Nebraska's Pelini: Sideline argument no big deal


Nebraska's Pelini: Sideline argument no big deal

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska coach Bo Pelini says he can't change his ways and fans might as well accept that yelling and confrontations between him and his players are going to happen on the sidelines.

The latest incident came Saturday, when Pelini and safety Daimion Stafford got into a heated exchange following a Penn State touchdown - a confrontation caught on camera for the ABC-televised game.

Stafford pointed his right index finger in Pelini's face, turned around and then came back to yell and point some more as Pelini leaned toward him. Pelini's back was to the camera for the duration of the video.

Pelini said Monday that he has a disciplined team that represents the state and university well and that he didn't think Stafford was being disrespectful.

``The only thing you can criticize Daimion Stafford for was wanting to win so bad,'' Pelini said. ``He was upset. He should be upset. We gave up a touchdown.''

Pelini said he was trying to calm Stafford, who later in the game made a key interception and fumble recovery. No. 16 Nebraska won 32-23.

``I love the guy. He's an emotional leader,'' Pelini said. ``Let me tell you, it's an emotional game. That stuff happens. That's not the first time that's ever happened. That happens on the practice field. It's no big deal to me.''

The Stafford incident was similar to one that happened Oct. 20 against Northwestern. That time, an ABC camera captured cornerback Antonio Bell screaming at Pelini after Bell was removed from the game for committing a penalty. Bell had to be held back from the coach by a teammate. Bell was dismissed from the team the next week, but Pelini said it was not because of that incident.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman supported Pelini in an email to the Associated Press.

``I think at this point Bo is a victim of his reputation and is unfairly singled out by the news media,'' Perlman wrote. ``He has noticeably controlled his sideline behavior this year. Unless there is evidence that he is losing his team's respect, which I do not see, I think within reason you have to accept him for who he is.''

Pelini said what happens on the Nebraska sideline is no different than on any other in college football.

He said he knows cameras are pointed at him because he becomes animated when he's upset. He said he doesn't worry or care about the cameras' presence.

``People are going to try to focus on the negatives of my personality and whatever else,'' he said. ``I believe in who I am and I'm not changing. I couldn't change if I tried. I'm a passionate guy, I love what I do, I love my players. We have a great relationship.''

The situation with Stafford stemmed from Matt McGloin's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James that gave Penn State a 17-6 lead. Pelini said Stafford and other players were upset because of communication problems with the coaches on the sideline. The defensive calls came in too slowly, and players weren't able to get lined up right before the ball was snapped. Also, the calls weren't always the correct ones.

``It probably was my fault. I know it was,'' Pelini said.

Stafford confirmed Pelini's account.

``People are making something out of nothing,'' Stafford said. ``Me and Bo both, we know what's going on. We know we're good. That's all that really matters. We're one big family. Family members fight. I fight with my dad. I fight with my mom. It's nothing. I love Bo, that's why I came here.''

Pelini said he and Stafford ended up laughing about the incident at halftime.

``The players know this with me: I treat them like a man until they give me a reason not to,'' he said. ``I've had players in my office, and I've lit them up in my office. Usually by the end of that, the next thing I do is walk over and put my arm around them and tell them I'm doing this because I care about you.''

Pelini's behavior has been dissected on social media and radio shows since he took over at Nebraska five years ago. His biggest outburst came in a 2010 game at Texas A&M when he dressed down quarterback Taylor Martinez on the sideline and spent much of the game berating officials. His behavior drew a reprimand from Perlman, and Pelini made a public apology.

``When you have a mutual understanding between players and coaches, and the players understand you truly care about them as human beings, then you can get away with it,'' Pelini said. ``If they think you're a selfish guy and you're in it for you - my players understand myself and the staff are not in it for us - you can have those types of exchanges. Someone from the outside might not understand and, to be honest with you, I don't care if they understand it.''

Athletic director Tom Osborne was out of town and unavailable for comment.

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Nationals Roundup: Nats blow multiple leads in frustrating walk-off loss to Mets

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Nationals Roundup: Nats blow multiple leads in frustrating walk-off loss to Mets

The Nationals lost to the New York Mets, 6-5, Tuesday to drop their record to 19-29. 

Consider these news and notes as Washington trudges through its four-game series in New York: 

Players Notes:


Erick Fedde made his first start of the season for Washington Tuesday night and put together a solid outing. The 26-year-old threw five innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits, a walk, and strikeout. Thirty-one of his 61 pitches were sinkers.

Do you believe in the broadcaster's jinx theory? Perhaps you might after reading up on what Juan Soto did in the 2nd inning Tuesday. Then, later in the 8th, Soto scorched a go-ahead double to deep right notching his 100th career RBI. 


Amed Rosario was the hero at Citi Field. His walk-off infield single off Kyle Barraclough was the difference in New York's 6-5 comeback win. 

The Mets got a quality start from starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who threw seven innings of four-hit ball, three earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. 78 of his 118 pitches were thrown for strikes. 

Pete Alonso is lighting it up right now. His game-tying 417-foot home run in the 8th marked his 16th of the season. 


SP Jeremy Hellickson: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 31

RP Justin Miller: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 31

SP Anibal Sanchez: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 27

OF Andrew Stevenson: back, expected to be out until at least May 24

1B Matt Adams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 22

1B Ryan Zimmerman: foot, expected to be out until at least May 23

RP Koda Glover: elbow, expected to be out until at least May 25

RP Trevor Rosenthal: viral infection, Expected to be out until at least May 21

RP Austen Williams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least Jun 13

Coming Up:

Wednesday, 5/22: Nationals @ Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET, Citi Field 

Thursday, 5/23: Nationals @ Mets, 12:10 p.m. ET, Citi Field

Friday, 5/24: Marlins @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park


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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

Bruce Allen identified getting a contract extension done for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff as one of the Redskins biggest priorities of the 2019 offseason. To this point, however, nothing has happened. 

That doesn't seem to have Scherff concerned. 

"We've been talking, but I'm not really worried about that," he said after OTAs on Monday. "I'm here for another year, so that's all I'm worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself."

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played at an elite level since his rookie season. He's made two Pro Bowl teams in four years, and until last year, had been remarkably durable. 

In 2018, Scherff's season started very strong. 'Skins coach Jay Gruden described the former Iowa Hawkeye as the best pulling guard in the NFL and it was well-earned praise. Then, in a Week 8 loss, Scherff went down with a torn pectoral muscle. His season was over. 

At OTAs, however, Scherff was a full participant with no brace or apparent encumbrances from the injury. 

"I'm feeling really good, just taking it slow and making sure I'm 100 percent," he said. 

Expect the free agent market to be quite bullish. Once a lesser-paid position than tackle, guards have recently started pulling in significant cash. Zach Martin's recent contract extension in Dallas pays him more than $14 million per season, and Jacksonville is paying Andrew Norwell more than $13 million this year. 

For Scherff, expect top of the market money. He has the talent, pedigree and ability that if Washington won't pay in the neighborhood of Martin and Norwell, he can wait for free agency.