Compton: This program is Coach Bo

2012-11-13T23:50:00Z 2013-08-20T15:06:16Z Compton: This program is Coach BoBy STEVEN M. SIPPLE / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Will Compton says he is disturbed by some comments he reads on Internet message boards and other reader-comment forums pertaining to Nebraska football.

He takes serious issue with those who suggest Husker players are starting to lose respect for Husker coach Bo Pelini.

After practice Tuesday, the senior middle linebacker wanted to refute such discussion. In fact, Compton and senior safeties P.J. Smith and Daimion Stafford all sought to clear the air with reporters on hand.

"The reason we come back the way we do (in games), the reason we've grown as a team, the reason we're able to talk about senior leadership and veterans ... The reason we get to talk about all that is because of him," Compton said of the fifth-year NU coach. "This program is built off his values, morals and beliefs."

Stafford and Pelini had a heated sideline discussion during Saturday's win against Penn State. TV cameras zeroed in on their exchange, and it became a much-discussed topic locally and nationally.

"People don't understand or know what's being said (on the sideline)," Compton said. "Yeah, it might look bad. But people have to realize we're out there, bullets are flying, comments are going to be made.

"At the end of the day, (Pelini's) our leader. We look to him. This program is coach Bo. We wouldn't be where we are today without him. I don't want people thinking the wrong thing about him."

Compton was listening to Pelini's call-in radio show last week when a caller told the coach he wouldn't want a son to play for him.

Said Compton on Tuesday: "There's no better guy to play for, and there's no better guy to have in your life, as far as leadership and a father figure."

Smith echoed those sentiments.

"He's like a second father to some of the kids on this team," Smith said. "He's a great leader, and he has our back and we have his back."

To read or hear otherwise, Smith said, "upsets us as players because it's not true whatsoever."

Senior tight end Ben Cotton bristles at any suggestion Pelini might be "losing" his team or certain players.

"Hell, no," Cotton said. "We have his back 100 percent. Especially since last January. He came in the (meeting) room and said we're going after a championship and that's the end of the story.

"He's not going to give us the easy way out. And we expect him to not give us the easy way out. We want to compete. He wants to compete. And we want to do it together as a family."

Reach Steven M. Sipple at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.

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