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Petrino Called Out For Talking Out Of Both Sides Of His Mouth

Bobby Petrino has had no problem discussing the situation at Ohio State this week.  His Razorbacks lost a heartbreaker to the Buckeyes in January’s Sugar Bowl after the NCAA ruled that Terrelle Pryor and four other OSU stars could play in the game before facing a five-game suspension in 2011.

But Petrino seems to be sending two different messages when it comes to whether or not the NCAA hosed his team by allowing OSU to use its full compliment of players.

Here’s what he said to reporters yesterday: “There’s no question that I don’t understand how they were eligible to play in the game.  I just don’t, and I never will.  … They (the NCAA) kind of changed the rules for that bowl game.”

But he also said this to reporters yesterday: “We wanted to play their best players.  When you have a year like we had and you’re able to win six games down the stretch and get to a BCS bowl game you want to play their best players.  That’s what you want to do.”

Adam Rittenberg of takes issue with Petrino’s flip-flop:

“Sorry, coach, you can’t have it both ways.  You can’t change lanes.

If you wanted to play Ohio State’s best, you got it.  And you lost.  Deal with it.”

The fact of the matter is, saying “We wanted to play their best” is coachspeak.  It makes for a good soundbite.  It’s what a coach is supposed to say.

But any coach would truly prefer to win his bowl game — regardless of who’s on the field for the opponent — and send his fans and donors home happy with a feel-good close to the season.

So we think Petrino is trying to say the right thing when he says UA wanted to face Ohio State’s best… but he’s telling us how he really feels when he accuses the NCAA of changing its rules midstream.


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