Bobby Petrino deserves to be slapped. There is no way around it, no matter how hard you try to find one.
The fact that Petrino had a local reporter fired for simply wearing a Florida Gators hat to a press conference is absurd. Should she have worn the hat? Clearly no, but even so it is no reason to have a person fired.
Renee Gork, the reporter in question, went to cover the University of Arkansas football press conference on Saturday (8/14/2010) and for one reason or another she wore a University of Florida hat that day. Renee claims she didn’t even think about it and simply picked up the hat to wear it because it was raining at the time.
Gork was one of the first reporters to ask coach Petrino a question and after a lengthy response the coach punctuated his comment with "And that will be the last question I answer with that hat on,"
During an interview today (8/17/2010) with the Dan Patrick Show, Renee said she sent a letter to the coach apologizing for the incident in an attempt at professionalism, but it turns out she is trying to reach out to a person who clearly has none. She even claims she felt the coach was joking about the hat and that if she knew it was that serious she would have just taken it off with no hesitation, it is her job after all.
Renee planned along with her now former boss, Dan Storrs the GM of KAKS Hog Sports Radio, to release a statement of apology and to take a few calls on the subject and move on from the really unimportant incident over the weekend. The situation reached its culmination prior to Monday mornings planned announcement when Gork let everyone know via her twitter that she would not be able to comment or apologize on air because she had been fired.
For his part, Dan Storrs claims she was not fired simply for the hat fiasco but also for other things such as sending out tweets during practice, something not allowed by the coach, as well as supposed tweets claiming how much she would rather cover the Florida Gators.
When confronted with this comment Renee laughed it off claiming her former boss was misinforming the audience. She claims the only tweets she ever sent from the UA campus were sent from a designated “ok to tweet” area outside of the facilities and she was actually instructed by her former boss, Mr. Storrs, to create a twitter account to be able to do exactly what she claims he told her to do. Storrs released a statement saying that they are Hog Sports Radio and they are “extremely biased”.
This incident is just another in the long line of things we have seen Bobby Petrino involved with since the summer of 2006. During that summer, Petrino signed a 10 year deal with the school worth $25.6 million and under his insistence the school placed a clause in the contract that the only way for Petrino to be released from the contract would be with a one million fee payment. Petrino requested this clause because he “wanted everyone to really believe."
So just six months after he claimed he wanted everyone to believe how serious he was about the job and the program he was building, he jumped to the NFL signing a five year deal to become the Atlanta Falcons newest head coach in January of 2007. His NFL deal was for five years and worth $24 million, an almost 200 percent raise per year from his ten year deal he quit just six months in.
Bobby proved everyone was right when they said he was unprofessional claiming his sudden move from UL to the NFL and he went double or nothing leaving the Falcons after just 13 weeks. I can understand you can change your mind, other options come up and so forth but at the very least don’t quit DURING the season. He was at least smart enough to wait until after the season to leave UL.
When he decided to leave Atlanta instead of speaking to the players and letting them know what was going on and so forth he simply posted a note in each players locker which read:
Atlanta Falcons players:
Out of my respect for you, I am letting you know that, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. This decision was not easy, but it was made in the best interests of me and my family. While my desire would have been to finish out what has been a difficult season for us all, circumstances did not allow me to do so. I appreciate your hard work and wish you the best.
So I would like to write Mr. Petrino a letter myself and here it goes:
Out of my respect for the English language I will not curse at you in writing. This decision was not easy and it was made in an attempt to seem professional. While my desire is to slap you in the face, circumstances do not allow me to do so and thus instead I will change my desire from slapping you in the face to kicking you in the face. I don’t appreciate your ridiculous methods which you used to have a female reporter fired from a non-UL affiliated radio station.
I also don’t appreciate the fact you didn’t realize she has two young children, two and four, and had recently moved to Arkansas to take this job. I wish she is able to get her job once more, especially in this horrible economy and the lack of available work, and I wish you act like a MAN and apologize for sending her and her two young kids into a financial limbo you and your $2.8 million yearly salary will steer you away from.
Bobby Patrino, you are a class A jackass.
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