BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Students at Florida Atlantic University couldn't believe it: More bad publicity. "We're not a bad school, but we just get bad press," said FAU Sr. Junior Damis. "It kind of brings us down just a little bit."
Damis and others at the school were reacting to the resignations of head football coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis. "They tendered their resignations to me late this [Wednesday] morning after I confronted both coaches with reports relating to their use of illegal drugs," FAU Athletics Director Pat Chun said.
Students say their growing program requires bigger responsibility. "He's gotta' lead by example," said freshman Joseph Dehn. "He's our head coach. To do that in public is not being a good role model."
At coach Carl Pelini's house in Delray Beach Wednesday night, a few lights were on, but no one answered the door.
Neither Pelini nor defensive coordinator Peter Rekstis spoke publicly.
In just the last few years, students have seen their school in the spotlight for an attempt to name the stadium by a company that owns private jails, for a professor that asked students to step on paper with the word Jesus on it, and for their president resigning.
Her goal had been to see the school improve its image.
All the students we spoke to were as firm as school administration.
They agreed that the coaches should be out of a job.
The school's new president said this was a good life lesson for students, and argued they had to act when they did to avoid further embarrassment. "Since I've been interim president by getting out in front of those by empowering people, it's important we get our message out and deal with these issues quickly," said president Dennis Crudele.
Coach Pelini will not be paid any of the remaining money on his $375,000-a-year contract.