Pelini made his comments at the school's Big Red Breakfast fan event. They came in response to a question about modern challenges coaches face.
“Let’s face it, it’s not OK,” Pelini said. “I think everybody that’s our age, my age, hopefully understands that it’s not OK. It’s not good. It’s not good for you. And these kids do it on a daily basis and a yearly basis … and it’s a real problem out there.
“Fortunately for us it is not [an issue] in our program. But I can tell you around college football and college athletics … serious in college. I guarantee you walk into dorms nowadays and it is a horrible problem.”
Data released by the NCAA in July showed that 24 percent of college football players reported using marijuana, the sixth-highest rate among sports. Lacrosse had the highest rate at 46 percent.
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall is the most recent high-profile player associated with the drug. He was cited for marijuana possession this summer and won't start in the team's season opener against Arkansas as punishment.
Pelini's brother, Carl, who was an assistant under Bo at Nebraska from 2008 to '11, resigned his position as Florida Atlantic head coach last October after it was alleged he used marijuana and cocaine. Carl Pelini denied the allegations and said drug use wasn't the reason for his departure.
In April, the NCAA reduced the penalty for an athlete testing positive for marijuana from one year to half a year.
- Ben Estes