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Poll: what should Arkansas do with Petrino?

Jeff Long AP

By now, most you reading this are well-versed in Bobby Petrino‘s motorcycle escapades and extramarital dalliances that have placed his employer in a good ol’ fashioned pickle.

Placed on paid administrative leave five days ago — after flat-out covering up and/or lying to his bosses about the presence of a female UA football employee as a passenger on the wrecked bike — the Arkansas head coach has painted the university into a public relations corner, with terms such as “sexual harassment” and “civil lawsuits” being flung about as possibilities, remote or not.  The bottom line for athletic director Jeff Long, chancellor David Gearhart, the Board of Trustees and other university officials may come down to their collective interpretation of the language contained within Petrino’s contract worth a total of roughly $25 million.

Petrino’s contract with the University of Arkansas states the coach could be fired or punished for “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.”

Bringing a football program into national prominence, and coming off back-to-back seasons that produced 21 wins in the rough-and-tumble SEC West, tends to buy a coach a bit longer rope than a losing one, though.  It all would appear to come down to how much stench the university is willing to endure for the sake of remaining a winning football program.

Personally, if I were in the Arkansas administration’s shoes?  Petrino would be gone.  You can’t lie to your bosses and create an all-enveloping, very public maelstrom by way of a coverup and expect to keep your job.  At least, you shouldn’t.  Unless it violated school policy, the inappropriate relationship with a subordinate serves as nothing more than a titillating backdrop.  The other stuff, the deceit and the Nixon-esque steps after the fact, that should not be tolerated by anyone, regardless of if an individual resides well on the good side of the won/loss ledger.

Just as Jim Tressel deserved to be fired for lying to both the NCAA and his bosses at the university and covering up his indiscretions, Petrino has earned the same fate.

Of course, your mileage may vary, which is actually the point of this whole exercise.  What do you think?  What should the University of Arkansas do about its Petrino situation?  Vote below, and whine and/or sound-off below that in the comments section.


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50 Responses to “Poll: what should Arkansas do with Petrino?”
  1. woebegong says: Apr 10, 2012 11:00 AM

    It really all depends on how much bad publicity the university is willing to take over all of the flak that will hit the fan, over the whole incident. It all will once again reflect on the SEC as well, so it is up to the Arkansas administration to figure out if it is worth the problems it could cost to the conference and the school.

  2. canehouse says: Apr 10, 2012 11:00 AM

    This sort of act should be taken for what it is… an attempt at covering up a very embarrassing mishap. However his poor choice has to make you wonder what else is he doing or is capable of doing under a veil of secrecy.

  3. bamasleeper13 says: Apr 10, 2012 11:02 AM

    Arkansas knew his character when he skipped out of Atlanta in the middle of the night. Why the big surprise that he has continued to show his true character with this latest escapade? I doubt they will let him go…..

  4. kenosando says: Apr 10, 2012 11:02 AM

    Suspension for remainder of the off-season and first four games.

  5. neauxgeaux44 says: Apr 10, 2012 11:10 AM

    Sean Payton named LittlePiggies coach for 2012…

  6. prince5000 says: Apr 10, 2012 11:15 AM

    i’m from arkansas and most here want to keep him. most not from arkansas want him to be fired. i think it comes down to each individual team, program, city/state – if a coach is successful and winning then keep him. arkansas is in the spotlight now but i guarentee that nobody in alabama would be calling for saban to be fired if it was him. not trying to make anyone mad, just being honest.

  7. coolhorn says: Apr 10, 2012 11:29 AM

    Most legitimately-run college athletic programs, Petrino would have long since been canned, if indeed they’d ever hired him, based on his track record of being ethically-challenged his whole career. However, this is Arkansas, and the SEC we’re talking about here…I have serious doubts Petrino gets much more than a slap on the wrist, and a remedial motorcycle safety course.

  8. showerswithsandusky says: Apr 10, 2012 11:32 AM

    Petrino is unethical and has no credibility. Fire him. Fire the liar!

