Nebraska coach Pelini: 'If they want to fire me, go ahead'
NOV 29, 2013 6:05p ET
Friday wasn't the most pleasant day for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.
For starters, his Cornhuskers fell to Iowa 38-17. En route to the loss, he was also at the center of a series of less than cordial exchanges with a halftime reporter, a referee and a media member at the postgame news conference.
The first messy interaction occurred with Nebraska trailing 14-3 at halftime. Bo Pelini was approached by an ESPN reporter asking for his thoughts on Ron Kellogg III's two interceptions in the first quarter.
Pelini's response: "What do you think? What kind of question is that?"
To his credit, Pelini did answer the reporter's follow-up questions with more politeness. Here's the full video from ESPN:
If Pelini was able to cool off any during the break, a potential refreshed state of mind didn't last long. Following a pass interference call against Nebraska, Pelini received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he got up close and personal with the referee. During the confrontation, Pelini ended up whipping his hat in the official's face and was promptly docked another 15 yards.
Check it out here:
Asked after the game to explain what had happened, Pelini said, "He [the referee] said I got too close to him. I thought that was a chicken-[expletive] call." He went on to point a finger at Kirk Ferentz on the opposite sideline, saying he saw the Iowa coach on worse behavior.
To top off the day, Pelini was asked to discuss the future of his job at Nebraska during his postgame presser.
"I don't coach to make a case," the coach responded to the reporter's question. "You guys have chosen to make a story of it all year. It's impacted our football team, and it's hurt our football team. Let's call a spade a spade."
And then he attacked the question head on:
"If they want to fire me, go ahead. I believe in what I've done. I don't apologize for what I've done. I don't apologize to you, I don't apologize to anybody, myself or this staff. My record, our record since I've been here speaks for itself, and this program is heading in a good direction."
You can hear the entire video produced by the Omaha World Herald here:
It hasn't been an easy year for Pelini or his brother Carl, who was relieved of his head coaching duties at Florida Atlantic earlier in the season.
But that doesn't mean Bo doesn't have the support of at least one of his players.
"Bo Pelini is a father figure to me," Nebraska's Kenny Bell said in a video posted on Omaha.com. "He's literally changed my life. I would play for Bo Pelini against Satan himself and a team of demons at the gates of the underworld. I love coach Pelini, and I can say that with confidence for everybody in that locker room, every guy that's played for him."
Again, the full video:
On Saturday, the Omaha World-Herald reported that Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst had issued a statement regarding Pelini and the future status of his job:
“My approach has always been to not comment publicly about our coaches until their full seasons are complete, as I strongly believe it is unfair and counter to best practices. However, given the volume of unfounded speculation and conjecture about our head football coach, I want to reaffirm what I have said many times since I have arrived at the University of Nebraska — that I positively respect, appreciate and support our football student-athletes, coaches and staff, as we do everyone in the Husker family. We very much look forward to our upcoming bowl game and Coach Pelini continuing to lead our program in the future.”