Pelini cleared of drug use allegations

According to a letter from FAU Interim President Dennis Crudele to former Head Coach Carl Pelini, it was a failure to supervise his staff that resulted in Pelini’s termination. The split between Pelini and the school was not tied to marijuana, cocaine or any other implicated illegal drug use by Pelini.

On Oct. 30, Pelini and Former Defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis resigned amid allegations of illegal drug use. On Nov. 7, ESPN reported that Pelini claimed he was forced to resign from his position and denied any drug use. He requested his reinstatement as head coach and attempted to rescind his resignation on the grounds that he was involuntarily relieved of his duties.

“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs,” Crudele wrote in the letter on Tuesday Nov. 26.

According to the letter, Pelini’s resignation was withdrawn and replaced by a termination of the contract by FAU based on his failure to report certain conduct of his staff.

“It is unfortunate that the good work you were doing to help turn around our football program ended under these circumstances,” Crudele wrote to Pelini. “The high note that our team is ending the season on and its promising prospects for future seasons is a direct reflection of your good work.”

Crudele and Chun were not available for comment as of publication time.

According to Pelini’s contract, because he was terminated with cause, the university is not required to pay him. This also means he owes no money to the university, whereas his resignation would have allowed the university to collect up to $500,000 in damages.

Athletic Director Pat Chun appointed then Offensive Coordinator Brian Wright as interim head coach of the Owls. Under Wright, the Owls are now 3-0, with wins over a bowl-eligible Tulane team, Southern Mississippi and New Mexico State.

The Owls play Florida International University on Nov. 29, looking to reach six wins on the season and become eligible for a postseason bowl.

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[title type=”h4″]Click to read the full letter from Interim President Dennis Crudele to former Head Coach Carl Pelini:[/title]

Crudele-Pelini Ltr 11-26-13