  9. nicksabansanahole says: Apr 10, 2012 11:37 AM

    I hate Petrino as much as the next guy but damn, everybody makes mistakes. He shouldn’t be fired and prince5000 is right, Alabama wouldn’t fire Saban and the fans would fight anybody that suggested otherwise. So what, he has a weakness for 25 year old hot blondes. Who doesn’t. Not saying its right but people need to quit being holier than thou.

  10. razexpress says: Apr 10, 2012 11:50 AM

    I am from Arkansas I live in Tempe AZ I about the only Razorback fan here. I think you could punish him but not fire him. He made a mistake and only human. And further more i do not think the female UA football employee should not even think about file a sexual harassment charge. She knew what she was doing. If every one in the country is pointing fingers at Arkansas Program i need to remind some not all persons that their are a lot of other football programs with not public concerns you hear about but want to ignore. A lot of the country would love to see a fired Arkansas coach. I do not think he will get fired if the do terminate is contract i believe and this my opinion that a lot more cover up of the football program will come.

  11. weswelkerspornstash says: Apr 10, 2012 11:52 AM

    I would secretly workout something with Gus Malzahn, then can that douche.

  12. dogsaxon says: Apr 10, 2012 11:54 AM

    Wins & $ versus the university doing the right thing…..? Fire the coach immediately; how can he coach/mentor 18-21 year olds? The parents of these athletes should demand he be fired as well. There is an out in his contract for this type of situation; he can either be fired or punished. Looks like AU knew what was going to happen when they crafted this document.

  13. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 11:57 AM

    This vote is bogus. Asking competing competitors for their votes. Ha!
    National media has been just waiting for this misstep. Bobby obliged.
    First and foremost, this is NOT an NCAA violation so other the AD Long and State of Arkansas who pays his salary cares about your opinions.
    Think suspension, then reinstatement.

  14. depack says: Apr 10, 2012 12:07 PM

    If this was a real university with a reputation worth protecting then you would fire him immediately, however, this IS Arkansas…….

  15. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:07 PM


  16. vegasrobert says: Apr 10, 2012 12:16 PM

    Umm… Its the SEC. he aint goin nowhere.

  17. dee6634 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:29 PM

    If Petrino really cared about the University of Arkansas, he’d resign. He’s put the school in a no win situation.

    This quote from another article perfectly sums up the situation.

    Rex Nelson, a former communications director in the governor’s office, blogged about the Petrino dilemma on Monday.
    “It turns out we have an out-of-stater we lured to Arkansas with big bucks who produced results but failed to build relationships, grew in arrogance, thrived on secrecy, always thought he was the smartest person in the room, treated some people with contempt and lied to cover up mistakes,” Nelson wrote. “What an icon he could have been. What a tragedy for all concerned.”

  18. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:49 PM

    Rex Nelson stirred up bogus White Water on Clinton. Him and Max Brantely are notorious their “Hater” views. Never knew either one of them to have a nice thing to say about ANYONE.
    Give someone who is respected then it might be consumable.

  19. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:30 PM

    I’ll wait for AD Longs full report and will support his trustworthy decision either way. Hope that all of Hog Nation will do the same.
    Lots of sad things in all this. Knile Davis who has had such physical adversity was featured in Sports Illustrated last week and should have been enjoyed. Go RB Knile Davis
    One last comment, how many of you whom may be ashamed of maybe something you have done ( now come on some of you perfect people) have had to make a major press conference about it less than 6 hours of getting out of a hospital in extreme pain and on pain meds make a good decision. Then, less than an hour later tell ASPolice there was a passenger. I’ve been on strong pain meds and know I shouldn’t be making speeches or decisions. Was this a good decision, absolutely NOT!
    Ok, let me have it perfect people.

  20. gamejunkie1018 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:57 PM

    I am not really an Arkansas fan but I am a graduate student here at the University of Arkansas and this reflects very poorly on my education that cost me a small fortune.

    All I know is that there is a potential “Quid Pro Quo” situation that would get 99% of us fired. I’d rather that, for once, the character and integrity of my academic institution be more highly valued than the football machine.

