Coaches put accusations behind them

Monday, October 6, 2008 | 8:21 p.m. CDT; updated 9:29 a.m. CST, Tuesday, March 3, 2009

COLUMBIA—Both Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini confirmed during Monday’s Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference that they had spoken about Chase Daniel’s accusation that a Nebraska player spit on him during warm-ups before Saturday’s game in Lincoln, Neb. The coaches said the issue was settled.

“We communicated with Missouri and we investigated it, and addressed the allegations,” Pelini said. “At this point, it’s a moot issue.”

Pinkel, Daniel and junior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon declined further comment Monday at Missouri's media session.

Pelini said the matter was hard to make clear. 

“It was a lot of he said, he said, you know what I mean?” Pelini said. “I don’t think either coaching staff was aware of it. We both did our investigations and it’s over.”

After a follow-up question asked if either coach had identified the culprit over the course of the investigation, Pelini offered little clarification.
“It was a little bit gray,” he said.

RED RIVER RIVALRY ROUNDUP: No. 5 Texas will take on No. 1 Oklahoma in Dallas on Saturday in a game that’s been known as the Red River Rivalry since 2005. As the Big 12’s main event on Saturday, the game was brought up at least once by every coach in the conference call. Kansas coach Mark Mangino, however, said the game isn’t about a rivalry between two of the conference’s best coaches, but rather, two programs.

“I never sensed, when I was at OU, that there was any rivalry between (Texas coach) Mack (Brown) and (Oklahoma coach) Bob (Stoops),” Mangino said. “Mack’s name was never mentioned around the office in a negative vein by Bob or by anyone … Bob doesn’t focus too much on who’s on the other side of the field.”

Other coaches, however, couldn't help but gush at the epic status the rivalry has taken on since its inception.

“That game, year-in and year-out, is the biggest game in the country,” Iowa State coach Gene Chizik said.

SOONERS TRY TO KEEP EMOTIONS IN CHECK: Suiting up for a game of the Red River Rivalry’s magnitude should have the Sooners players restless for kickoff Saturday, and way past ready to play once game day arrives. Stoops, however, isn’t sure that’s always a good thing.

“People always have a misconception that, just because you’re excited, you do well,” he said. “You’ve just gotta manage it. Everybody’s different. … Some perform better the more excited they are, and some guys, not so well.”

Stoops did admit, however, that the excitement this week was significantly higher and more difficult to manage than in other weeks.

“These kind of games do rev you up,” Stoops said. “We don’t count on that winning, we count on what we do and how we play to win, so manage it, and manage it the right way.”

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