Bobby Petrino finds a school willing to sell its soul

Here's a screengrab from WKUsports.com. They forgot a few things.

Here's a screengrab from Western Kentucky's website: WKUsports.com. I think they forgot a few things.

(UPDATED: 6:15 p.m.)

According to Western Kentucky’s mission statement — which I suddenly found reason to Google — the university “prepares students to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen leaders of a global society.”

So we’re left to wonder: Will Western Kentucky ask Bobby Petrino be teach a course in social responsibility, or will he be too busy being productively engaged with an athletic department underling?

Petrino is back in coaching. That was inevitable. On one hand, the man has so much personal and professional baggage that he needs a storage unit. But because he can coach college football, it figured to be a short time before one school’s administration declared, “To hell with morals and scruples! This is college football!”

Western Kentucky stepped up to the soul-selling window. This came after even three schools in the SEC — the conference that invented soul-selling — passed on him. Western Kentucky went where Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky wouldn’t.

For some reason, WKU officials chose not use this photo.

For some reason, WKU officials chose not use this photo.

Somewhere in Bowling Green, WKU president Gary A. Ransdell and athletic director Todd Stewart are refining and rehearsing their, “Everybody deserves a second chance” soundbites in a mirror.

It is one thing for a professional sports team to compromise their principles for the sake of victories, ticket sales and increased revenue streams. But is there any semblance of a value system left in college athletics? Shouldn’t there be some weight given to the concept of molding and leading young man on a college campus, or did that go out with the last Knute Rockne speech?

Think of how Petrino’s last two coaching jobs with the Falcons and Arkansas ended. In grease fires. How can Western Kentucky or any university justify hiring somebody who has proven at every level to be so morally bankrupt?

Stewart must have been struggling for material, because he actually said at Monday’s news conference: “What it comes down to is he made a big mistake. But this is the the United States of America, and we’re a country of second chances.” (Uh, second?)

I’m thinking of “Otter” from the scene in Animal House when the Delta House fraternity has to appear before Faber College administrators: “We’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!”

Petrino, of course, hasn’t made one mistake. He has made several lifetimes’ worth. He is deeply flawed and, frankly, a bad person.

Forget cheating on his wife. That’s between him, his wife and his God. The fact he hired his mistress (a former Arkansas volleyball player) at Arkansas, gave her $20,000 and put her on the university payroll exposed a public university to potential sexual harassment lawsuits.

He was considered so “hot” (in a bad way) that no major program would hire him. So he took a job in the Sun Belt. Welcome to humility.

In committing his egregious violation of employment law (and common sense), he also lied to his superiors about circumstances surrounding the motorcycle accident that led to his firing, admitting to his “inappropriate relationship” with Jessica Dorrell only after she was referenced in the police report (two days later).

He quit on the Falcons in the middle of the season, as cowardly an act as a coach can commit. He didn’t tell players. He left a note in their locker. The day after telling owner Arthur Blank he was committed to the team — prompting Blank to give two national TV interviews on the topic and look foolish — Petrino was in Fayetteville at a midnight news conference doing Pig Sooey chants.

While at Louisville, Petrino secretly met with Auburn representatives in late 2003, even with the season still going and Auburn having a coach (Tommy Tuberville — who, by the way, gave Petrino a job in 2002. There’s your loyalty.). He also interviewed with LSU in 2004 just five days after signing a contract extension, and bolted for the Falcons five months after signing a new 10-year deal

Petrino said he has spent the last eight months trying to repair the damage he’s done to his marriage and family. He also said,  “One thing I’ve learned from this is I can be even more of an influence on a young man’s life than just on the football field.”

And that’s the problem.

By Jeff Schultz

355 comments Add your comment

Benjamin

December 10th, 2012
2:36 pm

First. Not that it matters in light of such news.

I had to Google WKU’s mascot, which, like your search, was probably a first and last for me as well.

Go Falcons

December 10th, 2012
2:37 pm

Petrino is such a hack and the ultimate liar. Worst of luck to him at WKU!

tooltime234

December 10th, 2012
2:40 pm

I had heard of them beacuse they beat a 5 seed a few years ago in the basketball tourney. Don’t remember who though. I do remember it being a heck of a game though.

Joey

December 10th, 2012
2:42 pm

Jeff you use that picture of Petrino whenever possible – such a great joke. Hey speaking of joke, way to lower yourself WKU. A solid, on the rise coach leaves and you hire Petrino in his place. I would keep the other resumes on file – he won’t be there long.

PlanoDawg

December 10th, 2012
2:44 pm

He’ll coach WKU to a winning record and be gone in a year.

