Michael Garcia - April 12, 2012
Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino was fired by the university Tuesday night, after a series of bad decisions and abuses of power. Petrino was involved in a single vehicle motorcycle crash on April 1st, where he got pretty banged up. The initial reports said that Petrino was alone on his bike.
Not so fast. Soon it was discovered that there had been a second person on the motorcycle, 25-year-old female Jessica Dorrell, a former Arkansas volleyball player. Then Arkansas announced that they were placing Petrino on 'adminstrative leave' as the investigation continued. The coach released a statement acknowledging an 'inappropriate relationship.' And here we go again.
Dorrell was apparently hired by Petrino at the end of March to be on the football staff, working with Petrino to cooridinate on-campus recruiting. Dorrell, who was also engaged, somehow beat out 159 other applicants and was hand picked by Petrino who apparently didn't tell anyone about their relationship. Why would he? A married, father of four (and grandfather of two) probably wouldn't want that kind of stuff to get out.
The school's investigation turned up that Petrino had given Dorrell $20,000 before he hired her.
At last night's press conference, atheletic director Jeff Long said that Petrino wasn't being fired for having an affair, as that's a personal matter between the families of two consenting adults. The reason Petrino was being fired was the constant lying, abuses of power and human resource issues.
Petrino, knowing he was in a whole bunch of trouble when this started, tried to remind everyone what he was really about. He showed up to practice days after the accident. He spoke to the media with his face scraped up, a neck brace on, and wearing a hat from the Sugar Bowl he led the team to. Real subtle.
Petrino did make Arkansas a powerhouse, leading them to a 21-5 record the last two years and had them in the conversation for the national championship. And that Sugar Bowl appearance was the school's first BCS Bowl Game. The man can coach at the college level, no question, but his ego got the best of him.
In a statement after his firing, Petrino mentioned that he left the program in better shape than when he took over. Funny thing is, it's in better shape now that he's gone.
Article by Eric Gray
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