Bobby Petrino: On leave, in trouble and maybe out of a job

Uneasy rider: Bobby Petrino speaks after the crash but before the confession. (AP photo)

Uneasy rider: Bobby Petrino speaks after the crash but before the confession. (AP photo)

Bobby Petrino has been placed on administrative leave. Ordinarily this is a prelude to getting fired, but Bobby Petrino coaches football in the SEC. And we’re about to see if Arkansas places a higher premium on winning football games — which Petrino has — than on cornball stuff like family values.

Speaking of which: Bobby Petrino first said he’d spent Sunday with his family at a lake before hopping on his motorcycle. If he had, he wouldn’t be on administrative leave.

Turns out Petrino hadn’t been riding alone. Turns out, via the police report, that Petrino had been accompanied by a 25-year-old woman whom he’d just hired as the football team’s “student-athlete development coordinator.” (Memo to would-be cover-uppers: Police reports are pesky things.) Turns out Petrino lied in his first public statements, same as he’d lied to Arthur Blank when he told the Falcons’ owner, “You’ve got yourself a coach” — 27 hours before surfacing in Fayetteville, Ark.

Petrino has since acknowledged an “inappropriate relationship.” Though he, oddly, described it as “previous.” Does that mean it has ended? That true romance took a hike the instant he lost control of the bike? Ah, the vagaries of the human heart.

Of greater concern to athletic director Jeff Long is surely this: Did the coach hire the 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell — a press release was issued just last week — only because of her expertise in “student-athlete development”? (She’d previously been an Arkansas volleyball player and a fundraiser for the Razorback Foundation.) In announcing her appointment, Petrino is quoted as saying: “[Dorrell] is familiar with what the University of Arkansas can offer.”

(In other news, Dorrell reportedly is engaged to the director of operations for the Arkansas swimming and diving team. The wedding date is set for June 9.)

Long moved to put Petrino on leave Thursday night, only hours after the police report was made public and the coach finally came clean to his boss. But there is, in athletic departments housing a major football program, a sort of reverse pecking order: The AD is technically in charge, but the football coach is the bigger deal.

Of all people, Long shouldn’t have been blindsided by such duplicity. He handled the search that resulted in Petrino standing in Fayetteville calling the Hogs on a Tuesday night after coaching the Falcons on a Monday. Rumors of Petrino’s departure had been swirling before the game, prompting Blank to confront Petrino, who offered his handshake assurance he’d be staying. This prompted Blank to tell newsmen he looked forward to the Falcons moving boldly forward under “CEO Bobby Petrino.”

The next day: See ya later, CEO.

The same Petrino infamously interviewed for an Auburn job that wasn’t open in November 2003. He denied any contact with Auburn officials until reporters from the Courier-Journal offered documentation of a private plane registered to the Montgomery bank controlled by the toxic Tigers booster Bobby Lowder landing in Sellersburg, Ind., which sits across the Ohio River from Louisville, where Petrino was then coaching. The backlash was such that Auburn’s president and AD wound up resigning.

But Petrino? He kept coaching the Cardinals, leading them to an 11-1 season in 2004 and an Orange Bowl victory in 2006. He’d signed a 10-year contract to remain at Louisville despite many more flirtations with other schools/teams. Then, in January 2007, he left to coach the Falcons. That lasted 13 games, 10 of them losses. (The Falcons were without Michael Vick.) Then he split for the Ozarks.

In sum: Petrino has long been a selfish jerk, but people keep hiring him because he wins. When it comes to coaches, administrators tend to develop cognitive dissonance: “He’s a jerk, but he’s a winning jerk.”

Long has pledged to conduct a review, but let’s note again: This AD hired Petrino, baggage and all, and has seen him win 21 games over the past two seasons. We’re about to see if Petrino, his belatedly admitted indiscretion aside, can deploy his won-lost record as the ultimate defense. We’re about to see if a bad guy gets to keep his job just because he’s a good coach.

