Carl Pelini Says He Never Used Drugs, Wants His Job Back

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Former Florida Atlantic head coach Carl Pelini had remained silent since abruptly resigning last week, which we soon learned was for alleged use of cocaine and marijuana. We've obtained a statement from Pelini addressed to the university president, president of the board of trustees, and general counsel, retracting his resignation. He says he never used drugs, was forced to resign, and is seeking reinstatement.

Athletic director Patrick Chun said on Oct. 30 that both Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis had admitted to using "illegal drugs," and voluntarily resigned. Pelini doesn't see it that way. In his statement (which can be viewed below), Pelini says he told Chun he never used drugs, and was effectively fired for something else altogether:

"Mr. Chun responded to me by telling me that the truth about my drug use did not metter because I was being let go based on a failure to supervise my staff. "


The university has released some of the evidence against Pelini in response to open records requests. It includes a sworn affidavit from D-line and special teams coach Matt Edwards claiming he personally witnessed Pelini using marijuana and cocaine. A second affidavit, from "personal friend" Allison Stewart, made reference to a text message in which Pelini "admitted he uses drugs on occasion." Chun says that text message is in his possession, and that Pelini declined to take a drug test when it was offered.

Edwards and Stewart, according to Pelini's statement, "had strong motive to have me removed from my head coaching position."

Does FAU's evidence count as "proof?" (Drug use was specifically prohibited in Pelini's contract, so proof would allow the university to fire him with cause.) That's what Pelini wants to call into question.

Carl Pelini doesn't want his job back. Not with an AD who called in police to escort him off campus, and an assistant who narced him out. What he does want, it's safe to presume, is to threaten a lawsuit challenging his exit, and perhaps the leverage to force FAU to buy out his contract. With three-plus years left on his deal, a buyout in 2013 would cost FAU $500,000.