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FAU now says Carl Pelini has been fired with cause

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Carl Pelini has not resigned from FAU, but is still unemployed. (USATSI)
Carl Pelini has not resigned from FAU, but is still unemployed. (USATSI)
The strange ongoing saga between FAU and former coach Carl Pelini took another, likely final twist Tuesday when FAU interim president Dennis Crudele sent Pelini a letter accepting the coach's withdrawl of his resignation-- and firing him instead of accepting that resignation.

The letter does, however, absolve Pelini of the allegations of drug use FAU initially cited as the impetus for Pelini's and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis's resignations.

"I recognize the importance to you of clarifying that you did not resign because you admitted to using illegal drugs," Crudele writes, "and that FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs.

"Accordingly ... your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff,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 under your contract."

The letter -- a copy of which was made public by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel after being first reported by ESPN -- indicates that Pelini and his representatives have "communicated regularly," suggesting the decision to fire Pelini but drop the drug use allegations may be a negotiated compromise reached by both parties.

FAU athletic director Pat Chun told Sun-Sentinel reporter Dieter Kurtenbach that Pelini will not appeal his firing, and Crudele writes to Pelini that "I understand that you accept this course of action and waive your right to appeal this decision."

By waiving that right, Pelini will not be able to seek a financial settlement from FAU, though by firing him rather than accepting a resignation, FAU will also not be able to pursue a $500,000 payment required by Pelini in the event of a resignation.

An FAU assistant and a second source "close to the program" signed a court affadavit stating that they had witnessed Pelini and Rekstis using drugs, though Chun denied to that those allegations were the only factor in Pelini's then-resignation. In attenpting to withdraw that resignation, Pelini claimed that he had not admitted to drug use and said FAU had forced the resignation.

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