Bobby Petrino and Arkansas Not Responsible for the Firing of Renee Gork

Roger GowensCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Cowboys Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the controversy known as "Hat-gate" (yes, I know, the whole "gate" suffix attached to every little scandal or pseudo-scandal got old decades ago), Hog Sports Radio reporter Renee Gork was fired on Aug. 16 after wearing a Florida Gators hat to an Arkansas Razorback press conference two days prior.

To the national media and Bobby Petrino bashers everywhere, it's as simple as that.

Wrong! There is more to this story that the don't-get-it-right-get-it-first crowd piling on Petrino and Arkansas know.

The University of Arkansas has a "no cell phone or Tweeting" policy at their practices, which Gork apparently trampled all over, even going so far as to complain about her job at radio station KAKS in Tweets that have since been deleted.

Employees who make a habit of complaining that they'd rather be doing something else than their job, such as covering their beloved Florida Gators while actually being paid to cover another team, have no reason to complain when they actually lose their job.

In a press release dated Aug. 17, the U of A makes it clear that neither Bobby Petrino nor anyone else in the Arkansas athletic department had anything to do with the firing of Renee Gork.

Athletic department officials merely asked that the station keep Gork away from practice for a few days to allow for a cooling off period.

Bobby Petrino answered Gork's original question before calling Gork out for the hat in a measured tone. No "I'm a man, I'm 40!" rant. No Bobby Knight tirade. The man simply said he would not answer any more of her questions.

Reasonable enough, unless one is in a Georgia trailer decked out with Atlanta Falcons gear scattered amongst Juggs magazines and empty beer cans with AC/DC blaring over the eight-track stereo.

I suppose the Arkansas Athletics Department could offer to name a patch of grass in the middle of the practice field "Gorky Park" and embed a nice Florida Gators emblem in the center of the field in Gork's honor.

Maybe a statue of Renee Gork hugging Tim Tebow as the former Gators quarterback performs a circumcision would suffice.

All kidding aside—okay the Georgia part was serious—did it ever occur to any of the professionally outraged bloggers and media elites that the hat was simply the straw that broke the camel's back?

According to Gork's boss, Dan Storrs, this was only the latest in a series of events that led to Gork's dismissal from a small station with few listeners.

Did it ever occur to the bashers that a radio station billing itself as Hog Sports Radio might need to attract Hog fans instead of both Florida Gators in Northwest Arkansas? Those pesky ratings and all...

In short, the person responsible for Renee Gork's firing is: none other than Renee Gork.

For more information, read Arkansas Radio Host Supposedly Fired For Wearing Florida Hat.