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September 17, 2013
Yesterday afternoon, audio of coach Bo Pelini criticizing Nebraska's fans and a few writers at the Omaha World-Herald after the Huskers' 2011 win over Ohio State was posted on Deadspin.com. Pelini, chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Shawn Eichorst issued statements Monday night, but Pelini's first spoken comments came on Tuesday's Big Ten Teleconference.
"That was a conversation that was private that happened during an emotional time in a private setting," Pelini said. "Obviously it wasn't representative of what I feel. It was a difficult time and I vented in a situation where I thought it was a private conversation.
"I'm sorry to anyone that was offended. That was never meant to be public and it's unfortunate that it went public. Now that it's out there, I felt it was important to apologize. We have great fans and I respect them for who they are. I've said it over and over since I've been here that we have great fans. But I'm like anyone else - you say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances and like anybody else, you're human, you make mistakes, you apologize for your mistakes and you move on. That's all you can do in this situation. I'm very disturbed and upset that it ever came to this, that something that was said in a private moment two years ago would become public."
Pelini said that he met with Eichorst in person last night and talked with Perlman on the phone. He isn't sure if any discipline will be handed down.
He also said he doesn't know who leaked the audio to Deadspin, but thinks "everybody out there knows that there is an agenda behind it."
"I think our fans would understand the situation and the circumstances regarding this," Pelini said. "I think that I've built up enough points with our fans over the past five years in how I've conducted myself and how I've run this program and what we've done with this program over the past five years to earn some forgiveness for something that was made in a private setting. I think people will understand that this isn't representative of how I feel about the fans. I've said it over and over."
Near the end of the Deadspin recording, Pelini is heard saying, "They can all kiss my ass out the (expletive) door. 'Cause the day is (expletive) coming now. We'll see what they can do when I'm (expletive) gone."
But on Tuesday, Pelini said he has never looked for another coaching job, though he has been pursued by other schools.
"I've had opportunities to leave Nebraska," he said. "I enjoy it here and 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 and I have great relationships here. I have great support here. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't be here anymore because I've had opportunities to leave."
One of the last questions posed to Pelini was if he felt any different today being Nebraska's head coach than it did last week.
"When you go through what I've gone through over the last 48 hours, yes," Pelini said. "It's part of life. You deal with things. You deal with adversity, you stare it in the face and you move on. That's all you can do."