Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst did his part to cool any speculation about coach Bo Pelini entering the season on the hot seat.
In a 45-minute interview, Eichorst said the program is “stable” and that the Cornhuskers have a “ seasoned coach who has won a bunch of games.”
Pelini has won at least nine games each of his six years at Nebraska, but has never lost fewer than four. The Huskers haven’t won a conference championship since 1999, though Pelini led them to title games in the Big 12 in 2009 and 2010 and in the Big Ten in 2012.
Last year was turbulent. A secretly recorded audio of Pelini criticizing fans in 2011 went public two days after the Huskers blew an 18-point lead in a home loss to UCLA. Pelini nearly struck a sideline official with his cap while arguing a call in a home loss to Iowa, and afterward when asked about his job status, he said, “If they want to fire me, go ahead.”
Eichorst issued a statement of support the next day, and Nebraska finished 9-4 after a bowl win over Georgia. Pelini received a one-year contract extension through February 2019.
• Everett Golson reclaimed the job as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback after missing last season because of academic impropriety.
Coach Brian Kelly said that Golson would start against Rice on Aug. 30 after beating out sophomore Malik Zaire.
• Arizona State offensive lineman Edward Sarafin told a local magazine he is gay, making him the first active Division I football player to come out.
A fifth-year senior, Sarafin told Phoenix-based Compete, a magazine for gay sports, that he began telling teammates of his sexual orientation last spring.
A 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman, Sarafin graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering last spring and is in Arizona State’s master’s program. He has yet to play in a game, working as a scout-team player early in his career and providing depth on the Sun Devils’ offensive line last season.