When University of Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini took to the podium Tuesday at Big Ten Media Day, he didn’t shy away from saying how he really felt about former University of Washington wideout Damore’ea Stringfellow’s decision earlier this summer to break his verbal commitment to the Cornhuskers and instead transfer to Ole Miss.
“Read between the lines,” Pelini told Huskers Illustrated’s Michael Bruntz at Big Ten Media Day on Tuesday. “I think we all know what happened in that situation.”
To briefly recap: Stringfellow pleaded guilty in April to three misdemeanors related to a post-Super Bowl altercation with two Seahawks fans in Seattle. He later chose to transfer out of the program.
While assessing his options, Stringfellow made a verbal commitment to Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini but would then go on to visit both Alabama and Ole Miss, eventually changing his commitment to Rebels’ head coach Hugh Freeze in June.
It was Freeze’s turn to respond on Friday when speaking during the Rebels’ Media Day festivities. The Ole Miss coach called Pelini a “colleague,” and said he tried to contact Pelini about the situation to no avail.
The Clarion-Ledger’s Hugh Kellenberger shared the Freeze’s comments from the podium via Twitter:
Hugh Freeze on Bo Pelini’s comments: “I think it’s bad form … we’re colleagues and in this together.” — Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) August 1, 2014
“I reached out to him, actually, and said, ‘If you have something I don’t know, please call me.” Pelini did not respond, Freeze said. — Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) August 1, 2014
Hugh Freeze: “We’re glad we have String … and his mom.” — Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) August 1, 2014
The final tweet is especially interesting, as Stringfellow’s mother, Kahlilah Levine, denied rumors to the Omaha World-Herald in June that someone else funded her plane tickets to accompany her son on visits to Ole Miss and Alabama.
Pelini called Levine “a clueless parent” in his remarks to the media Tuesday, and she is thought to have played a role in Stringfellow’s change in commitment.
Freeze’s comments were enough to explain the situation away for the day, which is all the Rebels coach had to do considering the program is not under investigation for recruiting violations nor is it expected to be.
Stringfellow, a 6-foot-3, 229-pound California native, was considered the No. 75 overall player and the No. 8 overall receiver in the in the 2013 recruiting class. As a freshman at Washington he caught 20 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown. Stringfellow has three years of eligibility remaining, but must sit out the 2014 season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules before returning to the field for the Rebels in 2015.