Have you ever watched a game Bo Pelini was coaching and thought, “I bet those officials aren’t having a very good time”? Well, at least one former B1G football official can confirm that being on the field with Pelini is, in fact, a nightmare.
Retiring B1G football official Dan Capron recently sat down with Chicago Tribune reporter Teddy Greenstein to talk about some of the intricacies of officiating at such a high level. He talked about the good, the bad, and everything in between that football fans would probably find really intriguing.
One of the burning questions for any official, of course, is which head coach is the worst to work with? Capron’s answer was incredibly easy.
Former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini took that title, and it wasn’t close. Capron said Pelini was the worst coach he’s ever worked with, and nobody else “is within 10 miles.”
Capron then detailed a situation in a Purdue-Nebraska game in which the Huskers fumbled a snap, causing a pile-up and a little confusion between the officiating crew. Pelini, Capron said, lost it on the sidelines.
From the Chicago Tribune:
My umpire looks at me and I swear he says, “White ball.” Meaning Purdue. Nebraska is in red. I step out and I point: Purdue ball. Simultaneous with me, my center judge points the other way. Nebraska’s ball. Now we are convicted of being idiots. No matter what else happens, we are the three stooges. …
Unbeknownst to me, Coach P is over there on the sideline going crazy. I step out and announce: The ruling on the field is that the loose ball was recovered by Nebraska. It will be second down and 10 at the such-and-such yard line. As I turn to the Nebraska sideline, he is pointing at me, screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’ll have your job!” The moment “job” was out of his mouth, my flag hit its apex. …
The game goes on uneventfully, and Nebraska ends up winning. We go in the locker room and I say to my guys, “Do you think I should call Bill (Carollo)?” because he always wants to know about anything controversial. He doesn’t want to get blindsided. …
I take out my cellphone and call the command center. I ask for Bill. I hear: “Hang on, he’s on the phone with Pelini.” The game wasn’t over for four minutes!
We all know being the head coach of a major program is an incredibly intense position, but this seems a bit extreme from Pelini. Obviously, Capron agrees.
Capron had several other great comments throughout Greenstein’s story, including thoughts on Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, “The Spot,” involving J.T. Barrett in 2016 and some of the calls that went against Ohio State in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl.
You can view the complete story here.