Here’s Bo Pelini’s last meeting with Nebraska players after being fired by the University. The meeting took place on December 2 at Lincoln North Star High School.
Peeling told his players about his dislike for Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst.
This is the uncensored version of the transcript. Here’s the uncensored version of the transcript.
Appreciate you guys coming out and uh you know, obviously the last couple days for me have been kinda crazy just giving you guys a heads up it wasn’t a surprise to me it really wasn’t, uh I really didn’t have any relationship with the AD, um the guy…you saw the guy yesterday…the guy is a total p—-.
I mean, he is, and he’s a total… a total c— and since I’ve been here, he’s been here for 2 years, I’ve had a conversation with the guy a couple times you’ve seen him, he’s never been in the locker room at the end of the day, he just, he was never going to support us. And he didn’t support us. and you saw it. Um, he was never going to come out in the paper in support 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 and I go through it 50x time over, the scrunity, the taking shots at you, and everything else…. when you aren’t getting support from your boss, it can be stressful. It was stressful for me, it was stressful on my family.
And Kaz [coach Rick Kaczenski] is here, I said to Kaz at one point, this job is killing me. I don’t want to die doing this job. I don’t want to have a heart attack on this job.
About a week ago, about 10 days ago, I said, I um, went to a couple of the members of the Board, and I don’t even know what those guys really do. And I said “hey if this guy isn’t gonna do his job, if he doesn’t have the balls to go out there and support me, to support these kids, support this program, do me a favor and get rid of me.”
And I don’t really know where that went, between that and whether that got relayed to them, but at the end of the day, we won that game, and I could see it in the Athletic Director’s face, 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 strange. That’s weird. and uh, but uh, it is what it is.
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 uh, they have time to get jobs. 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? Yeah. You are gonna honor my assistant coaches contracts? He said Yeah.
I think it’s the best for both of us . Because if you aren’t gonna support us, then… it’s best for everyone involved if we part ways. And that’s how I felt. And then I told him, I said hey listen….
He goes, I disagree that I haven’t support you. I said, hey bud, you can’t support someone under a f—— rock. I said, to do your job at this level, at a place like this, you gotta be a grown a– f—— man…to lead something. You can’t lead anything under a f—— rock. You don’t spend any time with us. Our players don’t even know who you are. That isn’t leadership.
And he said, Well I appreciate your advice.
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 is what happened….he got forced out.
When they forced him out, I knew what was around the corner. Or what could’ve been around the corner. But I wasn’t sure.
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…. it’s hard enough to…to get to build something but you gotta have everyone going in one direction and it wasn’t. Everyone wasn’t in the right direction.
There were agendas and those go all the way over to the Chancellor’s office. And uh, between the AD and the Chancellor and they want their own guy and go ahead, good luck to ya.
What I’m concerned about is you guys (players), and that is all I care about.
I want you guys all to know that I’ve been through this before, ya 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. I already have a couple job offers. I don’t know what I…what I want to do. Not sure what I want to do. Not making any big decisions.
My biggest concern is, as you guys are concerned, is my wife and kids and making sure they are happy. I’m sure all you guys are going through, what am I gonna do? I’ve been there as a player. I was young when it happened with me. Right after my redshirt freshman year at Ohio St, there was a coaching change. I stayed…but a lot of guys left. And it worked out both ways.
At the end of the day, you gotta go with what’s in your heart. There is not right or wrong choice. 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 will do everything I possibly can to help you, no matter what.
You’ll get through this, it is difficult…. and it sucks. Ya 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 Sat night, which tells me he doesn’t really have a plan, which to me, is a little bit unnerving. I don’t know how you do anything in life without a plan.
As far as you guys are concerned, you are guys are gonna be fine, you guys gotta stick together in this thing. That is the key.
Ya know, you ain’t gonna change what’s going on on the 3rd floor (of AD).
It doesn’t mean it can affect…you guys…there’s a lot of talent in this room, a lot of great kids in this room. and ya know, if you choose to stick it out, 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 anything else.
