. I think that his tirads can be be a huge distraction to the team and his staff. It would appear that he is placing so much concentration on the officials that game planning, adjustments etc. that are needed during the course of the game become lost and the play of the huskers is seriously impacted....in my view, he was a major factor in the lost last Saturday....

– Nov 24, 2010 at 7:46 am

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gettinerdone

Bo tells parents, “I’m going to have your kids back, I’m going to fight for them every step of the way…making sure your kids have a fair shake and prepare them for the rest of their life …”

This is all well and good, but how much credibility is left when in one evening before 90,000 fans and millions watching at home on TV we have an out-of-control coach practically in mental breakdown mode being verbally abusive to two of his players and an officiating crew. If this isn’t bad enough the coach and numerous fans lamely contend “if only it hadn’t been caught on national TV” as if that would then have made Pelini’s behavior acceptable.

Meanwhile, many in the big red family seem to think this is all about Bo having someone’s back (one of the most nebulous and overworked terms of the decade); teaching life’s lessons, “fighting for my players,” as if they were under siege on some battlefield or about to go on trial for their lives. This siege mentality, us against the world, is absurd. This isn't war or even close to it. We are talking about 18, 19, 20 year old kids playing a game. Their first priority should be getting a good education then, along with their coaches, setting about finding a way to overcome the yellow flag litter plaguing gridirons being visited by NU..

As for all of the staunch Bo defenders, while in part meritorious, you really are not helping Pelini in the long run. Instead, you simply are encouraging his behavior, which in turn helps fuel the resolve of Big XII refs to keep the pressure on until the Huskers self-destruct as we saw happen last Saturday night.

Indeed, we all can agree the calls are going against us at an alarming rate. But just as assuredly, I know as should you, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We can scream endlessly, write letters of protest until we burn up our computers, but nothing will change if the officials are determined to “get us.“ We don't have to like it but, be that as it may, the refs have the hammer.

Put another way, it’s like the old warning: Don’t ever pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and newsprint by the (rail) carload. Screaming at or about refs will at best relieve some built-up anger but the fact remains there are some battles that never can be won. This is one of them.

As potentially brilliant as Bo Pelini is as a coach, with an equally brilliant future possibly before him, this situation needs to end and end now. No more talking. No more, “but he means well and he’s passionately looking out for his players.’’ That’s nothing more than a crutch, a straw man, an excuse.

Starting now he needs to understand, as does every segment of NU’s fan base, that he will not be allowed to further harm the University of Nebraska‘s reputation and the hard won, much admired reputation of its football program. He is not the indispensable coach. No one is nor ever can be.

In the final analysis, and I know this may not sit well with many, but I firmly believe at this juncture TO and HP may well have conveyed to Pelini a zero tolerance policy re a repeat of his behavior. While in the end, nothing would please me more than to see Coach Pelini turn this situation around, if there is a relapse in his bad behavior it should result in his immediate dismissal.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 5:40 am

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HSKRNWY

Ok here goes I have been a fan of the Huskers since the mid late 70's. I have seen Osborne, Solich and (LOL) Callahan on the sidelines, Osborne and Solich never really showed emotions, Solich at times looked lost. Callahan was well unforgettable. I love to see a little pep in the coaches, Pelini is very emotional about the game and I love this.
I still have a hard time with at least 7 of the penalties, 1. the roughing the passer against Osborne, the flag then no flag for AM pass interference, but 2 burn in my mind. How can Martin #46 get 2 15 yard penalties on kick returns when on both the ball was never taken out of the end zone.
This crew that was on the game and Big 12 Commish Beebe need to be investigated.
Our team is one step away from being a NC competitor, the BIG 12 fans outside of Husker Fans want to see us fail this year more so than any year ever. The TV camera's focus on BO because he is ACTIVE, odd how they showed the Texas A&M Collie on the sideline more than the coach, both looked the same BORED.

Go Big Red Nebraska Huskers 31 Colorado 17

– Nov 24, 2010 at 5:18 am

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gettinerdone

There is an upside in Bo's bad behavior. NU won’t have to worry about him being enticed away by Ohio State sometime down the road.