    Regardless, I’m sure the delay of word from Long is because he is undoubtedly taking it to his bosses and they’re probably even getting the governor involved on this (with a small army of lawyers to boot). They’re likely also evaluating potential coaching options since I ultimately don’t believe they’ll fire Petrino without a successor.

  21. fordmandalay says: Apr 10, 2012 2:03 PM

    – Lied to his employer
    – Lied to the AD
    – Lied to the police
    – Used his ‘pull’ with his police capt. friend to lie for him
    – Involved friends to lie for him to the police, public, family,
    employer. This all adds up to ‘conspiracy’
    – Involved the local police in a conspiracy
    – Involved the school by having them release a false press
    – Lied to his family, cheated on his wife
    – Got the school to hire his mistress over other, more
    qualified candidates for the job, involving the school in
    his affair
    – Had an affair with the fiancée of a co-worker

    Nope, I don’t claim to be perfect. But I’m not nearly THAT imperfect.

  22. cometkazie says: Apr 10, 2012 2:28 PM

    When will we hear what the powers that be in Fayetteville will do?

    I think the classy thing to do would be for Petrino to resign.

    But then . . . . .

  23. crazyfootballfun says: Apr 10, 2012 2:36 PM

    Depends on whether integrity matters if the coach is a proven winner. That is the real question. If Petrino’s teams were mediocre, doubt if we would even be having this discussion. What message does AD Long want to send to his football guys? Winning is the key and only thing or integrity is the most important thing. Which is it? Petrino did so much more than simply have an affair. Then when he supposedly was taking ownership of his actions the first thing out of his mouth was how much pain he was in and he was on pain meds. Wow, real responsibility. I believe in redemption as much as anyone, but hasn’t this guy shown what his character is for years????

  24. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 10, 2012 2:57 PM

    Fire him ASAP and look for a new coach that is just as good or better soon. Or make it known you are going to keep him. Poll the people of Arkansas. It only matters to them. My opinion as an Alabama and WV fan has no merit. What do the people from the university want? However, if you fire him you must fire her.
    How are women getting equal rights if they are favored in these instances. It was in his contract so why would she be able to say he blackmailed her. All she had to do was report him. Looks like it was mutual.

  25. imaduffer says: Apr 10, 2012 2:58 PM

    With the way things are going in college football this off season, athletes beating up other people, athletes getting busted for pot, there is only one thing to do. Put Petrino up on a pedestal and worship him as a “Idol.” He is the ultimate poster boy for college sports.

  26. swschrad says: Apr 10, 2012 3:15 PM

    what would they do with an associate professor of modern art caught in the same lie? fire them. same thing with Petrino. nobody died and made coaches God in the last week.

  27. stairwayto7 says: Apr 10, 2012 3:25 PM

    Joe Paterno got fired and so should Petrino! Give Arkansas the DEATH PENALTY! Pig sooie that!

  28. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 3:34 PM

    College sports if we like it or not is a business.
    Since Bobby Petrino came we had a 59% percent increase in donations over 2 years. No other college has ever had that kind of increase. We are ranked 8th in the nation in donations (to those who say its only Arkansas). Your kidding yourself if you think otherwise.
    On the other hand, we are not a large population state and people consider us somewhat rural. Like Paul Finnebram just said on radio
    We are 10 wins with Petrino and no name bowl without.
    Their are no good names out there even if we dilute ourselves.
    Penn States, Texas, Ohio State, USC and on can retain another top tier coach easily. Tennessee found that out.
    Should not be the only contributing factor but it IS a factor and it has to be. Otherwise, there would be jobs lost in all areas.

  29. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 3:39 PM

    All I want is Hog fans united. Whatever, AD Long comes up with
    Should be respected (since he is respected) from whichever side of the fence your on. Also, be aware a lot of people from Arkansas are with holding judgement until all facts are substantiated with Long.

  30. jrspike says: Apr 10, 2012 3:42 PM

    if every Coahuila got fired for having a little on the side, we wouldn’t have many coaches.