It’s always been a weakness of mine, but I get close to you guys. I care about you guys. I really do. I’m hard on ya, the same way I’m hard on my own kids.
I love you guys. I really do. I recruited most of you to come here. I told ya I’d look after you, and I can tell you this, I did everything I possibly could, to give you every ounce I could possible give ya. I promise ya. That’s how I operate and I said, I’ll do it until someone told me not to.
And someone told me not to. But uh, to coach here anymore, but I’m still here for you guys. And that doesn’t mean a month from now…..
I don’t care if it’s 10 years down the road fellas, 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 3 or 4 years ago. I’m here for you guys. You need advice? Whatever I can do for ya, do not hesitate to ask. I’m available and uh, I look at you like I do my own kids. I’ll be here to help ya and do whatever I can for ya.
I don’t know how long this will take, he probably tried to fill ya in.
I heard the meeting didn’t go real well for the man, (crowd laughs), which doesn’t surprise me, because uh, how does it go well when he doesn’t know you guys?
That was the crazy thing fella, To be honest with ya, he knows nothing about you. Like I always said, he knew nothing about me. I didnt know him. He didn’t know me. He has no idea… he has no idea what is important to me. what i represent. how we run our program.
All he is…he’s a policy guy. He’s a lawyer who sits behind the desk and pushes a pen all day. And you guys know
So hopefully he brings someone in here that is strong, that has some leadership skills.
I’m sure they will go 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. I went through that fellas, I went from an old-school coach in Earl Bruce at Ohio St to someone who came in and he was totally different….he was a big-time adjustment. Whomever it is will probably come in here and talk bad about what we’ve done, or…. or sit there and say we gotta upgrade this, we gotta upgrade that, but you guys can control your own destiny by what you put on on film and how hard you work.
Don’t get caught up in all the BS, all the stuff the press says around here. At the end of the day, you take care of you, you take care of each other. 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 a– off. Make me proud. That’s all I ask…go out…. It’ll probably be…I heard the Outback Bowl down in Tampa or out in San Diego vs SC. So it’ll be against someone good.
I know it’s difficult fellas, and uh, it’s no fun. But uh, any questions?
That’s kinda the long and short of what’s been going on. Let me tell ya, 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 p—— and they were gonna do what was politically right…. or what the politically right thing to do. but at the end of the day, I didn’t get any respect..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.
It wasn’t a good situation for me, professionally, it wasn’t.
So for some ways for me personally…other than dealing with a 15 year son who has been the tank for a few days who is worried about leaving, leaving his friends…there are 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, we’ll be fine. Those guys can coach and they’ll all end up with jobs. Unfortunately what people who aren’t part of this don’t understand is how it affects you guys. How many of you have read the articles? I guarantee that not many of them have asked how it affects you guys. 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. Do not be afraid and do not hesitate to call on me if there is something I can do for you. So that is about all I can say.
Let me tell you (talking about Shawn Eichorst) there were never any you gotta do this, you gotta do that. Let me tell you about core values. Fellas this all stays here. A guy like him who has no integrity, he doesn’t understand what a core value is. To have a core value you have to be about something, you have to represent something that is important to you. He is a f—— lawyer that policies. All he has done is make policies to cover his own a–. So when he talked to you I can promise you from my dealings with the guy that he probably just threw out words that didn’t pertain to the situation, that didn’t relate to what he was saying, because that is who he is. That is all I ever got from him. When I would talk to him, his eyes would be moving back and forth and he can’t look you in the eye. He never said you gotta do this or that and win this many.