By Mark Bradley

412 comments Add your comment

Ben

April 6th, 2012
10:48 am

KARMA is a you know what! What a dirtbag.

Ben

April 6th, 2012
10:49 am

and my very first FIRST!

Sonny Jackson

April 6th, 2012
10:50 am

Any red panties found at the scene?

big wheel bobby

April 6th, 2012
10:51 am

j

April 6th, 2012
10:51 am

not wearing a helmet….IDIOT

walt

April 6th, 2012
10:53 am

What a great guy. Wouldn’t you want your son to play for him?

zgoldatl

April 6th, 2012
10:54 am

I am usually sympathetic to public figures that have their personal life play out in public. Not this time. I dislike this man as much as anybody in sports. Prayers go out to his wife and kids

Mark Bradley

April 6th, 2012
10:54 am

Snake doc

April 6th, 2012
10:54 am

Couldn’t happen to a lesser guy! LMFAO!!!!!!!!!

John Boy

April 6th, 2012
10:55 am

Leroy1970

April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

Goodbye Bobby Pigtrino! It’s been nice knowing you!

Ted

April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

The woman was no angel either. She is/was engaged and 65 days from being married.
Her fiance is also crushed and embarrased today also.

the buck ends somewhere

April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

Couldn’t have happen to a better person…..

IT IS WHAT IT IS

April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

why did he wreck, i bet it was a holding penalty by Jessica!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Guarantee!!! pig soiiuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahah!!!!!! what a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bobby P. was just getting some pig souuuueeeeiiii!!

Dr. Warren

April 6th, 2012
10:56 am

You hit it on the head. If it wasn’t clear enough before, this is a bad guy, and happily, bad guys who are as cocky and cold as Petrino, often get what they deserve.

DawginLex

April 6th, 2012
10:57 am

Does this get Fulmer Cup points?

Robert

April 6th, 2012
10:57 am

If you cross MIke Price with Damon Evans, what do you get? A soon-to-be out of work, arrogant, jerk football coach.

Falcons Fan

April 6th, 2012
10:58 am

Do to others as you would have them do to you! Karma is so strong! Hope he gets the AX… He already set the falcons back a couple years, Now maybe he will face the same FATE! DIRTBAG

Buzz 2011

April 6th, 2012
10:58 am

Red panties on the scene would indeed be a factor in determing guilt in this situation.

Tim

April 6th, 2012
10:58 am

Are we sure he really had a motorcycle accident now? Maybe his wife found out about his “hog rides”, like Tiger’s wife did, and beat him up. Would be justice served.

jack brunson

April 6th, 2012
10:59 am

Will you guys grow up and quit writing “first” on all these post! Its been done, try something different and a little more mature..

ERIC

April 6th, 2012
10:59 am

I love this story. I have carried around a deep hatred for him ever since he ducked out of here like the gutless coward he is. The picture of him in a ridiculous looking neck collar with his face scraped up is so serendipitous. This is the best news story since that awful season. I hope it ends with him fired and divorced. His actions warrant it.

tussin

April 6th, 2012
11:01 am

this makes me smile

DILLIGAF

April 6th, 2012
11:01 am

What goes around comes around……………

This guy has always been a scumbag and will continue to be a scumbag. How do you like your pig now “Pig Nation”? LMAO

GATA!
UGA/85′

WHY ALWAYS ME?

April 6th, 2012
11:01 am

Arkansas got what they paid for. They shouldn’t exactly be shocked something like this has happened. That’s why, after a couple of weeks, the AD will let it slide with some sort of “probation” for Petrino.

polecat

April 6th, 2012
11:03 am

reverse crotch grabs will get you every time

Dr. Warren

April 6th, 2012
11:03 am

Luckily, bad guys, especially ones as cocky and cold as Petrino, often get what they deserve. But probably he’ll “discover” religion and start over at some small school before he moves back into a major conference. It’s a business that obviously doesn’t place a high value on morals or goodness.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

April 6th, 2012
11:03 am

Enter your comments here

Bogart Man

April 6th, 2012
11:03 am

You forgot to mention that Dorrell is engaged to marry a poor fellow in June. In fact, Petrino and Dorrell should be an excellent couple b/c they both know how to lie/cheat.

