Bo Pelini and Tommy Frazier both want nothing but the best for Nebraska football. That doesn't mean they have to like each other or share the same vision for the direction of the program. After an embarrassing loss to UCLA last weekend Frazier questioned whether or not coach Pelini was making the right decisions with regards to personnel and schemes. Coach Pelini fired back saying the university didn't need Tommy Fraizer or fair weathered fans around the football team. These men are passionate about the teams success, but does Frazier have a right to openly criticize the current regime?
Yes and no. It's an unwritten rule in college football that if you win a national championship or have an undefeated season (Frazier did both) you can say whatever you want. It's the reward for bringing the university and the alumni exorbitant amounts of money, exposure, and recognition.
On the other hand superstars and legends of the past (especially quarterbacks) view things strictly from the era they played in. College football has changed dramatically since 1995 and Nebraska is no longer at the top of the food chain. They play in a different conference, lose major recruits to the SEC, and teams run a more complex style of offense and defense. Perhaps Frazier shoul reference a calendar before leveling outdated, boilerplate criticisms.
There's no doubt a program's past success can put pressure on the coaches and players of the present and it's not uncommon for former greats and coaches to have philosophical differences. Shane Mathews and Urban Meyer had this same problem at Florida. Rich Rodriguez never impressed the alumni at Michigan. Randy Shannon had issues with Michael Irvin and Clinton Portis during his tenure at Miami.
The fans are ultimately the ones that suffer from these emotional outbursts. The program loses solidarity and becomes split into bickering factions. The only way to solve this situation is to win more games. If Pelini turns this thing around he will silence Frazier and all the other critics. If he continues to lead a mediocre football team he'll be replaced at season's end. The ball is in his court.