Bobby Petrino, Arkansas Razorbacks coach, was fired Tuesday after the details surrounding his motorcycle wreck revealed a serious lack of integrity.
Athletic director Jeff Long announced the decision to fire Bobby Petrino at a news conference. "He made the decision, a conscious decision, to mislead the public on Tuesday, and in doing so negatively and adversely affected the reputation of the University of Arkansas and our football program," Long said. "In short, coach Petrino engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident."
51-year-old Bobby Petrino had recently hired 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell to be the school’s student-athlete development coordinator, failing to mention her unfair advantage over other candidates or the conflict of interest. Unbeknownst to everyone else, Petrino and Dorrell were engaged in an inappropriate relationship for a significant amount of time and at one point Petrino had given her $20,000 said Long.
"Coach Petrino abused his authority when over the past few weeks he made a staff decision and personal choices that benefited himself and jeopardized the integrity of the football program," said Long.
Sunday, April 1 Bobby Petrino and Dorrell went for a motorcycle ride and skidded off the road. At a news conference two days later, Petrino failed to mention the presence of Dorrell. A couple days later, Petrino was learned that the state police was going to release the accident report from the state trooper who usually provides security for him during the season. Bobby Petrino then informed Long of Dorrell’s presence at the accident and admitted to their previous relationship.
This broken trust, as well as questions about Bobby Petrino’s lack of integrity, led Long to the decision to let Petrino go. "Our expectations of character and integrity in our employees can be no less than what we expect of our students," said Long. No single individual is bigger than the team, the Razorback football program of the University of Arkansas."
Bobby Petrino has released an apology to everyone involved. "All I have been able to think about is the number of people I've let down by making selfish decisions," he said. "I chose to engage in an improper relationship. I also made several poor decisions following the end of that relationship and in the aftermath of the accident. I accept full responsibility for what has happened."