  31. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 3:52 PM

    Fordmadalay: If your going to voice and list his disgressions please educate yourself first. Read all the police reports.

  32. coolhorn says: Apr 10, 2012 4:12 PM

    The continued silence from the Arkansas athletic director’s office tells you all you need to know about what the university will do with Petrino. Ten wins a year, a good effort against ‘Bama and LSU, and a moderately good bowl matter a lot more than what’s left of that school’s reputation. Don’t hold your breath waiting on Petrino to put his house on the market. His athletic director is busy proving that Petrino IS bigger than the university.

  33. savoirlaire says: Apr 10, 2012 4:34 PM

    How much more of a POS could a human being be than Petrino? This is a guy that walked out on Louisville, abandoned Atlanta in the middle of a season (with a pussy note on the blackboard), and now this. I don’t care if the guy is the second coming of Vince Lombardi (which he definitely is not), someone at some point has to say enough and call bullsh-t on this loser. Fire his ass…and hopefully now no one will touch his lying hide.

    Oh, and razexpress:
    “A lot of the country would love to see a fired Arkansas coach.”

    Really? What country is that? Hate to burst your bacon bubble, but most of this country doesn’t give a sh-t about your crappy state…

  34. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 4:40 PM

    Fire him.

    Look, I don’t care what people do in their private lives. That’s between them and God. But he failed his duty to the team when he hired Dorrell to head recruiting. Arkansas had the top five recruiting program in the country with Dann Kabala–who moved on to the Pitt Panthers–in that position. How is a former volleyball player with a degree in Business Administration and no football experience qualified to run that operation? And what is more critical to the success of a college football program than recruiting?

    Arkansas was ranked sixth in the nation last season, but only third in its conference–only third in its division. That’s some mighty stiff competition, not only on the field but in the off season. You don’t put your mistress in charge of the recruiting program. And what’s the one department most likely to result in NCAA sanctions if anything falls through the cracks? Recruiting.

    His personal life is his own business. But he endangered the team’s success with this nonsense. If that were my team, I’d run him out of town on a rail.

  35. crazyfootballfun says: Apr 10, 2012 4:56 PM

    Oh deb, how can you be so hard on poor poor Bobby. He is such a good coach, and being a good man seems to be irrelevant to AD Long. It certainly seems it is to Arkansas fans. Winning…geez, Deb, don’t you get it…integrity is only for bad coaches, not good ones. The school doesn’t care about the message it sends to their young men on the football team. AD Long’s silence speaks volumes. This is not about a mere affair…it is everything else that followed, the hiring of an unqualified person because of your sexual relationship. what about all those qualified folks who didn’t get the job. Petrino opened up the school to all kinds of legal issues, not to mention moral ones, but heh, he wins so let’s excuse it. Pathetic.

  36. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:21 PM

    Once again. It’s a business. Pure and simple. It’s not that your opinion that matters. Glad you don’t go to my church. 😦. No NCAA violations. Gives to Children’s hospital in Little Rock. Yup, he’s the villain you all make it out to be. He is Broyles Complex right now so should be announced soon. Not that you really care to watch. Just espouse your hate.

  37. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:26 PM

    Bamasleeper: Your Alabama builds a pagan statue to Your idol Saban.
    The only difference is your State Police would have covered everything up and we’d never know.

  38. cleekk says: Apr 10, 2012 6:01 PM

    Of course the knee-jerk reaction for all not involved is to fire the guy. It was the same with Paterno and it will be the same for every other transgression major or minor that any coach commits in blogworld. Frankly, if they were looking to get rid of the guy, this would be as good an excuse as any. Regardless of all the verbage in his contract, I’m pretty sure they hired the guy knowing his past because they thought he could put a winning team on the field. None of that has changed, and as far as that goes, his personal life and his lies were simply to keep his family from finding out he was cheating on them. Pretty major transgressions with God and family, but I doubt it would really affect the University of Arkansas in a negative manner. As far as parents are concerned, it is doubtful that their kids look to their coach for their moral compass, doubtful that off the football field the kids have much contact with the coach – they’re more interested in whether or not the coach can prepare their kid for the next level. So, other than the embarrassment of a falsified press release, I’m doubtful that this episode would harm the University in any way, whereas firing the coach could leave them with a vacuum they may or may not overcome. As the poster above stated, I’d be more worried about the long term effects of turning the recruiting program over to someone with no experience – well, no experience related to recruiting football players – we can speculate on her experience……..

