That audio of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini venting and cursing (and cursing and cursing) about fans and some members of the media has existed for two years now. But it was made public yesterday because that's when we first learned of it. In fact, the source who gave us the recording reached out to us only a little more than two hours before we published, beginning with an unsolicited tip to our inbox.
Who the tipster is, and what his or her motives might be, has become a topic of some interest in Huskerdom. One hacky columnist, Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star, referred to our source as a "weasel tipster," a "lowdown tipster," and a "degenerate tipster," all within the first four paragraphs of his story. The column also wrongly suggests that our source "perhaps made a nice chunk of cash by selling the audiotape" to us. (We did not buy the audio.) Since everyone seems so interested in the tipster, we figured we'd publish our full exchange with him or her, which is the full extent of what we know. We don't know the source's name or gender (the emails were sent from an anonymous account). We don't know if the source works at the University of Nebraska. And all we know of the source's motives can be found in the exchange below.
From: [Redacted]To: Deadspin staffSubject: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM
Attached is an audio clip that has been heard by very, very few people and it's only fair that the fanbase of Nebraska know what Pelini thinks about them. "Them" being the same people that pay his salary. The two people who you can hear in the clip are Pelini and Greg Sharpe. Sharpe is the "Voice of the Huskers".
Not much explanation is needed. Just listen.
By the way, you're welcome for the click-thrus this will generate on your site haha
From: Dom CosentinoTo: [Redacted]Subject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini AudioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:58 PM
Thanks for this. Can you provide a little more context to it? Was this before Pelini and Sharpe were about to do a radio interview after the game? Who's the woman who can also be heard?
From: [Redacted]To: Dom CosentinoSubject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM
This audio has actually been kept confidential for a long time, especially considering how immediate everything is in todays world. You are correct in that this was the audio right before the post-game interview on the Husker sports network. This audio is actually from after the Ohio St. game in 2011. Nebraska came back to win the game 34-27 after being down 27-6 at one point. Evidently this is how Pelini's attitude is after a big win? Also of note, you probably already realize this but he takes a hell of a shot at Tom Shatel. Tom writes for the World-Herald and has for a hell of a long time. He is the most influential sports writer in this sports crazy state. I don't know who the lady is....probably just a behind the scenes worker like a producer or something like that? Let me know if you have any other questions. Release this audio whenever you would like however there is no time like the present in my opinion. You'll get the most traction right now after Pelini's remarks about Frazier today and the fan base reeling after yet ANOTHER embarrasment on national TV last Saturday.
I feel like this is a given but I hope I can trust you with myself being anonymous throughout this?
From: Dom CosentinoTo: [Redacted]Subject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Why did you send this to us now if this is two years old?
To: Dom CosentinoSubject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM
It may be 2 years old however I hadn't gotten it until more recently than that. I'm sure you've already done a ton of searching to see if this has been released or available anywhere else since it seems almost impossible that something of this magnitude has been kept a secret for so long. I can assure you that it hasn't seen the light of day. You'll be the first if you decide to post it today.
From: Dom CosentinoTo: [Redacted]Subject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Why do you hate Bo Pelini so much?
From: [Redacted]To: Dom CosentinoSubject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM
I don't hate him as a person or anything. In any case, I dont' want to get into that. As I said before, I believe "it's only fair that the fanbase of Nebraska know what Pelini thinks about them."
I'd hope that you wouldn't turn this into a story about a fan trying to stick it to Pelini. We both know that this audio, by itself, more than holds it own as a relevant news story.
From: Dom CosentinoTo: [Redacted]Subject: Re: "Secret" Bo Pelini audioMon, Sep 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM
Was just curious. Thanks.
About 35 minutes after we published Pelini's rant, we heard from a different source who asked us not to disclose his name. This second source—who made it clear he is not the same person as our original source—told us he had learned a recording of Pelini's rant may have been out there back on Oct. 10, 2011, just two days after it was recorded. The second source said he first heard about it from someone who had talked to someone "within NRG media." About a year ago, our second source said, he was given a redacted transcript of what Pelini said on the the recording, which he shared with us:
The second source told us because he never actually heard the audio, he decided not to do anything with the transcript. At that point, the second source said, he more or less "forgot" about the matter until the actual recording was published yesterday.
Photo: Associated Press