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Petrino/Dorrell Costume Becomes The Halloween Hit Of The Year

Cruel or funny?

I’m guessing if you’re connected to the families of Bobby Petrino or Jessica Dorrell, you’re probably filing this year’s hottest Halloween costume under “cruel.”  And it probably is.  Two adults made a mistake that millions of other adults make, but because one of the mistake-makers was a football coach, their mistake is the joke of jokes for 2012.

While I feel bad for Petrino, Dorrell and their loved ones for having to relive their very public mess-up, I once attended a Halloween party shortly after the death of John Denver with a broken guitar, broken glasses, and a tattered cowboy hat.  So it’s hard for me to call folks out over gallows humor like that displayed by
















More after the page turn…

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Enough Already: More Docs Released In Petrino Scandal

Bobby Petrino had an affair.  He also lied to his boss and hired his mistress and tried to cover-up who was with him during a motorcycle crash… but the big news is he had an affair!  Oooooh.  Scandalous.

And that’s why there’s still a big dig going on for any document tied in any way to Petrino’s ouster from Arkansas.  Late yesterday, the University of Arkansas released 300 pages from the personnel file of its ex-coach following a Freedom of Information Act request.  A full 131 of the pages were added during the review that eventually led to the coach’s ouster earlier this month.

In the notes we basically learn three things:

* Jessica Dorrell was more forthcoming than Petrino.

* Petrino tried to deny everything right up until the end.

* AD Jeff Long was skeptical of Petrino from the beginning of the process and he didn’t find many of the coach’s answers to his questions to be believable.

Aside from that, most of the info that’s being talked about today regards the affair – when did it start, when did it end, did it ever really end, etc.  And that’s where I lose interest.  When Petrino first kissed Dorrell doesn’t matter nearly as much to this writer as does the fact that he hired the woman and gave her $20,000 in gifts. 

The AP’s version of the story actually includes this bit:

“At one point last October, Petrino and Dorrell were sitting in a car, eating lunch and talking and ‘she said are you going to kiss me,’ according to Long’s notes of his April 10 conversation with Petrino.”

Ah, important to know.

We said we’d cover the news of this story when it first broke.  For soap opera coverage, you can find plenty of other outlets.  Paul Finebaum, for example, has had a bevy of sex experts and urologists on to discuss ED and sexual addictions.  Ha-ha.  Several lives are ruined so let’s all laugh about it.  (Until of course we’re the ones caught with our flies open and then we have to beg for forgiveness and mercy and understanding.)

Eventually this story was going to bring out the gawker in all of us.  That’s happening now. 

We know why Petrino was fired.  We know why Dorrell is gone, too.  Sorry, but I don’t care to know how many dinners or evenings the two shared together before were exited from the UA campus.

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Petrino’s Gift Paid For Dorrell’s Vehicle

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Tuesday night that former coach Bobby Petrino had given a $20,000 gift to Jessica Dorrell.

Some “gift,” many thought. It turns out Dorrell used that $20,000 to purchase a black Acura.

That information was included in Long’s termination letter to Petrino, details of which were released on Friday. Long wrote to Petrino:

“Your conduct and actions in this matter have generated voluminous negative media stories and opinions, within Arkansas and nationally, that have harmed the reputation of the University of Arkansas and our athletic programs. We are now faced with the task of restoring the reputation of our institution and our athletics programs that many individuals and teams have worked hard to build over the years.”

Meanwhile, Arkansas must figure out how to handle Dorrell’s employment status while she remains on paid administrative leave. That’s all while Ms. Dorrell decides her next step and possible action toward the University of Arkansas.

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Arkansas Suspends Dorrell

The University of Arkansas has announced this morning that Jessica Dorrell — the UA employee with whom Bobby Petrino shared an “inappropriate relationship” — has been suspended and placed on paid administrative leave.

Facing a possible sexual harassment suit from Dorrell, you can be sure that UA attorneys have done their homework on this matter before okaying her suspension.  Petrino was suspended immediately after the story became public while Dorrell’s situation remained up in the air until today.

It will be interesting to see if UA has enough goods on Dorrell to sever ties with her permanently or if the school is forced into some sort of payoff to prevent her from filing a lawsuit against the school.  After all, she could claim that Petrino — being in a position of power and representing the University of Arkansas — “forced” her into having a relationship with him. 

Arkansas is swimming in some mighty murky waters on this one. 

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Report: Arkansas Has Fired Bobby Petrino

Arkansas has fired football coach Bobby Petrino, according to Chris Low and Joe Schad of ESPN.

The school has called a press conference for tonight at 8:15 eastern time, at which point athletic director Jeff Long is expected to announce Petrino will not return to Arkansas.