  39. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 7:10 PM

    @hogette71 …

    Honey, you are an idiot. Nick Saban can sleep with a busload of concubines, but if you think we’d forgive him hiring one of them to run the recruiting program for the football team, you don’t know diddley about Alabama fans. And if you think Nick Saban would hire one of his concubines to run the recruiting program, you don’t know diddley about Nick. He’s no saint, but he’s not going to jeopardize the success of his football team to make some silly gal happy. That’s not his M.O.

    And Alabama opened its Walk of Champions, with the statues of championship-winning coaches, before Saban was hired. His statue was added to the other four coaches after he won the title in ’09. What, you mean Arkansas doesn’t have a statue of all its championship-winning coaches? How many have there been? Let me think …

    Still thinking …

    This may take a while …

  40. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 7:12 PM

    @hogette71 …

    On second thought … keep him. If it doesn’t bother you guys that he hired a volleyball player with no football experience to head your recruiting program, heck, why should it bother me? Y’all have a good season now 😉

  41. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:16 PM

    Never called you an idiot or names.
    Alabama fans wanted to beat us so badly this year in Fayetteville.
    Now, since you were “all” Athelic Directors
    And would fire him find us a coach. A 10-2 or better coach!!!
    Not an Asst Coach an elite coach! Press Conference at 7:15
    He is fired!! Hurry up! Spring Practice is almost over!!!
    Remember elite coach!

  42. muir6 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:18 PM

    He s done

  43. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:22 PM

    Hey Deb and the rest of you athletic directors and media. Whatya got??????? Great team this year but next and the one after. What’s got?

  44. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:25 PM

    John Taylor….what ya got? Elite coach now.

  45. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:28 PM

    What goes around comes around. Elite coach. No one with NCAA problems either. Elite coach.
    Arkansas no NCAA sanctions.

  46. boilerup1869 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:29 PM

    looks like he done been fired

  47. commandercornpone says: Apr 10, 2012 7:31 PM

    yes, gone

    2015ct presser

  48. hoggette71 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:40 PM

    Remember Alabama no NCAA coach with sanctions!!!
    What all you Athelic directors got????? This was starting Petrinos 5th year. 10-3 and 10-2. Last two of them. Paul Finnebaum said Bobby was the second best coach in SEC this morning.

  49. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 10, 2012 9:34 PM

    Exactly what they did…fire him. He put UA into public ridicule by his lying and coverup. He lied to his boss, AD Long, and it was AD Long who fired him. Appropriate.

  50. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 9:34 PM

    @hogette71 …

    I apologize … no, seriously. Should have said your statement about Saban was idiotic rather than calling you an idiot. That was uncalled for and a big fault of mine. Like many of us, I’m pretty invested in my college and pro teams, so when you slam them, I take it as a personal insult … especially if you call me a pagan idol worshiper.

    As I said, your statements were idiotic because our statues aren’t about Nick, they’re about our championships and were there before he came along. And while the cops and everyone else around probably would hush up any embarrassing affairs he might have, people would not be happy if he gave his mistress a key role on the staff. But I honestly can’t see Saban doing that. The guy is obsessed with winning, and that’s not how you win.

    Hey, I have no problems with Arkansas and want the SEC West to stay strong. No, you don’t have any sanctions under Petrino. But how long do you think that would last with him putting Dorrell in that position? You really think she’s going to be capable of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s? That’s the whole point–he put your program at risk. If you think his coaching ability outweighs that big an error in judgment, fine. It’s just a big red flag to me.

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