NCAA: FAU Coach Carl Pelini Resigns, Illegal Drug Use Cited

Florida Atlantic University Owls head football coach Carl Pelini resigned on Wednesday amidst illegal drug use allegations. 

FAU athletic director Pat Chun confronted both Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis about the issue. Chun said both men tendered their resignations and were escorted by authorities off campus after admitting to “illegal drug use,” per Dieter Kurtenbach of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

In a press conference, Chun said,”It’s a heartbreaking day for us all.”

He also said that what Pelini and Rekstis did is “unacceptable.”

“We hold ourselves to a standard here. That behavior is unacceptable for a lot of reasons. Like I told our student-athletes today, we all have responsibilities. When you wear the logo of Florida Atlantic University, you wear it 24 hours a day…We hold you to a higher standard and you have to hold yourself to that standard.

“Decisions were made that ultimately hurt some people, and there’s consequences for those decisions.” 

Chun added both men are not facing charges just yet and that the alleged drug use occurred off-campus. ESPN, which first reported the incident, revealed “the coaches attended a recent social event at which marijuana was used.” 

The FAU athletic director released a statement on Pelini’s behalf.

“I apologize for excercising poor judgment. My greatest concerns at this time are for my family, the dedicated FAU players and my staff. I am confident that Pat Chun and the university administration will continue to move the program forward.” 

In light of Pelini’s resignation, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Wright was named the Owls’ interim head coach. 

Pelini bows out of FAU with a 5-15 record since his hiring in 2011. Prior to his stint as Owls head football coach, he was the defensive coordinator of the Nebraska Cornuskers, whose head coach, Bo, is his brother. 

Under Carl Pelini’s guidance, Nebraska improved from 112th in the nation in total yards allowed in 2008 to seventh and 11th in the next two years. 

The Owls (2-6) will host the Tulane Green Wave (6-2) on Saturday in Wright’s debut as interim head coach.


About The Author