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OWH: Bo Pelini Goes Shots Fired, No Survivors At AD Shawn Eichorst


Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In a story published by Dirk Chatelain of the Omaha World Herald, former Nebraska Cornhuskers Head Coach Bo Pelini took several shocking, vulgar filled swipes at Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst in his final meeting with the players on December 2nd at Lincoln North Star HS.

Pelini, who was dismissed 2 days earlier after the victory over Iowa, goes on a profanity laced tirade about Eichorst primarily, but also about support for the program and such.

Bo Pelini was just announced today as Head Coach of the Youngstown State Penguins in his hometown back in Ohio.

From the OWH itself, here is the transcription. Reader discretion is strongly advised

Appreciate your guys coming out here and, you know, obviously the last couple days here for me have been, you know, kinda crazy. Just kind of giving you guys a heads up.

It wasn't a surprise to me. It really wasn't. I didn't really have any relationship with the AD. The guy — you guys saw him (Sunday) — the guy's a total pussy. I mean, he is. He's a total cunt.

And since I've been here — he's been here for about two years — I've probably had a conversation with the guy a couple times. You saw him. He's never been in the locker room.

At the end of the day, he was never going to support us. And he didn't support us. You saw it. He was never going to come out in the paper and support (us). And fellas, I gotta tell you, at the end of the day, in the last, you know, when you are in my position, you guys know what it's like, you guys go through it and I go through it about fifty times over. The scrutiny, the taking shots at you, and everything else – when you aren't getting support from your boss, it can be stressful. It was stressful on me, it was stressful on my family.

And Kaz is here, I said to Kaz at one point, I said, man, this is killing me. I said, I don't want to die doing this job. And I meant it. I was like, I don't want to have a heart attack doing this job.

About a week ago, about 10 days ago, I said, I went to a couple of the members of the Board, who -- and I don't even really know what those guys do – And I said "hey, you know what, if this guy ain't gonna do his job, and if he doesn't have the balls to go out there and support me, support these kids, support this program, then do me a favor and get rid of me.

And I don't really know where that went, as far as between whether that got relayed to them or not, but at the end of the day, we won that game, and I could see it in the Athletic Director's face, I could see it the other guy's face – Kaz will tell you – they were pissed. They didn't want us to win that game. The Iowa game. And that's weird. That's strange. But it is what it is.

But at the end of the day, what I wanted to make sure, if there was gonna be a change, that I would have time to get on my feet. They gotta pay me. They gotta pay our assistants over the next – they have time to get jobs.

But at the end of the day fellas, if they weren't gonna support us....And I said what I said to him and I'll tell you what I told him. When I went in there and he said 'we are gonna make a change,' and I said 'alright.' I said, 'you are gonna honor my contract?' He said 'Yeah.' I said, you are gonna honor my assistant coaches contracts? He said Yeah. And I said, 'Well, I think it's the best for both of us . Because if you aren't gonna support us, then it's probably best for everybody involved that we part ways.'

And that's how I felt. And then I told him, I said 'hey listen,'

And He goes, 'Well, I disagree that I haven't supported you.'

And I said, 'Hey bud, you can't support somebody underneath a fucking rock.' I said, 'to do your job at this level, at a place like this, you gotta be a grown ass fucking man to lead something.' I said, 'you can't lead anything under a fucking rock. I said, 'You don't spend any time with us, our players don't even know who you are. And I said, 'that isn't leadership.'

And he said, 'Well I appreciate your advice.'

And I said, 'I suggest you take it, but see you later.' And that's how it went down.

At the end of the day, the guy ain't changing. I knew that when I took the job.

You know, when they forced Coach Osborne out — and that's what happened, he got forced out — when he got forced out, I knew what was right around the corner. Or what coulda been around the corner. But I wasn't sure. But I'll put it to you this way. It didn't surprise me how it played out. Like I said, at the end of the day, you gotta have, you gotta be, it's hard enough to get to build something but you gotta have everybody going in one direction. And it wasn't. Everybody wasn't going in the right direction.

I think there were agendas and those go all the way over to the Chancellor's office. Between the AD and the Chancellor. And if they want their own guy in there, go ahead, good luck to ya. But what I'm concerned about is you guys. That's all I care about.

