The more things change in the wacky world of college football, the more things stay the same.
In confirming the departure of Charlie Strong for Texas Jan. 5, athletic director Tom Jurich declined to rule out former Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino as a potential replacement for Strong. Yesterday, it was reported that Petrino, currently the head coach at Western Kentucky, was one of three finalists for the job.
Today? Yahoo! Sports‘ Pat Forde is reporting that Petrino’s rehiring by the UofL is “imminent.” Joe Schad of ESPN.com subsequently tweeted that “Petrino has been offered and is expected to become the next Louisville coach.”
From Forde’s report:
Jurich requested permission from WKU athletic director Todd Stewart to speak with Petrino on Sunday. A nine-hour interview that a source described as “very intense” took place Wednesday, after multiple background checks were conducted on the controversial coach.
The background checks would reveal, among other things, that Petrino quit on the Atlanta Falcons during the 2007 season to accept the head-coaching job at Arkansas. In April of 2012, the Razorbacks head coach was involved in a motorcycle accident that ultimately revealed an affair with a female football “staffer” who was given her job based solely on her personal relationship with Petrino.
How Jurich is going to spin what will certainly be a controversial hiring will be fascinating to watch. Why a man as smart as Jurich would be willing to make such a hire that will prompt this much spin is another matter entirely.