FAU head coach Carl Pelini resigns after allegations of illegal - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

FAU head coach Carl Pelini resigns after allegations of illegal drug use

Posted: Updated:
lorida Atlantic coach Carl Pelini resigned Wednesday after university officials said they acknowledged using illegal drugs. (AP Photos/Butch Dill/J Pat Carter) lorida Atlantic coach Carl Pelini resigned Wednesday after university officials said they acknowledged using illegal drugs. (AP Photos/Butch Dill/J Pat Carter)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Florida Atlantic coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis both resigned Wednesday after university officials said they acknowledged using illegal drugs.

FAU received information about the allegations of drug usage by the two coaches on Monday, said athletic director Patrick Chun. An investigation began immediately and Chun confronted the coaches on Wednesday, a day when law enforcement officials also visited the school's athletic offices.

Pelini was the head coach at practice in the morning. By late afternoon, he was gone.

"We hold ourselves to a standard here," Chun said. "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 said that as of now, neither Pelini nor Rekstis is facing any charges. The investigation is continuing, and Chun said that was limiting the amount of information he could publicly reveal, other than the drug usage happened off-campus, not at an official school event, not on the team's most recent road trip and that no players were involved.

"Really anxious to find out what the hell is going in right now," FAU defensive back Keith Reaser posted on Twitter.

Neither of the former coaches were permitted to address the team before leaving campus. Howard Schnellenberger, the program's founder and longtime coach who still serves as an ambassador for the university, was at Chun's news conference Wednesday, looking crestfallen and sitting in silence.

Offensive coordinator Brian Wright will serve as interim head coach for the Owls, who are 2-6 and play host to Tulane on Saturday. It's undecided if Wright will also continue serving in the coordinator role. Players were told of the dismissals Wednesday afternoon.

"It's been a blur, these 48 hours," Chun said.

Pelini's resignation was first reported by ESPN.com. Chun said the remainder of the coaching staff remains committed to the program.

"I apologize for exercising poor judgment," Pelini said in a statement distributed by the school. "My greatest concerns at this time are for me 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."

Chun said two people came forward initially with information about the drug usage, sparking a need for an investigation. It moved swiftly, and FAU made the decision early Wednesday to confront the coaches after a morning practice. Police were summoned Wednesday, Chun said, "from a safety standpoint" to protect FAU property, but also indicated that the meetings with the coaches went professionally.

"Once confronted, they resigned," Chun said.

Pelini was 5-15 at FAU, coming to the Owls after serving as defensive coordinator on his brother Bo Pelini's staff at Nebraska. Even after Wednesday's developments, Chun was complimentary of Pelini and what he was building in Boca Raton, saying he left the program in better shape than when he found it, "in my opinion, at least," Chun said.

Someone else will have to continue that task. FAU's search for a permanent coach, Chun said, has begun.

"Number one, I'm concerned for our football team," Chun said. "Obviously, I'm disappointed in Carl and Pete, but my thoughts are more about our kids and our assistant football coaches and what's going through their minds. This is a tough deal for kids and we've got to help these kids process this. They all looked up to these two guys and that's a tough place to be."

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:18:15 GMT
     The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com) The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
  • Household Hazardous Waste Day in Hoover

    Household Hazardous Waste Day in Hoover

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:50 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:50:49 GMT
    A special event will help residents get rid of hazardous waste this weekend.More >>
    A special event will help residents get rid of hazardous waste this weekend.More >>
  • National Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday

    National Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:27:03 GMT
    Do you have any unused medication you would like to discard? You will have an opportunity on Saturday, April 26, 2014.More >>
    Do you have any unused medication you would like to discard? You will have an opportunity on Saturday, April 26, 2014.
    More >>
  • New home sales down even in the South

    New home sales down even in the South

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:17:30 GMT
    Spring often is the best time of year to buy or sell a house. Families ready to relocate begin the hunt for a home.The winter weather is past and builders are increasing inventory. This Spring is atypical: the housing market now is fighting off a difficult, long winter, mortgage rates are climbing, and there is a shortage of properties.The Commerce Department's March figures show sales of new U.S. single-family houses fell to their lowest level in eight months. Compared to March last year, sa...More >>
    Spring often is the best time of year to buy or sell a house. Families ready to relocate begin the hunt for a home.The winter weather is past and builders are increasing inventory. This Spring is atypical: the housing market now is fighting off a difficult, long winter, mortgage rates are climbing, and there is a shortage of properties.The Commerce Department's March figures show sales of new U.S. single-family houses fell to their lowest level in eight months. Compared to March last year, sa...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:11:43 GMT
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
  • More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:08:05 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
  • Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:50:59 GMT
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
  • Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:31 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:31:06 GMT
    Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.More >>
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.
    More >>