I want you guys all to know that I've been through this before, you know. I'll be fine. Between you guys, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I might just stay right here and leave my kids in school here. I already have a couple job offers. I don't know what I'm going to do. Not really sure what I want to do yet. I'm in no hurry to make decisions.

My biggest concern is, as far you guys are concerned, is my wife and kids and to make sure they are happy. I'm sure all you guys are going through, 'hey, what am I gonna do?' I've been there as a player. I was young when it happened with me. It was after my redshirt freshman year at Ohio State, there was a coaching change. And I stayed, but a lot of guys left. And it works out both ways.

At the end of the day, when you make those kinds of decisions, you gotta go with what's in your heart. There is no right or wrong choice in that stuff. But understand, you aren't going to have a bigger ally than myself and the other coaches. If you guys need any help with anything, all you gotta do is ask, and I promise you, I'm there for you. I mean, I will do everything I possibly can to help you, no matter what. You'll get through this, it's difficult and it sucks.

You know, I don't have a lot of confidence in what their plan is. I don't even know if they have a plan right now, which to me, is scary. If it's true what he said — someone told me, that it 'crystallized' for him on Saturday night — which tells me he doesn't really have a plan, which to me, is a little bit unnerving. But I don't know how you do anything in this world without a plan.

But as far as you guys are concerned, you are guys are gonna be fine, you guys gotta stick together in this deal. That's the key. You ain't gonna change what's going on on the third floor (of the atheltic department) It doesn't mean it can affect you guys. There's a lot of talent in this room, there's a lot of great kids in this room.

And you know, if you choose to stick it out, you stick it out. If you choose not to, you don't have to. You are free to do whatever you the heck you want to do. And that's about all I can say. Like I said, I'm more concerned about you guys than I am anything else. Because it's always been a weakness of mine, but I get close to my guys. I care about you guys. I really do. I'm hard on you, the same way I'm hard on my own kid, but I love you guys. I really do. I recruited most of you guys to come here. And I told you I'd look after you, and I can tell you this, I did everything I possibly could. I gave you guys every ounce I could give you. I promise you. That's how I operate and I said, I'll do it until someone told me not to.

And someone told me not to coach here anymore, but I'm still here for you guys. And that doesn't mean over the next month or next year – I don't care if it's 10 years down the road fellas, if you guys every need anything from me, you pick up the phone and call me. I've been hearing from guys from LSU, to guys I've coached in the NFL, to guys I've coached three and four years ago. Like I said, I am here for you guys. You need advice? Ask me. Whatever you guys want. Whatever I can do for you, do not hesitate to ask, OK? I'm here, I'm available and I look at you guys like I do my own kids. I really do. I'll be here to help you and do whatever I can for you.

I don't know how long this will all take, (Eichorst) probably tried to fill you guys in. I heard the meeting didn't go real well for the man, which doesn't surprise me, because how does it go well when he doesn't even know you guys?

And That was the crazy thing. To be honest with you fellas, he knows nothing about – and I've always said – he knew nothing about me. I don't know him. He doesn't know me. He has no idea. He has no idea what is important to me, what I represent, how we run our program. He had no idea.

He's a policy guy, a lawyer who sits behind a desk and pushes a pen all day. And you guys know as well I do, that isn't how you lead anybody. So hopefully he brings someone in here that is strong, that has some leadership skills. I'm sure they'll do that.

My advice is fellas is, it'll be different, but if you choose to stay here, you give the new guy a chance. Because I went through that fellas, I went from an old-school coach in Earl Bruce when I was at Ohio State to somebody who came in, and he was totally different. Totally different. It was a big-time adjustment. Whoever it is will probably come in here and talk bad about what we've done, or sit there and say 'we gotta upgrade this, we gotta upgrade that,' but at the end of the day, fellas, you'll able to control your own destin by what you put on on film and how hard you work. That's what you have to remember.

Don't get caught up in all the BS, all the stuff the press says and doesn't say around here. At the end of the day, you take care of you, you take care of each other. And usually when you have that attitude, things work out. OK?

