First of the month rant — April: Petrino’s coaching career headed for a crash landing

Posted: 04/05/2012 in college football, first of the month rant
Tags: , , , , ,

Bobby Petrino made himself look like one despicable person when he left the Atlanta Falcons late in his first year on the job to become the head coach at Arkansas.

Petrino left 13 games into his first season on the job in 2007 and his players found out via a note he left in the locker room.

The dude was a quitter – there were three games remaining – and didn’t even have the guts to tell the players to their faces he was leaving.

But somehow Petrino has topped that episode by again displaying his lack of character with a week of shame that will certainly be hard to surpass in the future.

The events surrounding Petrino’s motorcycle accident on Sunday will certainly lead to his firing in coming days by Arkansas.

Petrino was placed on administrative leave by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long on Thursday night for lying about details associated with the accident.

The 51-year-old Petrino said publicly on Tuesday that he was the only person involved in the accident. But the police report released Thursday told a much different story.

The police report stated that 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell was on the back of the motorcycle when it crashed.

That revelation created a couple major problems for Petrino.

You see, Petrino hired Dorrell last week to be the football program’s student-athlete development coordinator and the police report led to his admission that he was involved in a “previous inappropriate relationship” with Dorrell.

Lying to the boss is never a good idea. Leaving out that information as part of an attempt to cover up that you had an inappropriate relationship with someone you just hired also isn’t a smart move.

Lying to the media on Tuesday was equally as dumb. Any major-college football coach in his 50s should be intelligent enough to know that multiple news organizations would request the police report.

Oh, did I mention that Petrino is married and has four children? Um, yeah.

To say Petrino’s action are beyond stupid is being much too kind.

Powerful coaches like Petrino get so used to lying and covering up things that they think they can get away with anything.

As long as a coach is winning football games – and Petrino has done a good job of that at Arkansas – fans, boosters and university employees are happy to look the other way or help the head coach sweep things under the rug.

I watched Long’s press conference online Thursday night and he didn’t come across as someone who is amused about being lied to by Petrino.

Long said he was going to review the situation and hoped to have a resolution soon.

Reading between the lines – the university’s legal folks are going to be reviewing Petrino’s contract to see if it can fire him without being liable for his annually salary of $3.56 million through the 2017 season.

The contract reportedly has a clause in which Arkansas can fire Petrino for conduct “which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities” of head football coach (CHECK) or negatively hurts the reputation of Arkansas (CHECKMATE).

I predict Petrino is the former Arkansas coach by Monday.

Petrino took a swing at damage control earlier Thursday with his statement in which he admitted to his lack of being forthcoming about Dorrell’s presence in the accident and confessed to the “inappropriate relationship.”

“My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from being public,” Petrino said. “In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.”

Petrino has a daughter named Kelsey who happens to be the same age as Dorrell. Would love to hear her “statement” regarding her married father having a woman playmate of the same age.

Hey coach, ever think of protecting your family by not engaging in an inappropriate relationship?

Some family man he is. The ‘I’ in Petrino certainly doesn’t stand for integrity.

As for Dorrell, she doesn’t sound much like a woman of character herself. She is engaged to be married to Josh Morgan, Arkansas’ director of swimming and diving operations.

Can you say awkward if both Petrino and Dorrell remained employed at the university? Or if all three happened to be in the same swimming pool?

The breaststroke never sounded so exciting.

Yeah, that pain in Petrino’s neck isn’t going away anytime soon. He’s currently wearing a neck brace and also has four broken ribs from the accident.

Petrino’s attempt at spin control also included a plea to keep his job – and wouldn’t you if you were making $3.56 million a year to coach football?

But it’s hard for a man to be a leader if he has no character. Petrino will be learning that lesson in a hard way.

One other thing – Petrino wasn’t wearing a helmet when he crashed his motorcycle.

You know it’s a bad week when that turns out to be your least-costly mistake of the week.

Good Friday won’t be a good Friday for Petrino.


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