Longtime Nebraska football fans Karen Shelton and Sue Schrader arrived at Memorial Stadium eager to show their support Saturday for embattled coach Bo Pelini.
The sisters wore matching T-shirts proclaiming "I'm a BOliever." A few hours later they walked into a stadium where there have been 329 consecutive sellouts since 1962.
Husker fans were put to the test after a two-year-old audio recording of Pelini's expletive-filled rant against fans was leaked to the Deadspin.com sports website on Monday.
In interviews with fans before the game against South Dakota State, some were offended and said the tirade was a continuation of a pattern of bad behavior by Pelini. Some took the forgive-but-won't-forget stance. Others said they weren't insulted. All 10 fans disparaged the person who leaked the audio.
Pelini posted this letter to Husker fans Friday on huskers.com:
"There is no better time than right now for me to personally thank you for your support of Nebraska athletics and Nebraska football.
This past week has obviously been a difficult one for many people associated with the University of Nebraska and our football program. I wanted to take this opportunity to say I regret the comments that I made in private two years ago, and apologize to Husker fans everywhere.
We all make mistakes in our lives, both personally and professionally, and like everyone else I am human. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and correct them to improve yourself as a person. I hope you can see that I have done that and continue to strive to improve each day.
Most importantly, I want all of you to know that my comments in 2011 were not in any way representative of my true feelings about our great fans and donors here at Nebraska. The time, energy, money and passion you invest in our football program and all of our athletic programs is second to none.
It is an honor to lead our football team into Memorial Stadium in front of more than 91,000 fans for each home game. It never ceases to amaze me how many of you show up on the road, no matter where we travel. That type of fan support makes a difference and certainly does not go unnoticed.
On the field, we have the opportunity to be a good football team. Last week’s game wasn’t the result any of us were looking for, but we will bounce back. There is still a lot of football to be played and I like the attitude of this football team.
I appreciate the support of Chancellor Perlman and Shawn Eichorst, and once again the support that all of you provide for our athletic programs. Your support makes it possible for student-athletes, coaches and staff to have a great experience at Nebraska, and provides us with every opportunity to succeed.
Thank you and Go Big Red!"