Carl Pelini Returning to Nebraska
Sports Illustrated has shared Carl Pelini's version of events that led to his termination from Florida Atlantic. While it probably won't satisfy everyone that he is innocent of allegations that he'd used drugs, it makes the possibility seem more plausible. Perhaps more interesting was the revelation that he'll be moving back to Nebraska.
While he was well-compensated during his time as head coach at Florida Atlantic, it wasn't so much money that Pelini will never need to work again. Thus we can conclude that he will need to begin working again in the not too distant future. In the SI article, Pelini said he has been essentially blacklisted in coaching.
It's not hard to think of one head coach in college football willing to believe Pelini's version of events - his brother Bo. Whether a position would open up as soon as this fall remains to be seen, but it's not hard to imagine scenarios where Carl renews his employment at the University of Nebraska.
John Papuchis took over Pelini's position as defensive coordinator in 2012. His two seasons in the role have seen the team ranked between 50th and 60th nationally in scoring defense. In the prior three seasons under Pelini, the team was never ranked less than 42nd and twice finished in the top ten. It might be unfair to lay blame at the feet of Papuchis, given that he didn't have the luxury of a Ndamukong Suh, Jared Crick, Prince Amukamara, Eric Hagg, Larry Asante, Lavonte David, or Alfonzo Dennard. Nevertheless, assistant coaches often pay the price when their units fail to produce on the field. Another lackluster year defensively could have fans begging for Carl to reclaim his old role.
There are other ways for Pelini to make a living in Nebraska too. There could be broadcasting opportunities or non-coaching positions related to football. He played a major role in recruiting more than a dozen players in his time at NU. Among the names associated with Pelini are Cameron Meredith, Eric Martin, Daimion Stafford, Lavonte David, JerMarcus Hardrick, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Brandon Kinnie, and Taylor Martinez. The new NCAA rules allowing teams to expand their recruiting staffs could allow Pelini to contribute in a similar way.
In any case, it seems unlikely that Pelini would be moving back to Lincoln to take a construction job. Sooner or later, fans can expect to see Pelini around NU football.