Bobby Petrino

December 10th, 2012
2:45 pm

Haters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pastor Mackdaddy

December 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

good one Jeff…..we certainly don’t wish any ill feelings toward Bobby but we certainly don’t wish any good feelings toward him as well….Western Kentucky prepare yourself for a circus ride

Clemson Brad

December 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

This is coming from a big falcons fan when I say this….Who cares what this guy has done? Really…how has it affected your every day life? If I’m a WKU fan..I’m THRILLED to get him. This may be the best hire of the recent college football hires. The guy is a PROVEN winner in the college game. Is he a sleaze ball? absolutely…but shrug it off…worry about your every day life, and just enjoy watching the game on Saturday.

Kraw

December 10th, 2012
2:52 pm

why the hate on WKU and the Sunbelt? I believe that the SBC had a pretty good season against the almighty SEC this year……..

The Falconator

December 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

Without question, all the negative baggage will come home to roost and WKU will be coach shopping again within 24 months. The guy is a total human zero.

JB

December 10th, 2012
2:54 pm

Very short lived. Once a little more time and a football season goes by and he’s a model citizen again for a year, Some big school will fire their coach next year and ole Bobby will be on stand by for the big bucks and the limelight. Him spending a year at this school is like a pro golfer on the driving range practicing. Bobby will “suffer” through this rehab at $350K per year till the phone rings…..and it will in 11 months.

Bills fan

December 10th, 2012
2:56 pm

Apparently ones private life effecting pro life only matters to us average joes. Everyone, every institution apparently has its price.

william south

December 10th, 2012
2:57 pm

Is it any worse to do it than think about it?

Jay

December 10th, 2012
2:57 pm

Petrino is an unrepentant, despicable snake and a liar of the highest order, but we Falcons fans owe him a huge debt of gratitude. If not for his classless grasping, he could still be coaching the Falcons today. The very idea gives me the shivers! Thank you sincerely for being anywhere else but here, Bobby. Hope you get everything you deserve, and that’s quite a lot!

Homer the Brave

December 10th, 2012
2:59 pm

What firm does WKU use for their background checks on potential employees? Must be the same firm Clayon County uses for background checks on their employees.

BC

December 10th, 2012
3:00 pm

Typical of our society, words like intergrity, honesty, charater, dont mean anything anymore…look at our government leaders! Yes everyone deserves a second chance but he has had his chances over and over again. I dont care what WKU says, they can never in my mind justify this hire!

WDE

December 10th, 2012
3:01 pm

Every time I think of Petrino I thank God Mark Richt is our coach…really I do.

Coach D

December 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

“Go BObby, Go, Go, Bobby be good…”" (set to the tune of “Johnny Be Good”
- Might have to attend the WKU vs. GSU game just to jeer him on….

Dawg Fud

December 10th, 2012
3:04 pm

Well stated, Jeff.

Bobby Petrino is sketchy and his moral compass broken.

MrDan

December 10th, 2012
3:06 pm

Yes indeed that photo will always be a picture of what passes for moral integrity in this day and age.

Michael

December 10th, 2012
3:08 pm

So now the “one and done” concept is getting into college football coaches?

Clay

December 10th, 2012
3:08 pm

Now I know who to root against next season.

doggoneit

December 10th, 2012
3:09 pm

Dude, The man can Coach!!! Thats the bottom line. He will coach in the big time colleges again. WE ALL KNOW IT!!!

WKU alumni

December 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

oh..that sound??? that was my lunch..and breakfast…..going everywhere……this is sad……

Circle R

December 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

As a Louisville native AND a Falcons fan now living in Atlanta, Bobby has earned my ire more than once already. Good luck, WKU…you’re going to need it! This guy is a complete motorcycle…er, I mean train wreck!

ga gator

December 10th, 2012
3:12 pm

He has lead a sinful life up to this point, but haven’t we all. Just think if God shut us down after we screwed up. Am I glad he is not UF’s coach? Absolutely but we all get multiple chances daily, including Mark Richt. Shultz is a typical holier than thou member of the press, but hey thanks for the informative article Jeff.

WDE

December 10th, 2012
3:14 pm

ga gator you and God can forgive him if you please…I’m damn glad he is not my coach.

mch

December 10th, 2012
3:15 pm

“Welcome to humility” -lol

Joey

December 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

Come on JS, he didn’t kill anybody, or more importantly, any animals . . .

George

December 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

Dam People he did not kill anyone let the man coach years ago it would not have been a problem.

Vain Jangling

December 10th, 2012
3:17 pm

[cue banjo music] [roll title "The Coach and the Co-Ed"] [cut to scene of ferret-faced man with no soul and blond bimbo on skidding Harley] [insert squealing tires sound track] [cue banjo crescendo] [cut to scene of ferret-faced man with no soul in compromising position on top of blond bimbo in roadside ditch] [cue wacka wacka wacka wah-wah pedal porn music] [cut to stock scene of snake in the grass][pun intended][fade to black][cue Hilltoppers fight song] [roll credits]

Joey

December 10th, 2012
3:19 pm

The original Joey at 3:16.

