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Petrino Won’t Appeal Firing At Arkansas

Upon his dismissal at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino released a statement suggesting their might be a time and a place to refute AD Jeff Long’s decision to show him the door.  Chancellor G. David Gearhart released a brief, bias-less statement saying that a clause in Petrino’s contract made it possible that the ex-coach could bring his case to him and that he might have to rule on whether or not Petrino deserved the boot Long gave him.

According to Joe Schad of ESPN, the coach won’t exercise his right to appeal:

“Petrino has accepted responsibility for his actions and resulting termination, the source said.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press obtained some of the text messages that had not been deleted from Petrino’s phone.  Those transcripts show a man who after his suspension was — quite naturally — worried sick that he might lose his $3.5 million-per-year job with the Razorbacks.  And according to one text message exchange with an assistant AD at the school, it appears that UA was looking for a way to keep him:

Assistant AD Chris Wyrick:  “Coach, I know I sometimes aggravate you, but PLEASE listen to me.  Does Jeff (Long) know EVERYTHING from your standpoint??”

Petrino:  “Yes I believe he does.  Is the mood to fire me or to keep me???”

Wyrick:  “I can’t honestly speak to (Long’s) pulse on that, but my gut is he wants it to work.  You have done the job and most feel like you are due a mulligan.”

If Petrino had simply carried on an inappropriate relationship, he might just have gotten that mulligan.  But Long’s investigation into the matter found that Petrino had hired Jessica Dorrell into his department over 158 other candidates in a faster then normal fashion.  He’d also given Dorrell a gift of $20,000. 

In other words, he’d opened the University of Arkansas up to a number of lawsuits from a number of people.

So much for the mulligan.  And with his decision not to appeal — even though his chances of winning some form of buyout were slim to begin with — so much for Petrino at Arkansas.

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Arkansas Chancellor Says There’s No Expansion Vote Scheduled Yet

Arkansas chancellor David Gearhart had no news to share on a SEC possible expansion vote when he spoke with Robbie Neiswanger of yesterday:

“(Texas A&M) notified their conference that they want out.  And they’ve made no bones about the fact they want to come to the SEC.  But I don’t think… well, I know… there hasn’t been an invitation.  I think that remains to be seen.  There’s not any meetings scheduled at this point.

Of course there could be a called meeting at some point.  But right now, I don’t have anything on my calendar so I think it’s just wait and see at this point.”

Gearhart also talked about Texas A&M being a “great university” and “one of the best public research universities in the country.”  But…

“I think we have to be careful that it doesn’t affect revenue and it could be a revenue enhancement and that would probably be good.  And of course it depends on the school.  We would want to have a prestigious school, an institution that would be of the same caliber and certainly A&M is.”

Gearhart also got into the question of 13 schools versus 14:

“It could be done with 13, but it would be so much easier to go to 14.  Who that would be hasn’t even been openly discussed.”

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