Posted November 07, 2013

Report: Resigned FAU coach Carl Pelini denies illegal drug use, seeks reinstatement

Carl Pelini, Florida Atlantic Owls
Carl Pelini's account of the events leading to his resignation differs markedly from FAU AD Patrick Chun's.

Carl Pelini’s account of the events leading to his resignation heavily differs from AD Patrick Chun’s. (Chris O’Meara/AP)

The Carl Pelini saga at Florida Atlantic might not be over. In a statement to ESPN, the former FAU coach, who resigned last week for what athletic director Patrick Chun cited as “illegal drug” use, said he did not use illegal drugs and is seeking reinstatement as coach of the Owls.

According to the report, Pelini said he denied using illegal drugs to Chun but was told by the athletic director that it was “irrelevant.” Pelini then was forced to resign, according to the coach.

On Oct. 30 Chun announced that Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis had resigned. Chun said he had found out about the drug use on Oct. 28 and had reported it to the university’s general council. He said no other coaches or players were involved in the incident.

Chun said both coaches admitted to the drug use, which was a violation of their contracts, and declined to take drug tests. Pelini told ESPN that he denied any drug use and offered to take a drug test.

Pelini also offered more information related to his resignation:

According to Pelini, Chun said Pelini’s “denial of illegal drug use was irrelevant because I was being relieved of my duties for failure to supervise my staff.” Pelini said he “had recently become aware of a personal relationship between a staff member and a person close to the athletic department. The relationship, to my knowledge, did not involve illegal drug use or any other illegal activity.”

FAU defensive line coach Matt Edwards and Allison Stewart, who Chun called a “personal friend” of the coaches, both indicated in notarized affidavits that they observed Pelini smoking marijuana during a three-day coaches trip to Key West on Oct. 18-20. Edwards also stated he witnessed Pelini and Rekstis use cocaine within the past year. Stewart also said in her affidavit that, on Oct. 20, she received a text message from Pelini on admitting to drug use.

When contacted by ESPN, Chun reiterated his previous statements on the situation, saying that Pelini “voluntarily resigned” and “refused to cooperate in the investigation.”

After his resignation last, week Pelini released a statement apologizing for his actions.

“I apologize for exercising poor judgment,” Pelini said. “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.”

Offensive coordinator Brian Wright has taken over as the Owls’ interim head coach and led them to a win over Tulane on Saturday.

RICKMAN: Mid-major Report: Florida Atlantic takes down Tulane in wake of Pelini turmoil

17 comments
thebigdawg3
thebigdawg3

Pelini stated "I did not think that cocaine and crack were illegal in South Florida" ….

gmouser
gmouser

Hey SI... make damn sure that the statement Pelini released originally *actually* came from him.  It's typical for a university to release a statement on the behalf of a coach... that might not be legit in this situation.

KCW0LF01
KCW0LF01

This is just a play to get hired somewhere else...like with his brother in Nebraska.

TinyElvis
TinyElvis

Mom, that's not my bong, I swear!

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

Too little too late.  He basically admitted his actions in his apology he released.  Stick a fork in him...

eddie767
eddie767

Pelini,you don't quit if you didn't do anything wrong. You fight! Now that the reason is out u r scared,to late. Now u r a "snitch",like someone will hire you now. You were better off with ppl thinking you were a druggy.

TwitSpif
TwitSpif

He should be fired for having a couple snitches on his staff. Ooo he took a toke, I'm gonna tell teacher on him. How about some loyalty here. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Why would the two men, even if they were having an affair, try and get Pelini fired? You can't fire them for that.

2001mark
2001mark

Clap for a Mayor Rob Ford.

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

The story from the AD on Monday was that Pellini admitted drug use and that he resigned. If he didn't use I can't really see why he'd resign. 

thowe211
thowe211

Sounds like someone "lawyered up" and now wants his job back.

Joe R2
Joe R2

Cocaine is a helluva drug

Marty2
Marty2

Maybe you can take the Nebraska job.  Your brother should be looking for a job after Michigan stomps his team.

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

@TwitSpif Regardless of your views on marijuana laws, it was illegal.  He knew it was illegal.  It violated his contract.  He knew it violated his contract.  He was fired for it and should have been.  If you don't like the laws...CHANGE THEM!!  Nobody has the right to ignore them...regardless of how silly they may think they are.

TeamCropDusters
TeamCropDusters

@TwitSpif Too many beeeeeeeeeeetches on this planet.  

I would say that ratting on a friend is much more immoral, than smoking a lil ganja.

Regardless, Pelini can't be doing that out in the open.  Should have enjoyed it at his own home.  Very stupid.