Throughout the 2012 season, the landing spot of former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino has been the elephant in the room as Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky slogged through subpar seasons.
We've already addressed the rumor of Petrino landing at Auburn as ridiculous, but what about Kentucky?
He knows the state from his time as the head coach at Louisville, knows the program from his time in the SEC and, according to Petrino's father, Bob Petrino Sr., would be interested in the now-vacant Kentucky job (via the Courier-Journal).
“I just know this, that he’s interested in Kentucky,” Petrino Sr. said. “He wants to stay in the SEC. That was his life’s goal was to go to the SEC.”
If Petrino is going to take a job in the SEC, Kentucky would be the right place.
He will be allowed more time to fix the offense, make the Kentucky program relevant again and get him back in the SEC after he was dismissed by Arkansas prior to the 2012 season.
But just because Petrino is interested in Kentucky doesn't mean that Kentucky is interested in him.
According to Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports, Petrino is not on the school's initial list of candidates.
Why would Kentucky—a team whose best seasons mean finishing above .500—avoid a head coach who won 29 games over his final three seasons in the SEC?
It's simple. Every stop in Petrino's coaching career has ended badly. His last dismissal included lying to athletic director Jeff Long and attempting to cover up his infidelity with a member of the athletic department whom he hired.
It isn't in the same discussion as NCAA violations, but it's just as bad, if not worse, from a moral standpoint.
Kentucky director of athletics Mitch Barnhart would be wise to steer clear of Petrino, because while it may be fun for a while, he will leave that program in much worse shape than he found it.
His dismissal from Arkansas was about as ugly as it gets, and it was the start of an entire season of tumult in Fayetteville. He left the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of a 3-10 season with a four-sentence memo left in the locker room.
Based on where it is now, even a "basketball school" like Kentucky can't afford to take that risk.