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Jessica Dorrell’s role in Petrino’s future

Arkansas Petrino Crash Football AP

Based on what Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement last night, the coach appeared to be in a “previous inappropriate relationship” with Jessica Dorrell, a 25-year-old former employee of the Razorbacks Foundation and UA volleyball player.

The “inappropriate” part of their relationship, while a compelling story, is ultimately a private matter and likely not grounds for termination on its own. Granted, UA’s handbook does cite potential punishment for a consensual sexual relationship, and Petrino could be in violation of such rules, but we’re not at that point just yet.

Where Dorrell’s possible relationship with Petrino could affect his job security is her promotion to the current UA student-athlete development coordinator for football back on March 28. Petrino and Dorrell were involved in the motorcycle accident just four days later.

Dorrell replaced Dann Kabala, who took a job at Pitt as the football program’s player personnel director. According to Arkansas, Dorrell is making $55,735 in her current job, same as what Kabala did when he occupied the position.

The question becomes when did the relationship between Petrino and Dorrell allegedly become “inappropriate” — before or after Dorrell got her current job? In other words, what’s the exact date for “previous”? If the “inappropriate” part began after her hiring, the only thing that means is that I have severely underestimated Petrino’s effect on women.

Now, an administrator at the state Office of Personnel Management told Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News that “Arkansas has no law prohibiting a state employee from hiring a romantic partner or having a romantic relationship with a subordinate.”

So if Petrino and Dorrell had a romantic relationship prior to her new job in the football offices, no one would be going to jail. But what athletic director Jeff Long needs to consider as he goes through his review is whether the “previous inappropriate relationship” violated the terms of Petrino’s contract. The portion in question is “engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the University, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of Head Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the University or UAF’s athletics programs in any way.”

Hiring a possible mistress would certainly seem to fall in that category.

Lying about Dorrell’s presence in Sunday’s motorcycle accident should be enough, in theory, to get Petrino fired for pulling Arkansas in to the scandal by association. UA released a statement Monday saying no one else was with Petrino at the time of the accident. That wasn’t true, and for a brief time on Thursday, the possibility existed that Arkansas was lying/covering something up because their statement didn’t match up with a police report released that day.

In short, Petrino could be terminated for a variety of reasons, all of which are at the discretion of Long. Had Petrino simply told the truth to begin with — or, at least not waited until the day the police report came out — he would no doubt be at greater odds of keeping his job.

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36 Responses to “Jessica Dorrell’s role in Petrino’s future”
  1. gopokes0714 says: Apr 6, 2012 1:59 PM

    The only shot Petrino has at keeping his job is to face this head on. So far he hasn’t been able to do that. This next few weeks will test his true character.

  2. bobulated says: Apr 6, 2012 2:04 PM

    IMHO they will give him a slap on the wrist suspension and by the fall it will all be forgotten by everyone except for Mrs. Petrino’s divorce lawyer and Bobby’s wallet.

  3. bcstarks13 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:05 PM

    Karma happens!! Petrino is spineless and has got it comin!
    – a devoted Falcons fan

  4. dryzzt23 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:39 PM

    Slick Willy Clinton can cheat on his wife and get away with it but no one else can?

    The media portrayed what Clinton did as a “mistake” and then tried to make him appear ‘cooler” b/c of it.

    Corporate CEOs get trashed all the time for banging their secretaries, etc. and they get ripped to shreds by the “moral” media

    Leave Petrino alone, his wife will take good care of him, and his money

  5. tigersgeaux says: Apr 6, 2012 2:41 PM

    It is not his possible infidelity and bad example to the young men he is supposed to the mentoring, but rather his lies and coverup of the truth, sort of like when a crime is not committed but someone lies to the FBI about the non-crime, that lie is a felony and may result in prison time.

    In this case, the lie and coverup will likely result in the forced resignation of Petrino. UA really did not need this at this time, when they have a program which is poised to be in the top 10 and even higher again this year.

  6. barbeaux says: Apr 6, 2012 2:42 PM

    She couldn’t do better!

