Report: Resigned FAU coach Carl Pelini denies illegal drug use, seeks reinstatement
The Carl Pelini saga at Florida Atlantic might not be over. In a statement to ESPN, the former FAU coach, who resigned last week for what athletic director Patrick Chun cited as "illegal drug" use, said he did not use illegal drugs and is seeking reinstatement as coach of the Owls.
According to the report, Pelini said he denied using illegal drugs to Chun but was told by the athletic director that it was "irrelevant." Pelini then was forced to resign, according to the coach.
On Oct. 30 Chun announced that Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis had resigned. Chun said he had found out about the drug use on Oct. 28 and had reported it to the university's general council. He said no other coaches or players were involved in the incident.
Chun said both coaches admitted to the drug use, which was a violation of their contracts, and declined to take drug tests. Pelini told ESPN that he denied any drug use and offered to take a drug test.
Pelini also offered more information related to his resignation:
According to Pelini, Chun said Pelini's "denial of illegal drug use was irrelevant because I was being relieved of my duties for failure to supervise my staff." Pelini said he "had recently become aware of a personal relationship between a staff member and a person close to the athletic department. The relationship, to my knowledge, did not involve illegal drug use or any other illegal activity."
FAU defensive line coach Matt Edwards and Allison Stewart, who Chun called a "personal friend" of the coaches, both indicated in notarized affidavits that they observed Pelini smoking marijuana during a three-day coaches trip to Key West on Oct. 18-20. Edwards also stated he witnessed Pelini and Rekstis use cocaine within the past year. Stewart also said in her affidavit that, on Oct. 20, she received a text message from Pelini on admitting to drug use.
When contacted by ESPN, Chun reiterated his previous statements on the situation, saying that Pelini "voluntarily resigned" and "refused to cooperate in the investigation."
After his resignation last, week Pelini released a statement apologizing for his actions.
“I apologize for exercising poor judgment,” Pelini said. “My greatest concerns at this time are for my family, the dedicated FAU players and my staff. I am confident that Pat Chun and the University administration will continue to move the program forward.”
Offensive coordinator Brian Wright has taken over as the Owls' interim head coach and led them to a win over Tulane on Saturday. RICKMAN: Mid-major Report: Florida Atlantic takes down Tulane in wake of Pelini turmoil