December 13, 2010

Rumors cooling off as NU returns to practice

The rumor and speculation mill was on in full force last week around the Nebraska football program.

From head coach Bo Pelini going to Miami, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson interviewing with Vanderbilt and defensive ends coach John Papuchis being looked at by Texas, it was a crazy week for those who follow NU on message boards and Twitter.

Nebraska's players and coaches haven't officially been available for comment since their loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, so Monday's bowl practice in Lincoln is the first time Pelini or any of his players have made official public comments in nine days.

When asked to comment more about the speculation involving him and Miami last week Pelini referred everything back to the official statement he released on Friday.

"I already released a statement on that," Pelini said. "I'm not addressing that again.

"There was nothing to address. I addressed it like I did with everybody else. I tried to address it with (the state's two major newspapers) before everything went down, but you didn't believe what I said. You do with it what you may."

While Pelini didn't address the rumors or speculation that he could've left NU last week, it definitely was something Nebraska's players were following on their own.

Junior linebacker Lavonte David said he was online reading anything he could find regarding the "Pelini to Miami" rumors.

"I stayed up on it a lot," David said. "When I found out the rumors were false, I just chilled out. I was worried. To tell you the truth, I really was. That was really the first time I was paying attention to the Internet, when that (rumor) popped up. When I found out it was false, I just laid back and stayed calm."

Junior wide receiver Brandon Kinnie said Pelini never officially addressed any of the rumors out there with the team over the last few days.

Kinnie said the team takes Pelini for a man of his word and they didn't feel it was necessary he addresses the rumors since none of it was true.

"We kind of knew," Kinnie said of the rumors. "Coach always keeps us on our toes about different things and not to listen to too much stuff. We didn't let that phase us. We heard the rumors, but we didn't pay much attention to it. We asked each other, 'Hey, have you heard this?' But we didn't think about 'What if he leaves?' No one thought like that."

Sophomore quarterback Cody Green may have said it best though that over the last several weeks there have been multiple rumors flying around about the team, most of them not being true.

Green said he does his best to block out all the rumors and message board talk and just focus on what he can worry about.

"It was just like any other thing that happens around here," Green said of the Pelini rumors. "You take it with a grain of salt because some things fly around so easily. Just because somebody jokes or makes a comment it may get into the wrong hands and turn into a wild fire. We know around here that things can get skewed here and there. I take stuff like that with a grain of salt and just move on."

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