Bobby Petrino issued a statement late Thursday in which admitted he hid details from the public and university regarding his motorcycle crash. In his statement, Petrino said he tried to hide that Jessica Dorrell was riding on his motorcycle to protect his family “from a previous inappropriate relationship becoming public.”
“In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details,” his statement reads.
Petrino was placed on administrative leave while the school investigates the matter. Petrino has a clause in his contract that states the school can fire him if he did something that negatively affects the program. Here’s what they will have to decide.
Is keeping Petrino worth the embarrassment he’s caused? He lied to the school about what happened. Specifically, he tried to hide that Jessica Dorrell, with whom he was having an affair, was riding with him on the motorcycle. He also just hired Dorrell for a position on the football staff last week. Arkansas is a public state school and there likely are state laws about having a sexual relationship with a subordinate, even if it’s consensual.
The question is if Arkansas will choose to address any of this and exercise their termination clause. Petrino just led the school to back-to-back double-digit win seasons and a BCS bowl game. They became a mess under Huston Nutt and couldn’t wait to have a successful coach lead the school. They were so desperate to win they hired a man who walked out on his team midseason without so much as a phone call.
I think they’ll ultimately choose to keep Petrino while penalizing him in some way that makes it look like he’s been disciplined. That is not the proper way to address things, I just think the University of Arkansas cares more about having a winning football program than about having a lying, cheating, sleazy coach.
Here is the full text of his statement via Arkansas Sports 360:
“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publically come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publically acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.
I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”
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