Arkansas Razorbacks: Athletic Director Jeff Long Fires Coach Bobby Petrino

Angelique Christina Contributor IIIApril 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06:  Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates the Cotton Bowl trophy after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

At 7:15 p.m. CST, University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long stood before the media at Bud Walton Arena and announced that coach Bobby Petrino would not be returning as the head football coach for the 2012-2013 season. Assistant Taver Johnson has been placed in charge as interim coach and is expected to remain as such through the remainder of spring practice. 

Petrino was placed on administrative leave pending review after a motorcycle accident involving 25-year-old university employee Jessica Dorrell. It was later revealed that there had been an inappropriate relationship between Petrino and Dorrell. 

Coach Petrino had recently signed a $3.53 million dollar contract with a clause stating that it would allow the university 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."

This had led to speculation as to whether or not he would be able to continue on as head coach after not being forthcoming with the university about Dorrell and the events surrounding the April 1 accident. 

Petrino was injured in a motorcycle accident approximately 20 miles outside of Fayetteville in Crosses, Ark., claiming he was blinded by the sun, losing control of the vehicle and hitting a woodpile. He and Dorrell were then taken to Fayetteville by a passing motorist, where Patrino was taken to Physician's Specialty Hospital by his security, Arkansas State Police Captain Lance King. Jessica Dorrell would be dropped off at her vehicle.

Petrino questioned King as to whether or not Dorrell would be included in the police report or not. Upon further investigation by the Arkansas State Police, it must be noted that Petrino did not attempt to have Dorrell taken off of the report in any manner. 

The University of Arkansas released a statement saying: 

Coach Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident on Sunday evening that involved no other individuals. He is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. Our family appreciates respect for our privacy during the recovery and we are grateful for the thoughts of Razorback fans at this time.

This statement, coupled with the hiring of Dorrell, the inappropriate relationship and numerous other untruths unfortunately outweighed Bobby Petrino's winning record with the Razorbacks and led to his ultimate demise. He led the Hogs to a 21-5 record in the last two seasons and led them to a Cotton Bowl win in 2011.