Long held an impromptu press conference late Thursday night after learning Petrino had failed to inform his boss that football program employee Jessica Dorrell had been a passenger during his April 1 motorcycle accident. Petrino later admitted to having a “previous inappropriate relationship” with a woman. The Associated Press reported Monday what had been widely assumed – that relationship was with Dorrell.

Long was unable to answer many questions in detail on Thursday night. Expect him to have a much greater explanation this time.

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Hogs’ Petrino Put On Leave Amidst Scandal; We Find It Sad, Not Funny

These are the kinds of stories that get great headlines.  They draw in big pageviews.  They’re scandalous.  They’re hot.

And they make this writer frickin’ sick.

Bobby Petrino has been placed on paid leave after University of Arkansas officials learned he failed to disclose that a female UA employee was riding with him when he wrecked his motorcycle over the weekend.

As so gleefully put it in the story linked to above, the employee was “half his age.”  Petrino is 51.  His passenger is 25.

The Hogs’ football coach apologized Thursday for keeping that part of the story a secret.  He claimed he was trying to protect his family and wanted to keep an “inappropriate relationship from becoming public.”

Arkansas AD Jeff Long said during a late-Thursday press conference that he was “at the beginning of the review” into Petrino’s actions and that he did not know “what I’m going to find.”  Long gave no timeline for Petrino’s return to the Razorback football program that he has so quickly rebuilt.

Via press release, Petrino said: 

“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.”

At the moment, assistant head coach Taver Johnson has been placed atop the Arkansas football program.  Johnson joined the Razorback staff from Ohio State in January.

The passenger on Petrino’s motorcycle was 25-year-old football program employee Jessica Dorrell.  Dorrell is a former UA volleyball player who was hired on March 28 — yes, just about a week ago — as the football program’s student-athlete development coordinator by Petrino himself.  That fact could prove to be the ultimate downfall of the coach.  As a state employee, hiring one’s mistress is most likely a no-no.

Long was reportedly unaware of Dorrell’s involvement in the accident until Petrino called him just minutes before a police report was released to the public on Thursday evening.  That report said Petrino was riding with Dorrell when he lost control of his motorcycle.

The coach suffered broken ribs and various other cuts and abrasions in the accident.  He returned to the practice field Tuesday wearing a neckbrace.  Part of the coach’s Thursday statement read:

“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 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.”

Initially the coach told the press that he was alone on his bike at the time of the accident.  Lying to the press will only add to Petrino’s misery.

Petrino is married and has four children and those two facts will help kick this story into absolute hyperdrive.  Everyone loves to jump on the sins of others and Arkansas’ head football coach is about to learn that lesson the hard way. 

A motorcycle crash?  That’s a top story for one episode of “SportsCenter.”  An “inappropriate relationship” with someone “half his age,” is day-in, day-out fodder for all the shows featuring talking heads (who’ve likely engaged in worse behavior themselves).  Hiring the person with whom you’re having said inappropriate relationship? “Ugh” is the only word that comes to mind.

Sadly, this writer isn’t a fan of the moral majority in this country.  I feel a bit queasy whenever the time comes to jump on someone else for a moral failing.  (Do a quick site search of our Damon Evans coverage and you’ll find that we tried to handle the dismissal of Georgia’s AD as a sad story rather than as a joke.) 

All that said, please, don’t take the above paragraph as a defense of Petrino’s actions.  He acted stupidly.  And he has his own family to answer to for those actions.  He also owes his boss, Long, and the University of Arkansas’ president an answer.  He represents the University of Arkansas.

But he sure as Hell doesn’t owe me, you or any other ESPN, CNN, FoxNews or Twitter-using smart ass an explanation.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a closet full of my own skeletons to worry about without trying to destroy someone else for his.

But the fact of the matter remains — Petrino’s contract with Arkansas features a clause that could allow UA to dismiss him for “engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the university, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of head football coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the (university’s) athletics programs in any way.”

Not good. 

In fact, the only thing working in the coach’s favor is his rapid-fire success in Fayetteville.  If Petrino were a .500 coach at this point, he’d already be on his way out the door.  Still, his on-field success to date might not be able to save him from the whole, “you hired your mistress” angle of the story.

Make no mistake, this is a home run of a topic.  And you can bet which trash sites will jump all over it with snarky comments and judgmental attitudes.  What could be funnier than a man ruining his life with a bad decision, after all?

Too bad you won’t get that type of coverage here.  Oh, we’ll cover this crap because it could lead to the firing of one of the SEC’s best football coaches.  We can not ignore that fact.

But we won’t rejoice in it, either.  And as a result we won’t get the pageviews cooked up by those sites that do pile on with five stories per day on this sad tale.

So be it. 

Billy Joel once sang he’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.  Well, I’d rather empathize with the sinners than laugh with the bloggers.

Here’s hoping Petrino can rebound from his failure.  Lord knows he’s not the first person to have one.

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