You know at the end of the day, people can say a lot. We have won a lot of football games since I have been here. You guys rep this place well, in the classroom, in the community. You should have asked him what core values he was talking about. He didn’t have an answer. 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 what my core values were and knew it was important to me. It was the same with our coaches. Just because you can put some words on the building, what does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything. Some of it means something, some of it is a f—— farce if you don’t live it. I like to follow what people do, not what they say. Give me a break. There was no such meeting (with Shawn Eichorst) ever. I gotta tell you guys…my relationship with the guy over the last…uhm..spring until now I saw him probably 7 or 8 times for about 20 minutes in a 6 month period. Like I said, he would not know what my core values were. He wouldn’t understand it and I don’t give a f— or give a s—, because I have no respect for him. Right wrong or indifferent, that is 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 s—. I have seen a SB coach. I was with Carroll in NE when we won the division 2 out of 3 years and he got let go. I was here in 2003 when they did this to Frank. I have been around the block long enough to know that at some point it wasn’t going to work out because we are different people. I am not somebody who is going to sit there to and get along to get along. I am going to speak my mind, and that probably bothered him and the Chancellor.
What you guys saw in that meeting, I am sure you guys walked out of there and your gut told you certain things. Trust your gut, because your gut is right. I could have, ya know, not knowing how it was going to go…when he told me he would meet with you guys at 8pm I knew it wouldn’t go well. Because I knew he wouldn’t handle it the right way. I hear he brought security with him? C’mon man. Look at his team of people…c’mon man. I’d rather f—– work at McDonald’s than work in front of those guys (Shawn Eichorst and his people). Not that there is anything bad about working at McDonald’s.
I am not going to walk in and tow the company line, I wanted to tell you what went down. The way it was going down and what my mindset what. Let me tell you fellas, this is for real, if it wasn’t for you guys and the coaches/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 f——- worth that. I told those guys and Kaz knows, there were too many people, you guys included, that were counting on me. My kids were happy here, I said I could suck it up. When I was in coaching, doing the X’s and O’s, gameplanning, all those types of things? I forget about this stuff. But there were times when I wasn’t doing that and I had to deal with all the other b—-s—, let me tell you…there were a lot of nights I would just go home and sit on the bed and think “What the f— am I doing?” is this worth it? I felt like it was taking years off my life. The stress, it got hard. You guys obviously don’t see that part of things, but its difficult when you don’t feel you have any support and anyone is behind you.
At the end of the day, I feel like times, and you guys tell me if I am wrong….I feel like the last couple of years because of the environment that is here…I think because the year goes on it gets harder and harder for you guys. It is a b—- here, it is hard enough when you have the negativity that comes from the media and former players, this talk show and that talk show…you win and it ain’t good enough. Its not good enough how you won. There is a lot of things that go on and if you don’t have a grown man staying in front of it rallying this whole thing together, it is hard. It was never more evident than the Wisconsin game. I thought you guys were more mentally beat than we got physically beat. Its a culmination of the negativity. I understand, you guys are human. That is why I talked to you guys constantly. Last game you guys just said f— it lets play and you at least played free. That is my advice to you guys that come back. You can’t let this place eat you up, because if you let it, it will eat you up. I have been at LSU, I have been at Oklahoma, I been to these other places…the scrutiny, it ain’t like that everywhere. But it is what it is and you gotta be strong as hell and deal with it. Because its real, I know its out there. I’ve seen it. Am I right or wrong? (right).
You gotta fight that fellas, you gotta just go play and enjoy this thing because at the end of the day, its not a job. It oughta be the best time of your life. Any of you guys have on your mind do I want to go or stay? At the end of the day you gotta sit there and think this is how many years I got left, these gotta be the best of my life. If you don’t think this is the best place then you shouldn’t stay. But if you think this is for you and you will enjoy your career, you should stay. That is what it should come down to because fellas it’ll be over before you know it. It goes fast. You seniors know, it goes quick. You wanna make sure are able to enjoy it, ok?
But uh…I am gonna be around. I am gonna be in town. Like I said if anybody needs anything or anyone tried to call or text me…it has been crazy the last couple of days. It has started to settle down but just call me or text me if you need me. It should settle down in next day or so. You seniors, any questions about the draft or what you’re getting ready to do just let me know and I’ll be there to help you, give you advice, help you with whatever you guys need. Appreciate you fellas, appreciate you guys coming, love you, appreciate it.
Source Omaha World-Herald