Bo Pelini Fired, It’s All About the Money

As far as sports go, I’m not a sports fan, or a big football fan. I like and respect team character, integrity, teamwork, leadership, and the people behind the plays. That is why I like Bo Pelini. It is also why I don’t like what happened this Sunday morning on November 30th. I’ve always been with BO, he loves the game, he loves his players, and they love him.

Real Nebraska fan will miss Bo Pelini

For Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst to announce to the players the firing of their coach and leader, Bo Pelini in an email is cowardly and unprofessional. What was so pressing that couldn’t wait until the players were gathered together in a meeting where they could vent, get mad, grieve together and figure out how support each other during this time period.

Bo Pelini at the University of Nebraska, tunnel walkRegardless of what the press wants the fans and viewers want you to hear or know, the players love Bo Pelini. I know family members of a local player and I’ve been told they players would go do anything for this man. He sincerely cares about them as people, not numbers on the field, not X’s and O’s and certainly not as dollar signs.

But, this is what it comes down to isn’t it. The almighty dollar? Somewhere, someone, with political pull or clout thinks the Huskers are not winning enough National Championships. Well I’m sorry, ok, maybe I’m not, but when did going to college become all about winning a National Football Championship? How many of these young men will play professional football anyway? A few, many former Huskers are playing professional football right now, and they were not on a National Championship Football team.

Bo Pelini Announcement in an Email

What a way to find out your coach got fired. In an email. Who really even checks their email on a regular basis anymore, especially college students. So many of the players found out via text when their phones blew up with messages from team mates, friends and family.

Nebraska Football Players informed Coach Pelini fired in an email

If college football is a business, like many would like to convince us, then let’s look at this from a business perspective. Do you announce the firing of the boss in an email to employees on a Sunday morning at 10:30 am? Or, do you wait until Monday morning, when all the employees arrive at work, have a meeting and then communicate in a professional setting where emotions and questions could be expressed in a controlled setting?

Announcing the firing of Bo Pelini from behind a computer screen is cowardly and unprofessional. Players responded with shock and took to social media, resentment and emotions on both sides are hot and heavy. They took to Twitter Sunday (read them here) and showed their support of Coach Bo, something they did NOT do when Callahan was fired in 2007. Shoot, I’m writing about this and I don’t even bleed red. This is BAD public relations.

Bo Pelini Accomplishments

  • Put Nebraska in the National spotlight with the Team Jack touchdown (no one will ever be able to forget a touchdown a 7 yr old made)
  • One of the nations most successful coaches over the past six seasons. One of only three coaches in the BCS to win nine games their first six year during their first head coaching position. (taken from which I’m sure will get taken down soon)
Pelnin and Osborne Comparison

Pelnin and Osborne Comparison

  • Bo Pellini matched the performance of much admired and loved Coach Osborne during his first seven years
  • In 2013 had 30 student athletes named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Not a feat very many schools can touch.
  • An impressive 123 of 130 players on track to earn their degree from the University of Nebraska.

Isn’t that what a University is supposed to do, graduate students and prepare them for a successful future? The college student athlete, their experience is multi-faceted, players are thrust together from all walks of life, from all over the country, poor, rich, urban, country, and must come together as a successful team. These are 18-19 year old-young men, many of them with egos the size of a house, all with the attitude of something to prove.

Ameer Abdullah Said it Best

During the 2014 student-athlete speech at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon Ameer Abdullah really wraps up my feeling on why I admire Bo Pelini. Everyone who is not an athlete, or sports fan should listen to this speech. During these eleven minutes this football player shows what college football is all about.

“I have come to realize that life is bigger than football, and that my chances of long-term success in life will be greatly enhanced by completing my college education,”

So here ends my rant, as my husband says “Stick a Quarter in you and you’re wound up” yes, some things I am passionate about and the loss of character in the University of Nebraska football program is indeed a loss. Not for the fans, but for the players. Bo Pelini I will miss you, yes, even your side line and press conference rants. It shows you have passion.

I'm With Bo Shirt

I’m With BO! shirt on CafePress

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3 thoughts on “Bo Pelini Fired, It’s All About the Money

  1. While I agree with much of the premise of the blog and also do not necessarily appreciate the increased focused on the financial side of the college football landscape; I would like to point out two things that led to today’s decision.

    “Bo Pellini matched the performance of much admired and loved Coach Osborne during his first seven years”. Matched the # of wins, yes. Matched the quality of wins, not even close. Pelini went 26-25 against opponents that finished with winning records. 40-2 against .500 or worse, never went to a BCS bowl game and didn’t win any conference championships.

    As much as I love the integrity and moral compass of Bo Pelini, football culture at Nebraska eventually distills to fielding a team that can compete for championships. From today’s press conference, ““As I looked back on the outcomes, I’m trying to look at who are championship-caliber football teams at that moment and how competitive were we in those games?”
    “We just weren’t good enough in the games that mattered,” Eichorst said.

    1. I appreciate your comment, and I know I was painting a target on my back when I wrote this. In 1983 I started college at Oklahoma State, I’ve watched the traditions of the Big 8 disappear, then the Big 12, and the entry into the Big 10.

      Life is more than winning championships, Ameer said it himself. They are students first, then athletes. I have watched athletics take a front seat to academics the past twenty years more and more. Is this the message we want to send to our kids?

      I’m just as mad, even more so, over how it was done. On a Sunday morning, before the bowl game? Immediately? Does anyone really think the players are going to play their best. Does the administration really think fans are going to travel?

      Bit mistake, as one of my Twitter followers said it took Tennessee 5 years to recover.

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