If one aspires to be an athletic director at a big-time university, the fall of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is the latest in a long line of cautionary tales that are really learning moments.
The days of "if we can keep this quiet, we'll be OK" are gone forever, and they ain't coming back. There are too many media outlets, too many people who know which dark corners to shine a light in and too much demand for dirt for anything to remain secret.
Hush money doesn't buy nearly what it once did, either. There's too much to be made spilling the beans.
The above also makes doing a thorough background check on one's next coach more important than ever. Failure to use the fine-tooth comb is going to cost a program big time. And shame on any AD if they allow themselves to be blinded by (fill in the blank) and they knowingly hire someone with a scandal that hasn't exploded.
Any AD worth his salt will have a file in his desk that he updates periodically. It has lists of up-and-coming young coaches, current head coaches who might be looking to upgrade and coaches heading for trouble. An AD wants this file in case his coach resigns—or if his coach pulls a Petrino. In either case, this file means the AD is never caught with his pants down; you should pardon the expression.
The final lesson is that the bottom line of winning at all costs has skyrocketed in recent years. For some reason, great college football coaches seem to have more baggage than a tour bus full of seniors headed to Branson, Mo.
If you aren't sure this is the job for you, there are safer occupations. Like being Rosie O'Donnell's personal trainer.