Coach Petrino is exactly right. The press should stay out of this as they would any other young man who is arrested under the same circumstances. It should never become an issue for any one outside the family
On the eve of SEC Media Days, Bobby Petrino’s 23-year-old son, Dominic, has been arrested in Indiana. The younger Petrino was charged with driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, illegal possession of prescription drugs and possession of paraphernalia.
The coach issued a statement yesterday afternoon:
“Nick is our son, he is not a member of the Arkansas football team. As such, this is not a University of Arkansas issue. Instead, it is a family matter and a legal matter. My family will trust and respect the legal system and will not comment outside that process. Becky and I ask that you appreciate and respect the private nature of this issue and understand our lack of further comment.”
Two questions immediately come to mind:
1. Will this be a distraction for Petrino heading into football season?
How could it not be? That said, it’s doubtful that the distraction will be so bad that it impacts Petrino’s ability to prepare his team. It will likely be on his mind, but it likely won’t have an effect on the Razorbacks’ record.
2. Will the reporters at SEC Media Days bring this up or give Petrino a pass? (Petrino will be among the first people to speak tomorrow in Hoover.)
The timing simply could not have been much worse for Petrino. Not only will he face the press in Hoover, Alabama, but some of that “press” is now made up of web writers who a) have allegiances to teams and b) have no problem wearing those allegiances on their sleeves. In other words, Petrino not only has to worry that a reporter might ask about the situation — and someone probably will — but he also must be concerned that an LSU or Alabama fan taking part in the proceedings could keep asking about the situation.
Having been to SEC Media Days on multiple occasions, there’s usually a spirit of goodwill in those halls. With the exception of Clay Travis’ “virgin” question for Tim Tebow a couple of years back, it’s typically not a gotcha!-type setting. For that reason, we don’t think — think, mind you — that the story of Petrino’s son will be too hot a topic in Hoover.
(Before someone comments that we are parading as real journalists, notice that we made no such comment. This is a website. We bring you information and opinion. Though the people involved in this site have all worked in the mainstream media and most have been schooled in journalism ethics, we know that as a website some of you just aren’t going to trust us. And that’s fine. Those who read this site regularly will. Our regular readers know that we started this site with the goal of covering all 12 SEC schools with complete impartiality — which is probably why we’ve been called a lover/hater of every school in the league at this point. Those people who know us personally also know that we don’t pull for any one SEC school. And we sure wouldn’t show up at SEC Media Days in team-specific gear as some of the writers we mentioned above will. It would have been easy for us to ignore this topic and avoid any comment/email-generated controversy. But if Petrino is peppered with questions about his son, we believe it’s important you keep in mind that there will be some seasoned journalists in Hoover… as well as a few flat-out fans. It will be interesting to see who asks what of Arkansas’ coach. Here’s hoping he’s asked about his football team and not about his son.)