Letters from across country criticize, support move
OMAHA, Neb. -- It's been four days but the dust has yet to settle after the firing of Frank Solich as Nebraska head football coach.
Fans for and against Solich's ouster have been making their thoughts public through letters and telephone calls to newspapers and television stations.
The majority of letters -- some coming in from as far away as Hawaii -- express objections to athletic director Steve Pederson's announcement Sunday that head football coach Frank Solich had been fired after a 9-3 regular season.
Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has been installed as interim head coach.
Pederson takes a number of hits in the letters -- which range from calmly objecting to the decision to suggesting conspiracy theories. Others say Pederson's decision has made them ashamed to be Cornhusker fans.
But still others feel Pederson was justified in letting Solich go in an attempt to restore the Huskers to their former glory.
The following includes excerpts from letters that appeared this week in editions of Nebraska newspapers:
Randy Prier of Papillion wrote that Pederson might not have his priorities in order and has now put off potential candidates for the position.
"Memo to Steve Pederson: Winning is important, but things like values and loyalty matter, too. ... What coach worth anything would want to come to a place where the bar is impossibly high and 9-3 isn't good enough?"
Mike Nolan of Omaha objects to the firing because it sends a harsh message to young fans that winning is everything:
"The message to youths is to 'do whatever it takes' so this fate does not befall you."
Lincoln Journal Star:
Gail L. Anderson of Lincoln points toward the possibility of a long-standing hidden agenda.
"Couldn't anybody see the "setup"? The wheels of change were in place for some time. ... I got the feeling from the press conference Sunday that Steve Pederson made plans for Bo Pelini as head coach from the time Pelini was hired. Pederson will go through the motions of searching for a head coach merely for appearance's sake. ... I'm sorry to say, but Pederson and Pelini have this team sewn up, and like many others, we'll see what they can do with it."
Writing in from Honolulu, Karen Hastings said Pederson's decision brought shame on Husker fans:
"The firing of Frank Solich is a colossal embarrassment and humiliation for the state of Nebraska and all of the University of Nebraska alumni living elsewhere. We are now the laughingstock of the entire country after firing a coach with a 9-3 record and an 89 percent graduation rate."
But to LeRoy Renlerick of Dixon, the change was long overdue:
"I think the firing is long in coming. He rode in on Tom Osborne's coattails and did fairly well on his recruits, but when his own recruits took over our team went downhill."
Solich should have been given the chance to succeed, suggested Wayne Adamson:
"During his career as Nebraska football coach, even Tom Osborne faced obstacles and people held him in question.
"I feel win or lose, you should stay behind your team and your coaches."
The Grand Island Independent:
Jim Vohland of Bowling Green, Ohio, said he'd been a longtime fan of the Huskers but Solich's firing seems to mean the school's program has changed its values:
"It's been 33 years since I left Nebraska, and besides family, the one constant throughout the years has been a love of Husker football. That ended last night with the firing of Frankie Solich.
"Sadly, Husker football has joined the current government in proclaiming 'it's all about the money.' "
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press