New one at 2:42.

Double Standard

December 10th, 2012
3:20 pm

Let he who is without sin among us cast the first stone…….. 30 stones ( I mean comments so far )

ga gator

December 10th, 2012
3:20 pm

WDE he has not done anything to me so it is up to God and his family to forgive; if he sincerely asks for it; not you or I and I like I said, I am glad he is not the coach at UF.

Joey (original)

December 10th, 2012
3:22 pm

So what did Petrino do to warrent not being able to make a living? Lie and cheat on his wife.

Didn’t Tiger Woods do the same thing, and everybody’s glad he started playing golf again?

reprob8

December 10th, 2012
3:23 pm

I’m definitely not a Petrino fan or apologist. He’s not a “good guy”, but honestly there are MORE than a few of shady characters in and around sports…players, coaches, front office, agents, etc. Petrino’s human failings and character flaws became very apparent to the public with his stint with the Falcons. Do folks give the other “bad guys” a pass because they are better at hiding their flaws from the media/public?

Any team that hires him knows what they’re getting…a good football coach who’s a creep, at best. btw, don’t think that his personality worts were ignored by the Falcons and Arkansas. They rolled the dice and got what they deserved, as will WKU.

RBI

December 10th, 2012
3:23 pm

I DO wish ill feelings towards him. He should be on the unemployment line. No character.

The Fulmer Cup Trust

December 10th, 2012
3:23 pm

Petrino would win it in the Coach’s category but Richt still wins it for the Playa category.

Mr Smiley

December 10th, 2012
3:26 pm

@ Joey

Yeah but golf is an individual sport, Petrino’s screwing teams and cities.

AU Liberal in ATL

December 10th, 2012
3:27 pm

Why would a school hire that white trash for a year? They must be nuts…or desperate…or both.

Joey (original)

December 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

I suspect ACC teams and half of SEC teams ain’t gonna want to invite Western Kentucky for a homecoming contest in 2014.

JS, any national sportswriters ever sin, lose a job, and get rehired?

WDE

December 10th, 2012
3:30 pm

ga gator sorry I wasn’t bashing at you I just really despise the man…

gt45

December 10th, 2012
3:36 pm

What a slimey, wormy, deceitful little man. This is exactly what is wrong with sports, and, on a larger scale, the world today.Morality, character, and commitment need to be removed from Webster’s. They are no longer real words.

Balls Of Steel

December 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

Wonder if his contract will have a clause that prevents him from giving motorcycle rides to female students? My greatest sympathy to WKU and his wife.

Joey (original)

December 10th, 2012
3:38 pm

Mr Smiley, Petrino “screwed our team and city? It was the best thing that ever happened to the Falcons!

Arkansas fired HIM, so he hardly “screwed” the Razorbacks.

And, I don’t think a PGA professional should be thought of any differently, or get blocked from making a living any more than a professional head coach, IF a football program desires his services, as long as they didn’t break laws.

Petrino broke no laws, just his Harley, and his face – which is hilarious, I’ll admit. Kinda like Tiger broke a Escalade and a fire hydrant.

Not Jeff Schultz

December 10th, 2012
3:40 pm

Schultz “holier than thou?” You must be kidding.

Gordon

December 10th, 2012
3:40 pm

This was written 3 months ago. Jeff just had to substitute in the school name. Next year at this time he will be hired by an SEC school (Missouri?).

MAC

December 10th, 2012
3:41 pm

Another example of the hypocrisy on NCAA college football players rules to the nth degree including their ability to change schools and the coaches who can do what they please

Bama in Augusta

December 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

people that preach integrity, honesty, etc. probably are among the most devious, back-stabbing little twits i’ve ever encountered. everyone screws up / everyone has bad thoughts (and more than one or two bad deeds) / no one is without a character defect or two. petrino screwed up – ok, REALLY screwed up. he lost his job and a large chunk of money and respect. all of those who are themselves without fault can certainly sit around and complain that his personal flaws far outweigh his professional ability, but for my sake i am glad that WKU shows ONCE AGAIN that in America there are no final acts. the guy and his family have endured enough – let him get back to trying to do the one thing we can all agree he is pretty good at doing: coaching. RTR!!!!

Really?

December 10th, 2012
3:50 pm

Hey Jeff, Ye without sin, cast the first stone. I hate your self-righteous tone. perhaps if we pull the covers back on the Shultz legacy, we might also find a few warts ? It just football.