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Nebraska fans give embattled Coach Bo Pelini a mostly warm reception

September 22, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Sister Karen Shelton, left, and Sue Schrader, longtime Cornhuskers fans from Lincoln, Neb., wear shirts in support of football Coach Bo Pelini on Saturday.
Sister Karen Shelton, left, and Sue Schrader, longtime Cornhuskers fans… (Nati Harnik / Associated…)

Although Nebraska officials said Wednesday they were putting the controversy swirling around a 2-year-old recording of football Coach Bo Pelini's profanity-laced tirade against "fair-weather" fans to rest, those same fans had a few things to say Saturday.

Most of it was in support of Pelini.

“I still think he's a good coach,” Sue Schrader, a longtime Cornhuskers fan, told the Associated Press. “It's too bad that it came out, but in my estimation, it was somebody who wanted to ruin him and I think it was to ruin his career. They're too cowardly to come forward, which is pathetic.”

The audio of his rant after a stirring come-from-behind 34-27 victory over Ohio State in 2011 was released last week by Deadspin, and it raised a ruckus with Nebraska faithful who have sold out Memorial Stadium in Lincoln for a record 329 consecutive games dating to 1962.

Not all were so forgiving, though, but many were understanding of Pelini's temperament.

“If we win around here, you can about do anything,” Tim Lippincott said. “I hate to say that, but as long as you're not doing anything illegal, if you win, you can forgive a lot of things.”

And another fan knew what Nebraska had in Pelini -- a fiery personality.

“I'm a firm believer in the fact everyone can make a mistake and should be forgiven,” Brian Rank said. “My concern is there is a pattern. The guy is a hot head. We all knew that. We thought we kind of liked that. Now it seems we're realizing that hot-headedness doesn't match with Nebraska values.”

Then there was this sage comment from Schrader's sister, Karen Shelton:

"Gosh, we all make mistakes. My biggest thing has been, if people could read our minds, a lot of us would be in trouble.”

Wire service and Internet reports contributed to this story.

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