One of the biggest offseason storylines took another twist on Thursday, when Bobby Petrino—the former Arkansas head coach who was fired for covering up an affair with a staff member—spoke publicly for the first time.
Petrino sat down with ESPN's Joe Schad to discuss the incident that led to his dismissal, the mistakes that he has made and where his life and career will go from here.
In the interview, which is airing on SportsCenter throughout the day, one thing was abundantly clear: Petrino wants a new job sooner rather than later (quotes via ArkansasSports360.com):
I really feel like I’ll be a better coach because this happened. I now know that I’m going to coach the person as much as the player and help the person when he has made mistakes and help him understand that he’s not going to be defined by the mistakes he’s made and how he reacts to it and overcomes it.
Schad confirmed as much on Twitter shortly after the first portion of the interview aired.
Bobby Petrino has recently consulted with Cal and Titans coaching staffs. Hope he can return to coaching in 2013.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 9, 2012
Good for Petrino, but it's going to take a lot more than just one ESPN interview to get him back into the good graces of the decision-makers in college football.
Petrino's track record speaks for itself.
He interviewed for the Auburn job while it was still filled, he lied to Arthur Blank and a national television audience on Monday Night Football one day before taking the Arkansas job and he acted bigger than the Arkansas program in the days following his motorcycle accident in the spring of 2012.
It's not just his image that he needs to rehabilitate; it's his entire resume.
Expect teams with coaches on the hot seat to be mentioned prominently as potential landing spots for Petrino—Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas Tech, to name a few.
Let's pump the brakes on that.
Every job Petrino has had since taking the Louisville job in 2003 has ended badly, so he has to convince his future employer that he: A) won't lie; and B) won't bring negative publicity to the program.
That's a lot to ask.
If it's at a school in the Sun Belt or WAC, I could perhaps entertain the notion of some AD taking a flier on Petrino next season. But not a school in one of the big five conferences—at least not for 2013.
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