Nebraska Football: Bo Pelini's PR Skills Costing Cornhuskers

Brandon CavanaughCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Coach Bo Pelini of the Nebraska Cornhuskers asks for an explaination of a call during second half action of their game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Defeated Missouri 31-17. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

This is just sad.

During the trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Washington Huskies boarded the USS Ronald Reagan for a nice meal and some good publicity.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was nice enough to award a sailor from Seattle both a field pass and an official Washington Huskies jersey.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini matched Sarkisian’s kindness and one-upped him.

He awarded Minden, Nebraska’s Petty Officer Third Class Morgan Ryan a field pass and official Nebraska Cornhuskers jersey. He then told the sailor that he would be calling one play during the Holiday Bowl.

"I was just real shocked," Ryan told Fox "(Pelini) told me, 'Congratulations, we'll see you on Thursday (game day).'"

Ryan obviously spent a lot of time pondering just what he'd call in place of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson.

Would he lead his favorite team to victory on a play that busted Roy Helu, Jr. free for a long touchdown run?

Unfortunately, he’ll never find out.

Apparently, coach Pelini didn’t intend on actually allowing Ryan to call a play.

"It was a joke, ma'am," Pelini shouted at a Fox Sports reporter at the bowl’s post game press conference.

Ryan was then asked how he would take the news that he wouldn’t actually be able to call his patented play for the Cornhuskers.

Let’s just say that after the sailor found out about the exchange between the reporter and Pelini, saying that he was disappointed would be an understatement.

Honorably enough, Ryan defended both the coach and the program.

It’s a shame that his words couldn’t salvage the already poor reception that Pelini’s explanation has garnered.

The past few months haven't been kind to Nebraska's head coach.

He erupted on the sidelines in College Station at quarterback Taylor Martinez. He then had to deal with rumors of the quarterback leaving as a result.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman issued a public statement reprimanding Pelini over the outburst. The coach would then apologize for his actions at a press conference soon after.

During Nebraska's game against Colorado, ABC’s cameras did a split-screen between Pelini and a referee during nearly every call that could’ve potentially gone against the Cornhuskers. Needless to say, the nation saw him on his best behavior.

It was obvious that Pelini was upset with his team's performance in their rematch against the Huskies in the Holiday Bow, and understandably so.

The actions that are now being reported before it began and an unfulfilled promise during the game just provide more egg on the face of both Pelini and the program.

It seems that, much like in College Station, Bo Pelini may be bubbling over and ready to burst.

Nebraska needs to find someone to do an amazing job of damage control.

The Nebraska head coach’s job may depend on it.

Then again, at this point, who’s to say how much more of this attitude athletic director Tom Osborne or Perlman are willing to accept.

Don't let the offseason get you down.

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