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FAU coach Carl Pelini resigns, caught for 'illegal drug use'

6:16 PM, Oct 30, 2013   |    comments
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Florida Atlantic announced the abrupt resignation of second-year coach Carl Pelini on Wednesday following the coach's conduct with an assistant coach that athletics director Pat Chun described as "illegal drug use." ESPN.com first reported the move, which is effective immediately.

Defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis also resigned, and Chun said in a news conference the decision was based on an incident that "solely" involved Pelini and Rekstis and was "unacceptable" to the athletics department. Chun noted that "no other football staff or student-athletes (were) involved", and that Pelini will not be given the chance to address the FAU team.

According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Pelini was not present at the news conference but issued a statement saying, "I apologize for exercising poor judgment." Although police escorted Pelini and Rekstis from the school's football facility, Chun said the coaches' departure was an "HR matter."

FAU received information about the allegations of drug usage by the two coaches on Monday. An investigation began immediately and Chun confronted the coaches on Wednesday, a day when law enforcement officials also visited the school's athletic offices.

"I apologize for exercising poor judgment," Pelini said in a statement distributed by the school. "My greatest concerns at this time are for me family, the dedicated FAU players and my staff. I am confident that Pat Chun and the University administration will continue to move the program forward."

Offensive coordinator Brian Wright will take over as interim head coach. Linebackers coach Jevan DeWitt will replace Rekstis as the Owls' defensive coordinator.

"Number one, I'm concerned for our football team," Chun said. "Obviously, I'm disappointed in Carl and Pete, but my thoughts are more about our kids and our assistant football coaches and what's going through their minds. This is a tough deal for kids and we've got to help these kids process this. They all looked up to these two guys and that's a tough place to be."

Florida Atlantic was 2-6 to start to the 2013 season following a 3-9 finish in 2012, Pelini's first year at the school.

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