If you haven't heard, Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini let drop an interesting bit of news this afternoon through Gregg Doyel of CBS.
That much-discussed contract extension Nebraska hasn't given Bo Pelini? He got it last week. Signed it Wednesday. Five years left.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) March 7, 2014
This puts Bo Pelini's contract through the 2018 season, an extension of only a single year. The local media has been harping about this lack of extension for a couple of weeks, presumably due to the lack of real drama around the football program as of late.
If you're interested, the Mothership dug up the relevant portion of Pelini's original contract regarding this extension:
So yeah...basically a bureaucratic non-issue. Pelini's Huskers went to class, went to a bowl game and managed to not become a roving band of corgi thieves. He was getting this extension whenever Eichorst's team of lawyers got done reviewing the language to be sure he wasn't being "hired" as an English 101 Creative Writing professor.
Of course, there will be those who bemoan this extension, citing his lack of "achievement". I understand the argument, especially if Nebraska had given him, say, five or even ten years like a certain other coach in the Big Ten received.
But he didn't. He received a one year extension to five years remaining on his contract. In the grand scheme of things, this extension is meaningless. Nebraska has the resources to buy out Pelini's contract. Yes, for those who would rather see Bo Pelini coaching somewhere else, you'll point to the extensions of Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan shortly before they were removed from their positions. And if Nebraska ultimately fires Pelini after this season, it'll be basically the same situation.
But at this time, the extension has only one purpose. I'll let Bud Elliott of SB Nation Recruiting sum it up in one word.
Kids like to know that their head coach will be around for their entire career at the school. This is really the only way we can make that promise. Remember when Perlman wanted everyone in the Big 12 to sign a Grant of Rights as a way of showing conference solidarity? It's kind of like that. (And considering the good start to the 2015 class that Nebraska's staff has put together, we don't want to mess with the momentum.)
So let's not hyperventilate about a one year extension. In the long run, the benefit of giving recruits some piece of mind about their potential coaches outweighs the risk of having to fire Pelini and eat four years of salary.
Of course, if you're part of the local Nebraska media, you're perhaps a little miffed that this story was broken by Doyel, a CBS blogger who covers football nationally.
Word of a Bo Pelini contract extension doesn't come from the university. Fitting, I guess. http://t.co/CF2yDOXvTW— Rich Kaipust (@RKaipustOWH) March 7, 2014
The interesting thing is that the contract was supposedly signed on the same day as Tom Shatel's and Steve Sipple's sit-downs with Pelini in the new coach's lounge in West Stadium. What does this all mean? Who can say. Perhaps One Memorial is tired of non-stories being made into stories.
Regardless, this was an interesting new policy though, from the Omaha World-Herald:
The World-Herald and other news agencies have been making frequent information requests for the extension document - NU now requires requests to be refreshed often, otherwise they expire - but it is unclear whether the physical document is available. The World-Herald has reached out to NU for details of the extension. NU has instructed reporters it can now take up to four business days - pursuant to the Nebraska Public Records Law - to produce such documents.
Seems like things have changed a little under Shawn Eichorst. If it results in the stories about the program being about the games and the players and not the coaches or the athletic department, I'm on board. Practice reports instead of gossip? Yes please.
Pelini will speak tomorrow after practice. I'm sure that'll be an interesting conference.
UPDATE: Nebraska has confirmed the extension, per Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald:
ICYMI: Bo Pelini gets a contract extension. Nebraska's now confirmed it. http://t.co/ytpGPYL8si— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) March 7, 2014
-Salt Creek and Stadium