Hummon

April 6th, 2012
11:04 am

Ah, schadenfreude.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

April 6th, 2012
11:04 am

Well, give Bobby Pig-Sooey this much credit….he had better taste in “other” women than Damon “Panty Raid” Evans and Tiger’s Wood.

Yup.

ATL Dawg

April 6th, 2012
11:04 am

He is indeed a PIG

DeepDiver

April 6th, 2012
11:06 am

Bobby P in the house ya’ll!

Beach Dawg

April 6th, 2012
11:06 am

Probably keeps job because no red panties surfaced !!

Destin Dawg

April 6th, 2012
11:06 am

not too smart !!

Skeezix

April 6th, 2012
11:07 am

Unreal. I hope Arkansas does the right thing and shows him the door. We need people of character leading our young people-that should be the first priority. What Arkansas does here will tell us a lot about Arkansas.

Dr. Warren

April 6th, 2012
11:08 am

Can’t feel sorry for Arkansas either. What they did to the Falcons was unethical. Considering that, maybe they won’t have the good sense to let him go.

Booger

April 6th, 2012
11:09 am

‘Honey, my motorcycle has a stick shift. Reach up here and gr…..

BigDawg

April 6th, 2012
11:10 am

Booby Petrino takes a fall, rofl!

GTBob

April 6th, 2012
11:10 am

We are about to see how important winning in the SEC really is. Petrino isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t matter how bad he makes the University look.

Dawg Haus

April 6th, 2012
11:10 am

Karma, you’re awesome!

Samuel L. Jackson

April 6th, 2012
11:11 am

Morally and socially Petrino’s actions are inappropriate, but I don’t see why or how this affects his capacity to coach a football team. He is definitely a tool bag and I am not condoning his actions, however he did not get a DUI and was in no violation of any law when the accident took place. In all likelihood he is more worried about being on “administrative leave” with his wife than the AD. I would be shocked if Petrino isn’t the piggies HC for the 2012 season.

BigDawg

April 6th, 2012
11:11 am

I wonder if she was hired after they had something going. Given the short time frame between her hiring and his “fall” it seems very likely! Of course, Booby will say “Trust me.”

buster brave

April 6th, 2012
11:12 am

What They Said !!! ^^^^

karma chameleon has a yellow belly

April 6th, 2012
11:12 am

I dislike Bobby Petrino as much as anyone in ATL, and I hope they can him. What I can’t understand is why the hot 25 year old girl was out with an old dried up idiot who isn’t smart enough to even wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle……I always pull against him since his debacle in ATL, and this case is no different. Go away Bobby and good luck lying to your family like you’ve lied to all your employers in college football.

Rico

April 6th, 2012
11:13 am

What did the Tiger say to the Hog? Hold on to you arse, it’s going to be a bumpy ride”!

Larry

April 6th, 2012
11:15 am

And who will be the first idiot scumbag on here to say, like they said with Tiger Woods or Bill Clinton, that one’s personal life should be totally ignored and that the only thing that matters is their job perfromance?

Please, do not produce offspring, as we don’t want you or your offspring around our mothers, wives or daughters.

buster brave

April 6th, 2012
11:15 am

Karma is workin’ overtime,1st,the Saints debacle and now this!! Petrino,there is a coachin’ vacancy in New Orleans !!!! Your kinda’ town !!!!!

evil empire

April 6th, 2012
11:16 am

lex, i would not give arky points towards fulmer cup…uga is firmly in command in the sec/fulmer cup lead…soon to be renamed the richt cup, and with good reason…

evil empire

April 6th, 2012
11:18 am

don’t understand all the hate towards petrino…falcons are a bad organization, atlanta is a loser city…arkansas better job and nicer state…