For those of you who didn’t tune in to catch the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ dramatic comeback victory over the Northwestern Wildcats on Oct. 20, you missed one heck of a back and forth. It wasn’t between a Cornhusker receiver and a Wildcat defensive back, but rather Nebraska’s head coach Bo Pelini and now-former cornerback Antonio Bell.
Pelini announced today that Bell has been removed from the roster due to an unspecified “violation of team rules.”
It’s possible that this is the result of tension between the two during the aforementioned game in Evanston, Ill. Late in the second half, Bell was called for a defensive holding penalty following a play that featured Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian scrambling for a first down. Pelini and Bell then engaged in what appeared to be rather colorful conversation.
Bell only participated in four games this season and never seemed to grasp his head coach’s scheme despite being a member of the system for Pelini’s entire tenure thus far. An interesting tweet surfaced shortly after the news was announced earlier today:
— Andy Mixan (@AndyMixan) November 5, 2012
Maybe this event was more anticipated than originally thought.
Regardless, Pelini’s pattern matching scheme requires heady defensive backs. At best, Bell found himself in a nickel or dime role. If he wasn’t seeing the field often after this much time had passed, it’s easy to see motivation lacking on his part.
Getting into a shouting match with your head coach doesn’t exactly help your standing with the team anyway, especially if he just happens to be Bo Pelini.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and join in on the conversation.