LINCOLN — Bo Pelini became the new head football coach at Youngstown State Wednesday. He didn’t leave Nebraska without expressing disdain for Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst.
Pelini met with players on Dec. 2 at Lincoln North Star High School. In a 30-minute meeting, he provided a window into the strained — almost non-existent — relationship between he and his former boss.
“A guy like (Eichorst), who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core value is,” Pelini told players. “He hasn’t understood it from the day he got here. I saw it when I first met with the guy.
“To have core values means you have to be about something, you have to represent something that is important to you. He’s a f—— lawyer who makes policies. That’s all he’s done since he’s been here: hire people and make policies to cover his own ass.”
During the tape, Pelini expresses gratitude, support and advice for players. The majority of the tape, however, reveals Pelini’s thoughts about Eichorst. In the first minute of his talk, he uses two vulgarities associated with female genitalia to describe his former boss.
“I didn’t really have any relationship with the A.D.,” Pelini said. “The guy, you guys saw him (Sunday), the guy is a total pussy. I mean, he is. He’s a total cunt.”
The administration’s lack of support, Pelini told players, wore on him and his family.
“I said to (assistant coach Rick Kaczenski) at one point, I said, man, this is killing me. I said I don’t want to die doing this job. I meant it. I was like, I don’t want to have a heart attack doing this job.”
That Sunday, Eichorst called Pelini into his office. Pelini described for players the exchange. After the A.D. informed Pelini he’d been fired, the coach asked if NU was honoring his and his assistants’ contracts. Eichorst said yes. If Eichorst wasn’t going to support him, Pelini said, a change was for the best.
“He goes, I disagree that I haven’t supported you. I said, ‘Hey bud, you can’t support someone under a f-ing rock.’ I said, to do your job at this level, in a place like this, you gotta be a grown-ass f-ing man…to lead something. I said you can’t lead anything under a f-ing rock. I said you don’t spend any time with us. Our players don’t even know who you are. That isn’t leadership.
“And he said, ‘Well I appreciate (your) advice.’”
“I said, ‘I suggest you take it, but see you later.’ And that’s how it went down.”
Pelini saw it coming. He told Husker players on Dec. 2 that one week before he was fired, he approached two members of the Board of Regents.
“I don’t even know what those guys really do. And I said ‘Hey, if (Eichorst) isn’t gonna do his job, if he doesn’t have the balls to go out there and support me, to support these kids, support this program, do me a favor and get rid of me.’”
“At the end of the day, it’s hard enough to build something. You’ve got to have everybody going in one direction. And it wasn’t. Everybody wasn’t going in the right direction.
“There were agendas and that goes all the way over to the chancellor’s office. And between the A.D. and the chancellor and they want their own guy in here, go ahead. Good luck to ya.”
After the Iowa loss in 2013, Pelini told players, he was “trying to press — I wanted to find out where they stood.”
“And unfortunately all I found out then was that they were pussies and they were gonna do what was politically right.”
Pelini said he’d been in the business long enough to know it wasn’t going to work out. He and Eichorst were simply different people.
“I am not somebody who is going to sit there and get along to get along. I am going to speak my mind, and that probably bothered him and the chancellor.”
Pelini referenced a meeting between Eichorst and Husker players the night he was fired, Nov. 30.
“I am sure you guys walked out of there and you’re all smart guys who have been around. I’m sure your gut told you certain things. Trust your gut, because your gut is right.
“Not knowing how it was going to go, when he told me he was going to meet with you guys at 8 p.m., my first thought was, well, that ain’t gonna go real well. Because I knew he wouldn’t handle it the right way.
“I heard he brought security in with him. C’mon man. S— fellas, look at who he surrounds himself with. Look at his team of people. C’mon, man.
“I’d rather fucking work at McDonald’s than work with some of those guys. Not that there is anything bad about working at McDonald’s.”
Why did he want to meet with players? Pelini said he wasn’t going to “toe the company line.” He wanted to tell players “what went down.”
“Let me tell you fellas and this is for real: If it wasn’t for you guys and for the coaches and for their families, I would have resigned a year ago. Because there was some things that were going on that were making me miserable. And all the money in the world ain’t fucking worth that. And that’s the truth.
“I told those guys and Kaz knows, there were too many people, you guys included, that were counting on me and that would’ve upset the apple cart. I said, you know what, my kids were happy here, I said I could suck it up.
“When I was in coaching, when I was doing the X’s and O’s and game-planning and all those types of things, fellas, I forget about all this stuff.
“But there were times when I wasn’t doing that, when I had to deal with all the other bulls—, let me tell ya, there were a lot of nights that I would just go home and sit on the bed and sit there and think, ‘What the f— am I doing?’ Is this worth it? I felt like it was taking years off my life.”
Tell me if I’m wrong, Pelini told players, but the environment at Nebraska wore on you as the past several seasons progressed. It gets harder and harder and harder.
“It is a b—- here. It is hard enough when you have the negativity that comes from the media and the negativity from a lot of former players, this talk show and that talk show, you win and it ain’t good enough. It’s not good enough how you won. There is a lot of things that go on there and if you don’t have a grown man staying in front of the thing and getting everybody, rallying, I can do all I want, but they’re b—-ing at me, too….
“It was never more evident than the Wisconsin game. I thought you guys were more mentally beat in that game than we got physically beat. It’s a culmination of the negativity. I understand, you guys are human. That is why I was constantly talking to you guys about it.
“In the last game, you guys just said f— it, let’s go play. Despite all the injuries and everything else we had dealt with, you guys at least played free. That is my advice to you guys that come back. You can’t let this place eat you up, because if you let it, it will eat you up.
“I have been at LSU, I have been at Oklahoma, I have been to these other places. The scrutiny, the negativity, it ain’t like that everywhere. But it is what it is and you gotta be strong as hell and you gotta stick together to deal with it. You have to. Because it’s real, I know it’s out there. I’ve seen it.”
Football is not a job, Pelini said, and these years are supposed to be the best of your lives.
“If any of you guys have on your mind, hey, should I go or should I stay? At the end of the day, you gotta sit there and think, ‘This is how many years I got left. These ought to be the best of my life. And if I don’t think it’s going to be this way this place, then you shouldn’t stay. But if you feel like, hey, this is the place for me, this is the place I’m going to enjoy my career, then you should stay. That’s what it should come down to.”
The audio tape concludes with Pelini restating his support for the players. You’re always free to call or text me, he said. I’ll be there for you.
“Appreciate you fellas, OK? Appreciate you guys coming out and love you, OK? Thanks, fellas. Appreciate it.”
Yes I realize that excerpt is really long and I usually try to take them down as much as possible, but honestly I couldn’t cut any of that out. Each quote is gold. From the insults to the heartfelt stuff. Seriously read the whole thing, it’s awesome. A rare look inside the mind of a college football coach, many of whom are always so secretive and PC. A guy who gave his heart and soul to Nebraska and got fucked over in the end by a pussy cunt AD. His words not mine. Oh excuse me, I misquoted…a “total” cunt and a “total” pussy. Much better.
Hope Bo absolutely kills it at Youngstown State.