Bo Pelini: I'm human like anyone else

Updated: September 17, 2013, 8:27 PM ET
By Mitch Sherman | ESPN.com

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Tuesday that he believes Cornhuskers fans will forgive him for comments leaked this week in which he criticized them during an expletive-laced rant in 2011.

"I think our fans would understand the situation, the circumstances regarding this," Pelini said on the Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "I might lose some, I don't know, but I think that I've built enough points with our fans over the last five years in how I've conducted myself, how I've run this program and what we've done with this program … to earn some forgiveness for something that, like I said, was made in a private setting.

"I think people will understand this isn't representative of how I feel."

Pelini spent nearly all of his allotted 10 minutes fielding questions about the controversy that erupted Monday after Deadspin.com released audio of Pelini from October 2011 following the Huskers' win over Ohio State.

The recording captures Pelini's comments that are critical of two Omaha sports writers and Nebraska fans. He was upset at fans for their halftime boos as Nebraska trailed the Buckeyes and at early departures from Memorial Stadium.

Pelini said he was shocked by the release of the audio -- provided by a tipster who, according to Deadspin, was upset with Nebraska's performance in Saturday's 41-21 home loss to UCLA. The sixth-year coach said he had "heard in the past that there was something out there" but that he didn't know of the recording.

He apologized again Tuesday after issuing a statement Monday night.

"I fully anticipate coaching this weekend," Pelini said after Tuesday's practice. "I'm the head football coach until someone says different."

Pelini You say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances. Like anybody else, you're human. You make mistakes. You apologize for your mistakes and you move on. And that's all you can do in this situation.

-- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini

Chancellor Harvey Perlman and athletic director Shawn Eichorst also issued statements Monday, saying they would continue to review the situation. Pelini said he met with Eichorst and spoke on the phone with Perlman but that he didn't know if he would face punishment over the incident.

"It's hard to say," Pelini said. "You'd have to ask them that."

The coach reiterated his strong feelings for Nebraska's fan base, which has sold out 328 consecutive home games.

"I do believe that we have great fans," he said. "I respect them. I respect them for who they are. I've said it over and over and over since I've been here that we have great fans. But I'm human like anyone else. You say things in an emotional moment under certain circumstances. Like anybody else, you're human. You make mistakes. You apologize for your mistakes and you move on. And that's all you can do in this situation.

"Like I said, I'm just very disturbed and upset that it ever came to this, that something that was said in a private moment two years ago would become public."

Pelini said he did not know the identity of the person who leaked the audio. Asked for his feelings on the tipster, Pelini said: "I don't want to go there. It's not even worth commenting on. I think everybody out there knows there was an agenda."

The coach said he's never pursued other jobs since taking this position in December 2007.

"I've had opportunities to leave Nebraska, so I obviously enjoy it here," he said. "My family enjoys it here."

He suggested in the leaked audio he'd soon leave Nebraska, but on Tuesday he disputed the suggestion that he's unhappy at the school.

"If that was the case," he said, "I wouldn't be here anymore, because I've had opportunities to leave."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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