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Acting Arkansas coach: ‘our main focus has been the football team’

Arkansas helmet

With college football’s focus squarely on the town of Fayetteville, one angle that has yet to be touched of the Bobby Petrino scandal is the state of the football team, which is now moving forward while their coach is on paid leave.

Leading that team is linebackers coach Taver Johnson, who has only been on the job a few months since leaving Ohio State back in January. Speaking to the media on Friday, Johnson said his first and pretty much only goal is to keep “business as usual.”

“Our main focus has been the football team, so nothing has changed in that regard,” Johnson said. “[I’m] overly excited and proud of football team. The leadership we have in the locker room is tremendous.”

Johnson said he hadn’t spoken to Petrino much over the past several hours, but plans to consult Petrino for details down the road. As it pertains to the controversy surrounding the Petrino, who implied a “previous inappropriate relationship” with UA football employee Jessica Dorrell, Johnson said he’s not focusing on it.

“Right now we don’t have any facts,” he explained. “You can’t place any blame… You have to let administration take control.”

When asked if he thought Petrino would be fired, Johnson replied “No, we haven’t discussed that at all. That’s something you really can’t delve into.”

(Hat tip: Robbie Neiswanger and Chris Bahn)

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7 Responses to “Acting Arkansas coach: ‘our main focus has been the football team’”
  1. deadeye says: Apr 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    Taver Johnson, your audition for permanent head coach of Arkansas starts today. Don’t screw it up, and for goodness sakes don’t screw any volleyball players!

  2. gopokes0714 says: Apr 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    Hopefully the program & players can put this behind them quickly.

    The responsibility of the situation lies squarely on the shoulders of Petrino. As outraged as the nation is, this should not be a reflection of the University of Arkansas, its players, or its students. Petrino put his family, colleagues, and players in a situation they didn’t deserve. Furthermore Petrino lied about the situation adding to the indecency of the scandal.

    I feel bad for the players and the fans. I hope this doesn’t derail their up and coming program. Arkansas has a lot of potential this year, it would be sad to see it wasted by an off-the-field indecent by their leader.

  3. gatiger says: Apr 6, 2012 5:46 PM

    Paid Leave? Isn’t that more like a vacation than a punishment!

  4. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 6, 2012 8:03 PM

    I agree with gopokes0714. The sooner this is handled the better. If they are going to let him go then do it. If they are not say so and get on with football. I would hate for my team to go down the tubes because of public opinion of one man and one woman. I would be more upset with the AD for dragging it out. I want to see Arkansas at their verry best when they play Alabama. No good winning if the other team can’t make it a game.

  5. tigersgeaux says: Apr 6, 2012 8:24 PM

    gopokes0714: Kudos and agreement! Thumbs up!

    My sympathies are with Petrino’s wife and 4 children, his players and staff, and with his companion’s fiance as well as the Arkansas Razorback fans, especially those who are not in denial. This is bad, made worse by Petrino. He can now make it easier by resigning. Otherwise this drip, drip, drip information gets stretched out affecting all the “innocents” in this situation much longer than necessary.

    I am glad we have the boot at present, but was looking forward to a great contest in our last game of the regular season again this upcoming season. I am planning on making a trip to AR for this upcoming game and I hope the team and staff are not negatively affected by this mess and are not at their best for the SEC schedule, especially AL and then us (LSU).

  6. shirleyrandr says: Apr 6, 2012 11:35 PM

    I am just wondering why all you Hog and Petrino haters are spouting off. You would think that he is the first person to have an affair. What’s more you would think it was any of your concern. Hopefully, the University won’t ruin one of the now elite pregrams in the country because the coach had a woman who isn’t his wife on the back of his motorcycle. Just maybe he didn’t say so because he didn’t want his wife to know. He probably could care less about what the rest of the country thinks about it. I’m sure if Les Miles (you LSU fan) had a lady on his motorcycle you would tell him to resign.

  7. mike693466 says: Apr 8, 2012 2:06 PM

    FACE IT HE WAS RUNNING AROUND ON HIS WIFE OR HE WOULDN’T HAVE TRIED TO HIDE IT. BUT THE FACT HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHARGES AGAINEST HIM WA WRONG. HE HAD AN ACCIDENT AND LEFT THE SECENE OF AN ACCIDENT THAT IS A CRIME. IF IT WAS ANYBODY ELSE THERE WOULD AT LEAST BEEN A TICKET FOR THAT. HIS GIRLFRIEND SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN ONE ALSO. SO PIGGY FANS GET OVER IT AND SMELL THE ROSES AND QUIT MAKING EXCUSSES FOR HIM. HE SHOWED WHAT TYPE OF PERSON HE IS WHEN HE WALKED OUT ON THE FALCONS AND DIDN’T HAVE THE GUTS TO DO IT IN FRONT OF THE TEAM. WHICH THEY WERE GLAD HE LEFT ANYWAY CAUSE THEY SAW FIRST HAND WHAT HE WAS ABOUT.

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