Perlman, Eichorst ready to move on from Pelini rant

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Harvey Perlman and Shawn Eichorst released a joint statement Wednesday, following Monday’s release of Bo Pelini’s 2011 audio. Photo credit (from left): AP, USA Today Sports, Lincoln Journal Star.

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The week of September 16, 2013 did not start out how anyone expected. Following the release of what is being called a “profanity-laced rant” made in 2011 by Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln entered crisis management mode. UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst released a joint statement Wednesday morning to keep the public updated on how they handled the released audio.

The comments made by Head Football Coach Bo Pelini in 2011, published Monday, are unfortunate and deeply concerning to us, as they would be to anyone who loves this university. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes must be held to a high standard and Coach Pelini’s remarks were unfair to the legions of Nebraska fans and not what we expect form a representative of this university. Former Director of Athletics Tom Osborne became aware of these comments and the existence of a recording more than a year ago, and addressed the matter with Coach Pelini. We have observed, and many others have commented, that Coach Pelini’s demeanor has significantly improved since the time of this incident. Coach Pelini has given us his assurance that he understand the seriousness and inappropriateness of his comments. We believe he is sincere in his apology and in his regret. We are prepared to put the matter to rest. Our football student-athletes, coaches and staff deserve all of our support and we know the Nebraska faithful will be there for them.

The Leaked Audio

On Monday, Deadspin released audio of Pelini swearing about reporters and Husker fans. The clip was recorded on October 8, 2011, just after the football team came back from a 21-point deficit in the second half to beat Ohio State.

The recording captures Pelini talking with Greg Sharpe, commonly known as the voice of the Huskers, and Chris Anderson, Associate Athletic Director for Community Relations. The Huskers head coach began talking about Omaha World Herald sports reporter Tom Shatel before moving on to the Nebraska fans. Anderson and Sharpe pointed out that many people didn’t return to their seats after the first half of the game.

The recording ended with Sharpe changing the subject to the effort of the Husker athletes before getting ready to begin the actual post-game interview.

Since the release of the audio, Pelini released three official apology statements via teleconference, official print statement and post-practice interviews on Tuesday.

Fan Reactions to Bo’s Rant

NewsNetNebraska asked students what impact they thought Bo’s rant had on the fans. This is what they said:

Mike Hartman Mike Hartman said that he thought fans’ overall reaction to the rant was negative. “I think it is a negative thing, especially at this university where the fans are easily excited.” Hartman also said that he thought Pelini was doing the right thing by apologizing for his actions. “He tried to stand by his actions and be held accountable.”

Nyayom ThoatMariah ClarkFreshman Nyayom Thoat and Mariah Clark agreed that people should not be upset about Pelini’s comments. “We already knew he was vulgar,” Clark said. “I don’t think it should have an impact (on fans). Everyone has their rants. That was a private rant that should have stayed private.”  Thoat agreed, adding, “people are getting really butt-hurt about it.”

Carter SpracklenPsychology major Carter Spracklen observed that fan opinions were divided. “I want to keep him (as coach) at least until the end of the season,” Spracklen said. He said that to him, the rant did not make much of a difference as to how he viewed Pelini, although he did not think the rant was professional. “It’s upsetting when someone tells a group, ‘f*** you.”

Ory WickizerOry Wickizer felt that the comments made by Pelini were going to make loyal fans more loyal and “on-the-fence” fans  a “reason to hate.” “(The comments) give him an image.”

Mitchell Krieger said that he can see why people would be offended, but that they should be understanding of Pelini. “His job comes with a lot of expectations.”

More Reaction to the News

NewsNetNebraska took to the streets to find out just what the Lincoln community thought about the audio’s release.

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Other members of the community shared some thoughts on the person who submitted the tapes to Deadspin.

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Other Reactions From Across the Country

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is doing some damage control after a two-year old audio recording leaked Monday of him cussing out Nebraska fans.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is doing some damage control after a two-year old audio recording leaked Monday of him cussing out Nebraska fans.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is doing some damage control after a two-year old audio recording leaked Monday of him cussing out Nebraska fans.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is doing some damage control after a two-year old audio recording leaked Monday of him cussing out Nebraska fans.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is doing some damage control after a two-year old audio recording leaked Monday of him cussing out Nebraska fans.

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