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Former FAU coach Carl Pelini not fired for illegal drug use

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Carl Pelini was not fired from Florida Atlantic for using drugs, according to an ESPN.com report, he was ousted for not reporting the conduct of his staff members.

ESPN.com obtained a letter written by interim president Dennis J. Crudele to Pelini and here is an excerpt:

“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs,” FAU interim president Dennis J. Crudele wrote in the letter Tuesday. “Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff, as required by your contract.”

During an Oct. 30 news conference, FAU athletic director Pat Chun said Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis admitted to using “illegal drugs” and both resigned.

A week later, Pelini disputed the claim saying he never used illegal drugs and was seeking reinstatement at FAU. At the time, Pelini did tell ESPN he “was being relieved of my duties for failure to supervise my staff.”

The letter to Pelini also states Pelini will “accept this course of action and waive your right to appeal this decision.”

The school claims it fired Pelini for cause and doesn't have to honor the rest of his contract.

Florida Atlantic has been on an upswing since Pelini left; the Owls have won three straight with interim coach Brian Wright and need a win over 1-10 Florida International on Friday to become bowl eligible.

Crudele made sure Pelini was at least partially credited with the team’s turnaround.

“It is unfortunate that the good work you were doing to help turn around our football program ended under these circumstances,” Crudele wrote to Pelini. “The high note that our team is ending the season on and its promising prospects for future seasons is a direct reflection of your good work.”

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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