Have they even told you guys what bowl you are gonna go to? Next Sunday? You guys have earned a good bowl game fellas. I mean, it'll be a good bowl. Play your ass off. Make me proud. That's all I ask. It'll probably be – I heard the Outback Bowl down in Tampa or maybe even in San Diego against SC. So you're going to play someone good.

I know it's difficult fellas, and, it's no fun. But any questions I can answer for you guys?

(No questions)

That's kinda the long and short of what's been going on. Let me tell you, you go back a year fellas, when I said what I said after the Iowa game? I was trying to press – I wanted to find out then where they stood. And unfortunately all I found out then was that they were pussies and they were gonna do what was politically right, or what they thought was the politically right thing to do.

But at the end of the day, I wanted to find where they stood – because I felt a lack, I didn't get any – it's weird when you don't have any relationship with who you supposedly call your bosses, and you never see them, ever. So, at the end of the day, all I did was kinda bunker in and worry about you guys and worry about coaching. But it wasn't a good situation for me, professionally. It wasn't. I don't know whether you guys could see, but it became very stressful. And it's hard enough.

So for some ways for me personally ... there's some things that have actually been a relief for me. But, at the same time, what I worry about is you guys and my family.

Myself, Kaz, all the coaches, we’ll be fine. We'll be fine. Those guys can coach and they're all going to end up with jobs and everything else. Unfortunately what people who aren’t part of this thing don’t understand is how it affects you guys. Just read the article? How many have mentioned you guys? Not many. I haven't read any of them – because I'd be dumber for probably having read them and I can't afford to get any dumber than I already am – but I guarantee that not many of them have mentioned 'hey, how does this affect these guys?' I've sat in your seat, guys, and I understand how hard it is.

I say thank you to you guys, for what you did for me, and the effort you put in. Like I said, I love you guys. I really do. Understand I will do whatever it takes to help you. And do not be afraid and do not hesitate to call on me if there is something I can do for you. So that's about all I can say. Anybody got any questions?

(A question is asked about whether Eichorst met with Pelini one year ago and talked core values.)

He never said 'you gotta do that, you gotta do that.' Let me tell you about core values. And fellas this all stays here. But, a guy like him, who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core value is. 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 fucking 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. So when he walked into that room to talk you – and I wasn't there, I don't even know what he said – I can promise you from my dealings with the guy that he just sat out there and threw out words that really meant nothing, that didn’t really pertain to the situation. He thought about all these things and 'this is what I'm going to say and this is how I'm going to say it,' but they probably didn't even relate to what he was saying. Because that is who he is. That's all I ever got from him. Whenever I would have conversations with the guy, his eyes would always be moving back and forth. He can’t look you really in the eye. He never sat down and said 'hey, you gotta do this, you gotta do that,' or 'hey, you gotta win this many, you gotta do this.'

You know, at the end of the day, people can say a lot about what we did. We won a lot of football games since I've been here. You guys represent this place phenomenally, in the classroom, in the community. What you should have said is 'What are those core values you're talking about?'

(Players said, almost in unison, “he didn't have an answer.”)

Because he didn’t have an answer, guys. He doesn't even – I told you – guys like that don’t know what is important to them. You have to represent something.

One thing about me, you guys knew when you dealt with me, you pretty much knew what my core values were, right? And you knew it was important to me. It was the same with our coaches. I couldn't tell you what his core values were. Just because you can put some words up on the building, what does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything. Some of it means something, some of it is a fucking farce if you don’t live it. I like to follow what people do, not what they say. Give me a break. But, no, there was no such meeting, ever. I gotta tell you guys – my relationship with the guy over the last – (since) spring until now I saw him probably seven or eight times for about 20 minutes over a six-month period. So, you know. Like I said, he would not know what my core values were because he never really took the time to understand it. And, to be honest with you, I didn't really give a fuck if he knew what my core values were or not. I don't give a shit what that guy thinks. Because I have no respect for him. Right wrong or indifferent, that's how I am.

If I was gonna deal with you guys I was gonna do the best job I could and whatever happens happens. I have been in this profession a long time and I have seen some crazy shit. I saw a Super Bowl coach – I was gone by then – get fired. I was with Pete Carroll in New England when we had won the division two out of three years and he got let go. I was here in 2003 when they did this to Frank. I've been around the block long enough to know that at some point there was probably going to be – that it wasn’t going to work out, because we are different people. I'm not somebody who is going to sit there to and get along to get along when I don't believe in something that's going on. I am going to speak my mind, and that probably bothered him and bothered the Chancellor.

