It seems many Nebraska folks are more than ready to move past Deadspin-gate, or audio-gate, or rat-gate, whatever you want to call it.

At the risk of sounding haughty, the saga is very un-Nebraska-like.

We enthusiastically welcome the return of normalcy.

In that regard, bravo to Harvey Perlman and Shawn Eichorst. They brought resolution to the matter Wednesday with a joint statement that indicated support for Bo Pelini and allowed the Nebraska football coach to return his full focus to game preparation.

Pelini, by the way, received an assist from Tom Osborne. Did Osborne ride in on a white horse and save the day? And Pelini's job?

It is difficult to say for certain if Pelini's employment status ever was in limbo. Judging from Eichorst and Perlman's joint statement, you might surmise that the coach was never in serious jeopardy. However, I am certain there was serious concern and anxiety in the North Stadium coaches' offices. The situation wore on the head coach.

So, yeah, Osborne's involvement this week was a welcome development for Pelini supporters.

This situation could've taken a nasty turn. Consider a scenario: Imagine if Perlman and Eichorst decided to fire (or suspend) Pelini over his recorded comments. They're lawyers. They perhaps could've conjured up a case.

Then, imagine if Osborne (who hired Pelini) subsequently expressed his disappointment and told the world he and Pelini already had dealt with the matter a year ago. Osborne likely would have told the world of Pelini's willingness to change and the improvements he had made since October of 2011.

Imagine the impact such a scenario would have on Eichorst's leadership capability. Perlman had seen it all before, in 2003, when Osborne expressed his disappointment with then-AD Steve Pederson's firing of Frank Solich after a 9-3 season. That was a bad day for Pederson.

Wednesday should be interpreted as a good day for Pelini. Again, a big assist to Osborne. He was a voice of reason.

Osborne told the Journal Star he recognized the emotional buildup for Pelini leading to the Ohio State game in 2011. Pelini's expletive-filled rant after the game was unfortunate but mitigated by circumstances.

"I knew Bo kind of blows hot and cold," Osborne said. "A little later, the next day, he's a different person. But, unfortunately, this thing coming up two years later gives the impression that that's all Bo is, and that's really unfortunate."

Osborne recognizes Pelini's complexities. As the Nebraska athletic director, he met regularly with Pelini -- once a week during the season. What a benefit for Bo. Osborne's big-picture wisdom is invaluable.

Osborne on Wednesday emphasized the importance of Nebraska's passionate and loyal fans. He often refers to a "community of purpose." Any threat to Husker fan unity is a serious matter.

Osborne said he hopes Pelini's words in the recording "won't be something that upsets the apple cart, but we'll just have to wait and see. We'll know more on Saturday."

The program is bigger than Pelini. The machine will keep churning long after Bo leaves. Perhaps his detractors can put aside the week's nonsense and throw their energy into supporting the program Saturday.

Pelini will get plenty of support. It appears the tipster's ploy backfired in a big way. By Wednesday morning, public sentiment swayed significantly in Pelini's direction. After the initial shock following Deadspin's release of the audiotape, folks evidently gained greater perspective.

Perspective or not, Pelini's rant was difficult to hear. Ugly stuff. Which is why Pelini should continue to show humility and express thanks for people's patience and forgiveness.

There is fine line here, though. Pelini is maturing in his role, obviously. Osborne says Bo is more introspective than he used to be, perhaps more willing to change, more thoughtful. But you don't want Pelini to lose his hard edge. Heaven knows his defense could use an edge right now.

Meanwhile, kudos to Perlman and Eichorst for apparently seeing the audiotape matter for what it is. If there had been any punishment for Pelini, it might have fostered a Wild West atmosphere, where everyone constantly is looking over their shoulder, wary of weasels.

I'm personally ready to move forward and talk football. What a concept.

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 402-473-7440 or