Published Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm / Updated at 2:40 pm
Pelini says whoever leaked tape had an agenda

LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Tuesday that he did not know who leaked a 2-year-old audiotape to Deadspin that included an expletive-filled rant after a Husker game, but said, “I think everybody out there knows that obviously there was an agenda behind it.”

Pelini addressed the audio Tuesday morning on the Big Ten teleconference after issuing a statement Monday night.

“I'm disturbed and upset that it ever came to this, that something that was said in a private moment two years ago would become public,” he said.

Asked about his reaction to somebody providing the audio to, a sports website, Pelini added: “I don't want to go there. It's not even worth commenting on.”

Pelini said “I don't know” when asked if he expected to be disciplined. He also declined to discuss how he interpreted short statements released Monday night by NU Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst and Chancellor Harvey Perlman, and if he read them as not being supportive.

“It's hard to say,” Pelini said. “You'd have to ask them that.”

Pelini said he had heard in the past that “there was something out there” in regards to the audio but didn't know any specifics. The tape obtained by Deadspin was a 1-minute, 41-segment where Pelini is with NU play-by-play voice Greg Sharpe between his postgame press conference and the taping of his postgame interview on the Husker Sports Network.

Husker Sports Network officials have not commented on the audio and its origins. It followed the Huskers' 34-27 comeback win over Ohio State on Oct. 8, 2011.

“Obviously it was shocking to me,” Pelini said. “That was a conversation that was private, that happened during an emotional time, in a private setting. Obviously it wasn't representative of how I feel. It was a difficult time and I vented in a situation where I thought it was a private conversation.”

On the audio, Pelini is particularly upset about NU fans' reaction during the game that the Huskers trailed 20-6 at halftime and 27-6 early in the third quarter before executing the biggest comeback in school history.

“It took everything in my power to not say, '(F---) you, fans. (F---) all of you.' (F---) 'em,” Pelini is heard saying.

Pelini also is heard saying fans can “kiss my (a--) on my way out the (f------) door. 'Cause the day is (f------) coming now.”

Pelini balked at a question Tuesday about not being enamored with being at Nebraska, where he has a 51-21 record in his sixth season as head coach.

“I've had opportunities to leave Nebraska, so obviously I enjoy it here,” he said. “My family enjoys it here. I don't know where that perception comes from. I've had a good experience here. I've been very active in the community. I have great relationships here … and I have great support here.”

Asked if he has pursued jobs during his time at NU, Pelini responded: “I've never pursued a job. I've had people pursue me.”

Pelini said he wanted to echo his Monday statement that he wished to apologize to Husker fans.

“We have great fans,” he said. “I respect them. I respect them for who they are.”

Pelini said he met briefly with Eichorst on Monday night and talked to Perlman on the phone, but that there “wasn't much discussion” yet on the matter.

Nebraska (2-1) is preparing for a home game with South Dakota State after the 41-21 loss to UCLA on Saturday. Pelini said he doesn't expect his players to be distracted through the week by the recent events.

“Our players are resilient,” he said. “Trust me, they'll be ready to go. It's a strong group of kids.”

* * *

Listen: Bo Pelini answers questions Tuesday on the Big Ten teleconference:

Video: UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman on Pelini:

Listen: Pelini audio (Warning: Contains offensive language):

Video: Bo Pelini's Monday press conference:

Contact the writer: Rich Kaipust    |   402-444-1042    |  

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and some general assignment tasks, including the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.



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