What you guys saw in that meeting – I am sure you guys walked out of there, and you're all smart guys who have been around – and I'm sure and your gut told you certain things. Trust your gut, because your gut's right. I could have – not knowing how it was going to go – when he told me he would meet with you guys at 8 o'clock, I think he said 'I'm going to meet the players later on today' and my first thought was: Well, that ain't going to go real well. Because I knew he wouldn’t handle it the right way. I heard he brought security with him? (Laughing) C’mon man. I mean, shit, fellas, look who he's circles himself with. Look at his team of people. C'mon, man. I’d rather fuckin’ work at McDonald’s than work with some of those guys. Not that there's anything bad about working at McDonald’s.

I am not going to walk in here and tow the company line. I wanted to bring you in and tell you what went down. And the way it was going down and where my mindset was. Let me tell you fellas, this is for real, if it wasn’t for you guys and the coaches and 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, that would have upset the apple cart. My kids were happy here, I said I could suck it up. When I was in coaching – doing the Xs and Os and gameplanning 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 bullshit, let me tell you – there were a lot of nights I would go and sit down on the bed, and sit there and think 'What the fuck am I doing? Is this worth it?' Because I felt like it was taking years off my life. Really. The stress, it was hard, it got hard. It really did. You guys obviously don’t see that part of things, but it's difficult when you don’t feel you have any support and nobody's behind you.

Because, at the end of the day, I truly believe this, and I constantly talk about it: I felt at times, and you guys tell me if I am wrong – but I thought the last couple of years, and I think this has been going for a number of years, because of the environment that's here. I think because, as the year goes on, it gets harder and harder and header on you guys. Because I think you guys feel that. Am I right or wrong? It's a bitch here. It's hard enough when you have the negativity that comes from the media and the negativity from a lot of former players and 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 standing in front of the thing saying 'Hey, I'm behind it,' getting everybody, rallying them – I can do it all I want, but they're bitching at me, too. If they don't get somebody to rally this whole thing together, it's hard.

And I saw it on you guys. I saw it. 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. And I understand, you guys are human. That's why I was constantly talking you guys about it. Last game, you guys just said 'fuck it, let's go play.' Despite all the injuries we dealt with, you guys at least played free. And that's my advice to you guys that come back. You can’t let this place eat you up, because if you let it, it'll eat you up. Because I've been LSU, I've been at Oklahoma, I been to these other places and it ain't quite – the scrutiny, the negativity, it ain’t like that everywhere. But it is what it is. But you gotta be strong as hell and deal with it. You have to. Because it's real, I know its out there. I’ve seen it. Am I right or wrong?

(Players: You're right.)

You gotta fight that, fellas, you just gotta go play and enjoy this thing because at the end of the day, it's not a job. This ought to be the best time of your life. Anybody who has in their mind – if any of you guys have on your mind, 'hey, should I go or should I stay?' or 'do I want to go our do I want to stay?' At the end of the day, what you gotta sit there and think is 'this is how many years I got left, these ought to be the best years of my life, and if I don’t think it's going to be that way in this place,' then you shouldn't stay. But if you feel like, 'hey, this is the place for me, this is place where I'm going to enjoy my career,' then this is where you should stay. That's what it should come down to because, fellas, it's going to be over before you know it. It just is. It goes fast. You guys who are seniors, you guys would say, you guys know, it goes quick. And you want to make sure you're able to enjoy it. OK?

But I'm gonna be around. I'm gonna be in town. Like I said if anybody needs anything. If anybody's tried to call me or text me, I haven't even – it's been crazy over the last couple days. It's starting to settle down but just call me or text me if you need me and I'll be through all this stuff. It should settle down in next day or so and I'll get to you quick as I can. You guys who are seniors, anybody who has questions about the draft or what you guys are getting ready to do and that stuff, just let me know and I’ll be there to help you, give you advice, help you with whatever you guys need. OK? Appreciate you fellas, OK? Appreciate you guys coming out. Love you, OK? Thanks, fellas. Appreciate it.