When it comes to college football recruiting, two axioms seem to hold true year-in and year-out:
1. “All is fair in love and recruiting.”
2. “Nothing is official until the ink goes dry on National Signing Day.”
Apparently, though, no one shared that memo with Bo Pelini and the Nebraska caching staff.
That’s because after Orlando-area wide receiver Dominic Walker elected to decommit from Nebraska this past weekend, well, Pelini and one of his assistant coaches allegedly had choice words for the 6’2, 190 lb. Walker. Safe to say, they weren’t pretty.
No, no, no.
That’s because when Walker decided it’d only be appropriate to deliver the news of his decommitment personally by making a phone call to Nebraska’s staff, the short fuse and hot temper that Pelini has become notorious for over the years allegedly kicked into overdrive.
Here’s how Walker described the call to the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays:
"It was a very tough decision. They were [mad]. They were very mad. But I thought I had to call them like a real man should," Walker said. "But yeah, they were mad. Coach Pelini said, 'Best of luck, you're going to need it.'”
Walker then added that Nebraska wide receivers coach Rich Fisher was on the call too.
"Coach Fisher said, 'I can’t believe you,' " Walker said. “It was really awkward."
Yeah, I guess so, huh?
(Note that coaches aren't allowed to comment publicly on recruits.)
If true, it also sets a terrible precedent for Pelini and Nebraska with just days left before Signing Day.
Look, the simple truth is that whether coaches like it or not, this is the name of the game in recruiting: Kids are kids, and they commit and decommit at a rapid rate. What seems like a good idea one weekend might not the next. What seems like the school of their “dreams” might get eclipsed by another one the following weekend. And the simple fact is, kids are going to change their minds whether the coach likes it or not. Coaches understand that when they sign up for the gig, and it’s up to them to recruit a kid until pen meets paper.
Besides, how mad can Pelini really get mad at a kid who was once committed to Vanderbilt...before deciding to, you know, decommit from Vandy and flip to Nebraska? My guess is when that happened Pelini didn’t scold Walker as much as celebrate the decision. Apparently, when the shoe was on the the other foot, Pelini didn’t handle it so well and his true colors came out. (That color? Bright red, which is likely from blood literally boiling inside his body).
Let’s also remember that, again, this would set a terrible precedent for Nebraska. The simple truth is that there isn’t all that much high school talent in the state, and for this program to succeed at the highest level, it needs players from outside states like Florida, California and New Jersey to come in and contribute. With that, I’ve got to ask: If you were a coach from Florida and you heard about this incident, would you be quick to send your kids to Nebraska? I sure wouldn’t.
And, oh by the way, given that Walker has already decommitted twice, who was to say he wouldn’t have eventually flipped back to Nebraska before Signing Day? Safe to say that probably won’t happen now.
The point? You can’t let your temper get the best of you.
At least not in recruiting, anyway.
Be sure to follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.
Follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
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Pelini is an overrated a coach as there is in the NCAA. Maybe the "live in the past" Husker fans will start a petition to get Tom Osborne to coach again.
@lars1459 Yep, so overated he's one of only 8 coaches in history to ever start his first five years winning at least 9 games. Guy sure sucks bigtime eh?
Completely disagree. I have a much closer and more knowledgable view than the outsider who only knows about Pelini from what they've seen on ESPN, so please consider what I'm saying.The fact is, Pelini had every right to be upset with the kid. Dominic Walker said just last week that he was "100% committed" to Nebraska. Last week after the in-home visit, Walker tweeted about how much he loved Coach Fisher and couldn't wait to play for him. He looked them in the eyes and made them believe he couldn't wait to be in Lincoln. I give the kid props for at least calling them, but since when did the word commitment not mean promise? If you commit to a school, you are giving them your word that you'll be going there. Bo Pelini is portrayed in a negative light, but year after year his players repeatedly tell media and fans how much they love the guy and that they'd run through a wall for him. He's all about trust. He trusted Dominic Walker when he said he was "100% committed." It hurts when someone betrays your trust. If Pelini was really the monster that he is portrayed as by the national media, he would have said something a lot worse than "Best of luck, you're going to need it." Of course he was upset, but I know I would have said something a lot worse than that if that punk diva lied to my face.What Walker did may be normal and okay in today's world of recruiting, but it shouldn't be. Kids like Walker need to learn that promises are not okay to break. Don't commit to a school unless you plan on going there. Don't make a promise if you don't intend on keeping it.
Pelini didn't have a problem stealing an ISU commit just a couple of weeks ago who had not that long ago said he was 100% committed to Iowa State. It seems only fair that Neb. should be on the other end of these things once in a while.
@isubb79 and he doesn't care about this guy. This article is pure fabrication. Nebraska is loaded at receiver and they're all young...they DO NOT NEED THIS GUY. Pelini would have been like "well, he woulda been nice go have but whatever"
Pelini is a child throwing tantrums and a constant embarrassment for the fine folks of Nebraska ... they deserve much better. It's never his fault and he always thinks insults and screaming are the adult way to handle problems.
The man has no class at all. What a jerk!
I call BS. Coaches have many of these happen every single year.
Nebraska is already chock full of receivers. This guy saw the writing on the wall...he would most likely not play right away at Nebraska and he would play at Auburn. They probably expressed 0 anger or disappointment that he switched and his pride gave way...so he had to make up a story so that he 'saved face'.
As I said...Nebraska is STOCKED at the receivers position...losing this guy is no big deal...the coaches wouldn't give two squirts if they got this guy or not.
so now the kid is a liar? the story was fairly fair tho a little bit one sided. but I am glad that nebraska is so stocked at reciever, since they didnt show any of that in the big ten championship game. but it is good that you know what is going on, so what is your inside info position? dying to know.
@likesspice73 it's great that 1 game you saw shows what they did all year.
Considering this past year was one of the best years in the history of Nebraska for receivers...I'd say you've got some more games to watch.
I have no insider source but the chance that Pelini gets pissed off about this are next to 0. He's had kids with more talent switch commitments in classes past...ones that we really needed...and he somehow didn't get all piss at them.
Like I said, he probably had a lack of reaction from the coaches and had to make something up that seems plausible.
@devn3t @bgilmore5 @likesspice73 There are things about my own brothers and sisters that I can't stand, meaning, I can love the Huskers and be a big fan but I don't have to like everything they do or the coach they hire. Just because he is a Husker doesn't mean I have to like him. Oh. Thats right. He is really a Buckeye and doesn't hide it. Not going to argue with a blind Husker fanatic.
Get behind him or move out of the way...I cheered for the Huskers when Callahan was coach and I continue to cheer for them now. I don't talk trash about them on articles on the internet.
It takes a big man to call someone an assh01e in a comment on a new article. You should be proud of yourself.
Plus, what you're saying doesn't jive with how the players talk. Even past players who are in the NFL that have nothing to fear from him. So, you're not only a classy guy, it seems like you're a liar.
@devn3t @bgilmore5 @likesspice73 Ok.. I am from Nebraska. A friend of mine is a rather big booster/alumni, I have been friends with a few players and a co-worker of mine played for Pelini. The guy was a great defensive coordinator, but a head coach, he is not. He is a complete classless assh**e and can not keep a cool head long enough to get through a practice, much less a game. I hear it all the time from players. He blows up everyday. At players and at assistants. I would never send my son there under his coaching, and its too bad, it looks like he may be playing some college ball somewhere, we'll see. But not for him.