  7. barbeaux says: Apr 6, 2012 2:42 PM

    She couldn’t do better?*

  8. neauxgeaux44 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:43 PM

    Petrino is a low life…no moral compass…after getting stomped and humiliated by LSU this past year, he showed no class with a half-hearted hand shake with Lesticles…but, then again what do you expect after what he did to the Falclowns….a no-class hillbilly…right at home in Arkansas….

  9. dryzzt23 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:48 PM

    Willy Clinton has no moral compass yet you people elected him….TWICE

  10. dsimp724 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:50 PM

    She’s pretty hot
    Petrino 1
    Pitino 0

  11. fnc111 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:51 PM

    Mitt Romney 2012! And go IRISH

  12. guinsrule says: Apr 6, 2012 2:51 PM

    Did the girl get hurt in the wreck?

  13. Ben Kercheval says: Apr 6, 2012 2:56 PM

    “Did the girl get hurt in the wreck?”

    She did not.

  14. udub says: Apr 6, 2012 2:58 PM

    Dorrell is engaged to another Arkansas coach.

    This chick is crazy

  15. gatiger says: Apr 6, 2012 3:00 PM

    If its a matter of character, Petrino is hosed. He has proven his lack of character several times over, when at Auburn, when at Louisville, when at Atlanta, Arkansas is just the latest stop.

    Nick Saban (remember this is coming from the opposition) is as an intense coach as there is out there, but doesn’t seem to be a jerk.

    Petrino, however, seems to be a jerk.

    Arkansas will probably give him a raise and he in turn will give Ms Dorrell a raise or two.

  16. fnc111 says: Apr 6, 2012 3:16 PM

    I’m guessing Jessica has already given Bobby a couple raises if you know what I mean. Dang women are so slutty now a days lol.

  17. profootballwalk says: Apr 6, 2012 3:27 PM

    Volleyball players always seem to have the horse-face. When you’re tall enough to play volleyball, the face gets stretched out. Not bad for a middle-aged guy, but you’d walk right past her to get to the hotties in a bar.

  18. normtide says: Apr 6, 2012 3:32 PM

    Some people seem to think this is a Jim Rome radio show. The siggy thing is funny there, here it shows a herd mind set from the poster.

  19. stairwayto7 says: Apr 6, 2012 3:40 PM

    Stay claccy SEC fans!

  20. takingbovadasmoney says: Apr 6, 2012 4:00 PM

    work, Bobby, work!

  21. Deb says: Apr 6, 2012 5:04 PM

    @dryzzt23 …

    This is a football blog. Please stop ranting about politics. If we were to start listing all the elected officials, Republican and Democrat, who’ve had extramarital affairs, we’d crash the site. None of that is relevant to this story.

  22. Deb says: Apr 6, 2012 5:14 PM

    Alabama went through a mess like this with Coach Mike Dubose, and it’s such a sleazy thing to have attached to your football team. My sympathy to the Razorback fans.

    What’s mind-numbing to me is that Petrino hired this young woman into such a key position for the team. Kabala helped make the Arkansas recruiting program one of the best in college football. Yes, Dorrell had a BA degree and had been a volleyball player. But how did that qualify her to handle all the intricate NCAA recruiting issues? What a ridiculous gamble to take with the program. That alone should give the university cause to dismiss him. Can he show that she was the best available candidate for that job? I doubt it.

  23. says: Apr 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    If Bill Clinton is your moral compass you have bigger issues than Bobby Patrino. In both instances it’s not the actual infidelity that was the major issue. It was that they lied about it when directly questioned about it.

    I feel sorry for Patrino’s family, Josh Morgan and the rest of behind the scenes workers in the UA AD. This deal will only cause a bunch of work place awkwardness…at the very least

  24. fnc111 says: Apr 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    Deb I’m guessing Jessica was the best at giving head and that’s why she got the job.