There is no way that premier program will be interested in someone that seems to think there is virtue in -- and/or demand for -- coaches who display out-of-control behavior.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 3:10 am

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COHUSKERSWIN

Letter to the editor!!! Has everyone forgotten the last clown that coached our Huskers? He was charming with the media but couldn't get a player to follow him to the training table on prime rib night. The players love Bo. He wins. What else do you need to know? I'll take the rough around the edges guy who wins and cares about his players any day of the week. Get off of Bo's facial expressions and concentrate on winning football games. NU football is unique because we aren't like everyone else. We have awesome fans who are nice to the other team... The media should follow suit. We don't need media geeks to push to dig out every grain of dirt on any kid who screws up. Be positive and you will also be a reason people want to come to Nebraska.

– Nov 24, 2010 at 12:07 am

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Dutch

OK folks, here's how I see it. First off Perlman is an administrator, his stance is no surprise, TO is the bridge between the wildly successful and profitable athletics dept. (Football esp.) he has to support Coach Pelini AND back the Admin.
I love the job the Bros. Pelini are doing, I also KNOW MOST of the criticism is coming from Husker bashers piling on. Screw them. There is no doubt that officiating crew is a crooked joke. IF the Big XII has a shred of integrity (which I don't think they do) this cast of clowns will not share the same zip code with the Husker football team ever again!
For Bo's part though the Martinez scene along with the foul language really doesn't look good. I wonder why the frick the cameras have to continue to show him when he's obviously spewing expletives into his head set. Entertainment and talk value I guess. The problem for Bo and Co. however is two-fold. First off, we only see a small fraction of his interaction with his very young adults. If you're going to be a firebrand you better walk a fine line, it's easy to lose a team if these young guys start thinking you're just a jerk and a tyrant. That same thing is what got Fats Mangino and Jim Leavett, both successful and solid coaches FIRED. Neither has resurfaced yet and some pundits think they'll have a hard time getting a good job again. Look at Mike Price, different deal but inappropriate behavior killed his career. Larry Eustachy a highly successful B-ball coach at ISU...Long gone from there.
Point is, Bo can either chill out and focus on coaching and get this team ready to kick Colorado's butt (a game NU DEFINITELY should win) or he can spiral down with his club, lose and wind up in the Alamo Bowl. Big Red is up against it in this half a$$ conference, delighted they are leaving. They need to leave on the right note. Sure the Refs were HORRIBLE on Saturday, but the team wasn't much better. Play well, execute, take a chill pill Bo and all will be fine.
Nebraska 41 Colorado 17.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm

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seamark

Great Coach, has done wonders with the program that was depleted and tarnished under the previous clowns/gang. I will say this, his approach is everything Tom Osborn isn't and that is some ways is a really good thing. If Tom had some of Bo, he would have had more championships in my estimation. As far as his behavior, it works to an extent. Unfortunately for this year, the coaching staff has the team too wound up, not loose enough and for this team it works to the detriment. I watched Bo and Green on the sideline after he called a time out, when Green came over, I'm pretty sure he said "what's your problem". Green clearly isn't confident. Maybe a different approach would work better with him. Your on the right track coach but I think your teams will perform better with some modifcation from the coaching staff

– Nov 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

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5XNC

Tom Osborne's comments were scripted, dude/1audiofile....did you see him deliver them on camera or hear him deliver them on the radio? They were scripted for a reason....he had to do it because of Harv, not because he wanted to do it....when TO fully believes in something he doesn't shy away from the camera or the microphone. Harvey is way out of his league on this one....and, he might have just cost us the opportunity to build another TO like dynasty. Let's pray that Bo can be a bigger/better man than the cowardly Perlman. "Nuff Said".

– Nov 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm

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1audiofile

I think Tom Osborne's comments were right on and appropriate. We all want Bo and Carl to stay. We just want them to act professionally. They are professionals and are 42 and 50 years old. They are not children, but adults. Behave like one and set an example for the players. Nuff Said.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm

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5XNC

How in the world can anyone who is a true blue Cornhusker support the cowardly Harvey Perlman? Who does he think he is? I know who Perlman is...a guy that blew $5MM dollars of hard earned donor money because he was convinced Pederson and Callihan were "the answer". Now he goes off half-cocked, and let's his self absorbed ego get the best of him by blindsiding his AD and his immensely talented football coach. Why couldn't ol'Harv practice what he preaches and do his talking "behind closed doors"....guess his ego got the best of him, and he couldn't help himself. So, he goes off half-cocked with the media, and paints his AD (our beloved TO) in a corner. I'm guessing that it pained TO to issue his scripted comments this evening...but, what else was he to do? TO is the gold standard of class...if he doesn't issue the statement, then he appears to be at odds with his boss, thereby creating more issues and hype around this over-blown situation. TO is trying to calm the waters and get this behind us as fast as we can...you know if he (TO) were chancellor, he would've talked to Bo in private...not in the paper. If Harv's bs costs us the Pelini's and their staff, I for one will no longer be a Husker fan...something I've been for 48 years. We let Harv and Pederson take us into the abyss, and we now have some in Huskerland applauding Harv for his call-out of Bo....over what? We don't know what prompted Bo's confrontation with T-mart....but, is it possible we should consider deferring to Bo in this situation?....maybe the team needed to see Bo take T-mart to task...in my opinion, I'll defer to he who has brought us out of the abyss to make that call. As for Bo's handling of the officiating....let's hope his tirade brings light to the Beebe-job we took on Saturday, in time to save us from a similar plight in Dallas on December 4th. As much as the media wants to splice together highlight reels of Bo's passion...they also can't pass up the other side of the story...ie., a grassy knoll coming from Big 12 HQ....you don't think Harv's twin brother (Beebe) will be on his toes over the next two weeks. Bottom-line, let's just all remember where we were from 2004-2007...and, if some of us aren't careful, we'll end up right back in the abyss because some of us want to get all high and mighty about how our guy behaves on the sideline....this message is for you Harvey Perlman (and, your band of high-brow goody-to-shoes), with a cc to Tom "Missouri loving" Shatel. God bless you, and Thank You, Bo Pelini.....you deserve better.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

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NCBoy

LGDD2 - I agree that went too far (and I also saw that game). I was reacting to your comparison of Bo to Bob Devaney, because I'm also old enough to remember him quite well.

I do fear that Bo was on a course to be a Woody Hayes by the time he reached that age (Woody was 70 that fateful day).

Hopefully Bo and his family (and Husker Nation!) will look back at this in 5 or 10 years as a needed and effective "intervention".

– Nov 23, 2010 at 9:31 pm

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LGDD2

NCBoy: I understand your comparison...however, Woody Hayes was just bat-chit crazy. Have you ever seen candid video of Hayes at practice as compared to Bo? Really no comparison. I was watching Hayes last game when he punched the Clemson player. It was surreal. No comparison in my mind...but I do respect your opinion. We will just have to agree to disagree.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

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NCBoy

Osborne's statement tells me that Bo has had his first and second warnings before, in private. It reminds me of the final ultimatum Bobby Knight had at Indiana.

I sure hate to see more turmoil in the program (and to lose a potentially fantastic coach), but this isn't a stable situation. It can only get better (hopefully) or worse.

Bo will have 2 cameras on him every second for the next several years, so he is going to have to truly change, not just try to hide it.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

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NCBoy

LGDD2 said, "The Pelini’s remind me of Bob Devaney…fiery, outspoken and great motivators"

You are kidding, right? The closest football comparison is Woody Hayes. Unfortunately, Woody didn't have wise (and strong) superiors to set and enforce boundaries.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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Jakester

I'm having a hard time distinguishing between Bo's facial expressions (when he's at his boiling point) as compared to those of JoPa, Rodriquez, Miles, Schembechler, Hayes, Switzer and the like, when they've reached their boiling point whether present or past. They all have a nasty look thats all their own (think Gruden) and it comes from knowing the game and how to make a point in the midst of battle. Heck, even Osborne was pushed to his brink and fired off a "Daggummit" to officials. We had our fill of the mamzy-panzy with Cosgrove and were at our collective wits end to bring to town someone with a little fire for the defense and team. Now we have one, and a great one at that, and all we can do is bitch and moan how we are offended by his passion when the BIG 12 North Division clenching game is on the line?!?!. Seriously? Really? All you jack wagons need to move to California and stay there, cause ya'll sound like a bunch of bleeding heart liberals that are never happy and have a need to perpetuate their misery in others. Go ahead and shoot your TVs! Tissue anyone?

– Nov 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm

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jl8698

I appreciate the passion and intensity that the Pelini brothers bring to the program, and the jpb they have done the past three (+/-) years is very impressive, especially goven what they inherited. However, I can not disagree with the comments from TO or the comments from Harvey P. for that matter.

