Wednesday, December 3, 2003
Letters from across country criticize, support move
OMAHA, Neb. -- It's been four days but the dust has yet to
settle after the firing of Frank Solich as Nebraska head football
Fans for and against Solich's ouster have been making their
thoughts public through letters and telephone calls to newspapers
and television stations.
The majority of letters -- some coming in from as far away as
Hawaii -- express objections to athletic director Steve Pederson's
announcement Sunday that head football coach Frank Solich had been
fired after a 9-3 regular season.
Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has been installed as interim
Pederson takes a number of hits in the letters -- which range
from calmly objecting to the decision to suggesting conspiracy
theories. Others say Pederson's decision has made them ashamed to
be Cornhusker fans.
But still others feel Pederson was justified in letting Solich
go in an attempt to restore the Huskers to their former glory.
The following includes excerpts from letters that appeared this
week in editions of Nebraska newspapers:
Randy Prier of Papillion wrote that Pederson might not have his
priorities in order and has now put off potential candidates for
"Memo to Steve Pederson: Winning is important, but things like
values and loyalty matter, too. ... What coach worth anything would
want to come to a place where the bar is impossibly high and 9-3
isn't good enough?"
Mike Nolan of Omaha objects to the firing because it sends a
harsh message to young fans that winning is everything:
"The message to youths is to 'do whatever it takes' so this
fate does not befall you."
Lincoln Journal Star:
Gail L. Anderson of Lincoln points toward the possibility of a
long-standing hidden agenda.
"Couldn't anybody see the "setup"? The wheels of change were
in place for some time. ... I got the feeling from the press
conference Sunday that Steve Pederson made plans for Bo Pelini as
head coach from the time Pelini was hired. Pederson will go through
the motions of searching for a head coach merely for appearance's
sake. ... I'm sorry to say, but Pederson and Pelini have this team
sewn up, and like many others, we'll see what they can do with
Writing in from Honolulu, Karen Hastings said Pederson's
decision brought shame on Husker fans:
"The firing of Frank Solich is a colossal embarrassment and
humiliation for the state of Nebraska and all of the University of
Nebraska alumni living elsewhere. We are now the laughingstock of
the entire country after firing a coach with a 9-3 record and an 89
percent graduation rate."
But to LeRoy Renlerick of Dixon, the change was long overdue:
"I think the firing is long in coming. He rode in on Tom
Osborne's coattails and did fairly well on his recruits, but when
his own recruits took over our team went downhill."
Solich should have been given the chance to succeed, suggested
"During his career as Nebraska football coach, even Tom Osborne
faced obstacles and people held him in question.
"I feel win or lose, you should stay behind your team and your
The Grand Island Independent:
Jim Vohland of Bowling Green, Ohio, said he'd been a longtime
fan of the Huskers but Solich's firing seems to mean the school's
program has changed its values:
"It's been 33 years since I left Nebraska, and besides family,
the one constant throughout the years has been a love of Husker
football. That ended last night with the firing of Frankie Solich.
"Sadly, Husker football has joined the current government in
proclaiming 'it's all about the money.' "