Former head football coach Pelini files defamation lawsuit

Suit against former assistant alleges lies against him on drug use

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Former head football coach Pelini files defamation lawsuit

Carl Pelini won just five of the twenty college football games he coached while at Florida Atlantic. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Carl Pelini won just five of the twenty college football games he coached while at Florida Atlantic. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Carl Pelini won just five of the twenty college football games he coached while at Florida Atlantic. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Carl Pelini won just five of the twenty college football games he coached while at Florida Atlantic. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Ryan Lynch, Staff Writer

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Former FAU head football coach Carl Pelini filed a lawsuit today against his former assistant coach Matt Edwards.The suit alleges that Edwards lied in an affidavit given to the University in November 2013, that accused Pelini of using cocaine and marijuana.

Pelini, who vocally denied the statements, later resigned after an investigation by the University. Brian Wright, FAU’s current offensive coordinator, took over as interim head coach after the resignation and won the last four games of the 2013-2014 season. Pelini was later cleared of all drug allegations.

Ex-defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis, who is not involved in the proceedings, also resigned in the face of the allegations. Neither Pelini or Rekstis faced criminal charges.

Pelini’s suit alleges that Edwards’ statements were designed to hurt his reputation. The proceedings of the lawsuit originate from Ohio’s Seneca County Court, near Pelini’s current job as defensive line coach at Youngstown State University, where he works under his brother, Bo Pelini.

Carl Pelini is seeking over $25,000 in damages against Edwards, who currently is the defensive coordinator at Tiffin University, in Ohio. Pelini was 5-15 in two seasons as the second head coach in Florida Atlantic football’s history.