  25. Deb says: Apr 6, 2012 7:17 PM …

    Well, in Clinton’s case, the courts later ruled that the government had no right to ask him about his private sex life in the first place. Rather than lying, he should have refused to answer. I’m not excusing the sleazy behavior–just drawing lines between what is and isn’t actionable.

    The problem here is that Petrino hired this woman into a $55,000+ job on the university’s dime. The issue isn’t that he’s trying to cover up a personal sexual liaison, but that he’s trying to cover up a job-related impropriety. I can’t recall all the details in Mike Dubose’s case, but although it had been a consensual relationship, it ended up being a sexual harassment situation that wound up costing the university a lot of money. CFT has another article saying something similar could happen with Petrino.

    It’s not about moral compasses (who uses political and public figures as their moral compasses??). It’s about legalities and workplace regulations. You may be a dog in your private life, but that’s between you, your spouse, and God. But if you break the law or rules by sexually coercing your partner or paying her out of the company till, then it’s everyone’s business.

  26. fnc111 says: Apr 6, 2012 7:56 PM

    Who cares about a moral compass we are all animals so let’s get laid

  27. imaduffer says: Apr 6, 2012 9:46 PM

    I’m confused, is this a new reality TV show or did I just dream thinking this was a new reality TV show?

  28. jthesmooth says: Apr 7, 2012 12:03 AM

    bcstarks13 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:05 PM

    Karma happens!! Petrino is spineless and has got it comin!
    – a devoted Falcons fan

    …At least you’re giving you’re non-biased opinion.

  29. floridacock says: Apr 7, 2012 6:58 AM

    Karma happens!! Petrino is spineless and has got it comin!

    Ditto, A Louisville fan

  30. waynefontes says: Apr 7, 2012 10:10 AM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Apr 6, 2012 3:40 PM
    Stay claccy SEC fans!

    It’s “classy”. Which isn’t a word I would use to describe a school that knowingly employs a pedophile and enablers who look the other way.

    You have no place to EVER talk about another football program. It is entertaining to see you try… and fail.

    Stay classy, Penn State fans!

  31. woodhogger says: Apr 7, 2012 2:12 PM

    I’d hire her!

  32. corvusrex96 says: Apr 8, 2012 9:21 AM

    Funny how all of this is on Petrino, it is also just as possible that a 25 year old woman manipulated a desperate old man into giving her a job.

    One of the best lines I ever heard about the Clinton controversy was from a co-worker (woman) . We were discussing it and she asked how old was Monica? I said 19 her response ?

    Clinton never had a chance.

  33. thegamecocker says: Apr 8, 2012 10:43 AM


    Once again your comments on spot on! It all comes down to legalities and exposure. If they keep Patrino and Dorrell, she will need to be relocated to another position within the University. In other words, she should begin searching for another job. If they fire her, the University becomes “exposed to legal action on her part.” If they fire Patrino, they will also fire Dorrell which is the safest thing to do to end this scandal and the negative publicity to UA. If he is fired, the irony is he will try and land a position in the NFL…..after what he did to the Falcons, I don’t see that happening. Maybe Patrino will end up being the “Fuller Brush Man”……

  34. Deb says: Apr 8, 2012 3:36 PM

    @thegamecocker …

    Thank you!!

    @corvusrex96 …

    Lewinski was a little older than 19. She was in her 20s. I’ll grant that some women are mighty determined pursuers, but I’m sure the old married goats can just say no if they try. We’ve all had to walk away from temptation once or twice :)

  35. kenosando says: Apr 10, 2012 11:06 AM

    If there was a connection between this relationship and her position in UA Athletics, that would undoubtedly be a reason for termination. Either before her hiring, or after. If it is just a matter of messing around, completely a private matter that became all too public. Suspension is just.

  36. corvusrex96 says: Apr 11, 2012 3:32 PM

    “We’ve all had to walk away from temptation once or twice”

    I agree and my point is that both sides have an EQUAL amount of responsibility to pass up temptation.

    She is a 25 year old woman and a college graduate. This is as much her doing as it is his.

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