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."

  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-08-26 19:13:29 GMT
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:58:33 GMT
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:59:15 GMT
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
  • No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:54:33 GMT
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.More >>
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.
    More >>
  • TCU to play both QBs in opener against Samford

    TCU to play both QBs in opener against Samford

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:45 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:45:15 GMT
    Trevone Boykin is in the same position he was last year with TCU, again part of the unanswered question of who will be the starting quarterback only days before the season opener against Samford.More >>
    Trevone Boykin is in the same position he was last year with TCU, again part of the unanswered question of who will be the starting quarterback only days before the season opener against Samford.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Veterans traveling long distances for care after state budget cuts

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:31:24 GMT
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
    Budget cuts are causing a new health care crisis for Alabama veterans.  More >>
  • Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:38:44 GMT
    The surf was churning in Southern California, and even bigger waves were brewing.More >>
    Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot...More >>
  • Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Alabama leads nation in Advanced Placement gains

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:18:05 GMT
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
    Alabama is leading the nation in improvements on Advanced Placement tests used to qualify high school students for college credits. Governor Robert Bentley and State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced the results of a study in Montgomery. Over the last six years Alabama students have an increase of 136 percent in the number of Advanced Placement exams passed in mathematics, science and English. The national increase over the same period time was 49 percent. The number of qualifying sc...More >>
  • Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Law enforcement ready to push water safety during Labor Day weekend

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:13:22 GMT
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
    A young man drowned in Cleburne County Wednesday at Cheaha Lake. The emergency situation encouraged ABC 33/40 to looking into water safety. Law enforcement is thinking safety as we head into the unofficial last weekend of the summer.More >>
  • Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Alabama's Trey DePriest will not play vs West Virginia

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:46:55 GMT
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
    Starting linebacker Trey DePriest will not play in Alabama's season opener after he was suspended "for a minor NCAA infraction". Alabama coach Nick Saban said Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster will be the starting middle linebackers when the Tide play West Virginia on Saturday. Saban said DePriest will be available for the second game, against Florida Atlantic.DePriest started all 13 games last year and is a first-team All-SEC preseason pick. Alabama plays West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kick...More >>
  • East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    East Birmingham mother of three pleading for help

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:06:31 GMT
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
    Whitney Taggart never thought she and her three children would be in this predicament since moving to Birmingham. Taggart doesn't have a job. Her house suffered damage due to a fire earlier this month. Weeks after the flames, the electricity still doesn't work and there's no running water.More >>
  • What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    What's up with that? Status of Birmingham's bond referendum and roads

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:01:25 GMT
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.More >>
    In ABC 33/40's daily "What's Up with That Post" on Facebook, a viewer asked about the bumpy conditions on some of Birmingham's roads.
    More >>
  • Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Josh Gordon: Suspension for substance abuse upheld by NFL; Browns lose star WR for 2014 season

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:52:18 GMT
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.More >>
    Josh Gordon's wait is over, so is his 2014 season. The star wide receiver's career is now in peril.
    More >>