It is perfectly acceptable, and expected, to carry that kind of passion for your profession and expect perfection for your players. i deal with the same thing everyday as a sr. level exec for a large corporation. However, the stern talks need to happen behind closed doors face to face. In my case, not in front of peers and fellow employees. In Bo's case not in front of not only the rest of the team but a large TV audience.

Direct your people as you need. Some need a pat on the back, some need a kick in the pants. But choose the appropriate environment or you can do alot more harm than good.

Don't tone it down guys, the results are excellent. Just pick your approach more carefully and more good results will follow.

GBR!!!

– Nov 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

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CHEEZHEADHUSKER

Dr Tom's statement was far to much of an ultimatum for a great Coach. Nebraska finally gets a winning coach with some fire and the adminstration buckles when he rightfully gets in the face of the officals and Martinez who thinks he is bigger than the team. The Big 12 is a symbol of the classic “Ugly American”/ Ugly Texan system of misplaced ideology, so many things that are just wrong, nor should they be tolerated. Yes, perhaps Bo would have been better to keep a laser focus, then publicly criticize the officials after NU had won the game. That would have been the best outcome and taught the best lesson in fighting for what is right. The officials Saturday night have now called three Husker games this season: Texas, Iowa State, and Texas A&M (2 losses and an overtime win). During those three games, NU was flagged 32 times for 293 yards. Their opponents were collectively flagged 9 times for 103 yards.

Texas A&M is one of the most penalized teams in the nation, yet Saturday night suddenly the officials only see two plays which were illegal? On top of that, the game where all Big 12 opponents have been penalized the least during the season - when they play Nebraska.

We applaud Coach Pellini's passion in standing up for what is right. The Big Twelve and its officials have violated every principle of integrity in targeting Nebraska for its Big 10 departure. The Big 12 officiating crews and the Big 12 front office have brought this conference to a NEW LOW in the spirit of intercollegiate sport. What team would possibly want to join a conference of this unscrupulous order?

It's unfortunate the NCAA cannot sanction the Big 12 for their behavior. The facts are the facts, and this is nothing short of the lowest form of unsportsmanlike like conduct. Look at the order of magnitude drop in penalties when Big 12 teams play Nebraska. Saturday night the officials indicated the outcome of this game, could they be more obvious?

Sincerely,

The Committee for Integrity in Sports

– Nov 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm

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miller3l

I hope there was no ultimatum made to the pelini's, I do not want to see them go, I think they have brought our football team back in the three years they have been here. I am proud of this team. Pelini's sideline demeanor did not bother me, I could see why he was frustrated and I throwing few F-bombs myself. BO, do not leave, I am behind you as a fan you and your staff have done great things and I know you just have passion for your team and what was unfolding right in front of you eyes. But most of all do not let the ranting fans, the ref's and the Big 12 put you in this spot again, do not feed into their crap, make through the next 2 or 3 games and this conference will be history.

I am very proud of how you have turned this team around. Please just stay at NU and get the NC.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm

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tshirtdesign

I must say that anyone who sees no fault in how Bo behaved on Saturday evening, must have some serious issues of their own. Bo has done some very good things with the program. Unfortunately his good works get undone very quickly when he embarasses the school and the State. Anyone who thinks he did not embarass the school, the State and many more is living in a dream world. All of America has been talking about
what a fool Bo made of himself for two days. Disagree with Tom's statement and you may be a bigger fool.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

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LGDD2

I disagree with previous comment. TO needs to have Coach Pelini's back. The last paragraph sounds like an ultimatum to Bo and Carl...either calm down or we (TO/Pearlman) will remove you as coaches. And it paints TO in to a corner. That paragraph needs to be toned down somewhat. The Pelini’s remind me of Bob Devaney…fiery, outspoken and great motivators. Players would run through a wall for that man. I do not have a problem with Bo and Carl’s coaching style and philosophy. I’ll take the Pelini’s over Callahan any day!

And most importantly, TO needs to make a statement that he is in contact with league offices about officiating and specifically the situation regarding Ben Cotton. E.Martin was suspended for a play that did not draw a flag…the aTm player should get suspended for his egregious “personal foul” (and I do mean PERSONAL).

– Nov 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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pryan2

Perlmann and Osborne are awesome. I totally agree.

– Nov 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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