April 19, 2014

Bobby Petrino Fired As Razorbacks Head Coach

ESPN.com: Arkansas fires Bobby Petrino

Arkansas has fired Bobby Petrino, saying he “knowingly misled” the university and engaged in reckless behavior in a relationship with a female football employee half his age.

Also:

  • uvahog

    I think this is the wrong decision, but I’ll reserve judgement until we hear who the hire is going to be.

  • inkfarmer

    About time.

  • tomahog

    I believe Jeff Long is an honorable man, we should be happy to have a person like him as AD, He did what was best for UA and I believe he is committed to keeping our program superior to the past. All sports. He made the hard choice and he has my respect.

  • Roadhog

    My opinion of Jeff Long has risen a lot during this sad affair. I am firmly behind him now. A terribly difficult situation that he handled masterfully. Petrino had to go. Hogs football will be fine. Not to worry.

  • George

    Hey hogs, Tennessee vol here. Sorry for your loss, we get it. Your AD is a man. Best press conference I have seen in a long time. Go SEC

  • Carolina Hog

    Proud of Jeff Long. Go Hogs!

  • kabiachi

    Integrity is a “Top Shelf” commodity. Jeff Long has just purchase some. Moms and Dads will love it. Go Hogs!

  • Golf hog

    I’ve thought along that jeff long was in over his head. This proves it. Stupid move. Texas and florida will be in a bidding war.

    • John

      Actually, the revers is true. He has proven that he is up to the task to manage a large department.

      • uvahog

        Let’s see who the hire turns out to be. The question at the press conference of whether Long anticipated having a new head coach by the time the season starts and Long saying essentially, “I haven’t had time to think about that, yet,” is troubling. I think Long’s optimism about being able to attract a really good hire may be too rosy. We do have a bunch of talented guys and immediate success is quite possible, but the question is does someone want to step into this mess now. I also thought that Long was out to lunch when he didn’t understand the perception that Long’s success and Petrino’s have been tied together since Long came. Of course they have, and now Long’s future will depend on what happens next, because if things go to hell, he’s out.

        • HungryHog

          “but the question is does someone want to step into this mess now.”

          What mess?

          That “mess” is a 40 million dollar football facility – it’s called construction.

          The top 10 pre-season ranking mess?

          The shining light of integrity in a cesspool industry?

          I do agree with you that his “I haven’t had time to think about that, yet” remark was troubling, but the Arkansas Head coaching job is a lot more attractive than it has ever been. There should be plenty of money, there is an obvious commitment to the program, and an AD that anyone should dream to work for in Jeff.

          Not what I would call a mess.

          • uvahog

            A divided fanbase, half of whom will turn on the next head coach when he doesn’t win like Petrino and a quarter to half of whom might totally be against the next coach pending on who it is. Also, with the talent and the expectations for this season, does someone want to come in and risk going 7-5 or 8-4. And I think that you’re dreaming that we’re going to have a top 10 pre-season ranking after all this…mess.

          • HungryHog

            Eh, I see where you are coming from, but fans turning on coaches for not winning.. is called college football, not really a unique mess for us. I think that comes with any program.

            I think coming to Fayetteville is much more of an attractive program to a coach than it ever has been.

            I guess i just had issues with the “mess” word. Anytime there is a coaching change, it’s not going to be pretty. Fans have opinions for sure, but as far as jobs for a coach to step up or step into a bigtime program, the Razorback job looks like more of an “opportunity” than a “mess” – to me..

          • uvahog

            The question is do we want a coach looking for an opportunity or do we want an offensive genius who might be willing to come over from another solid institution.

            And to your point about fans turning on coaches, well yeah, but I’m saying we’re going to be much quicker on the trigger when it comes to the next guy; so he’ll have to want to come knowing that the fanbase might turn on him in a second.

          • Jim Dogg

            “…does someone want to come in and risk going 7-5 or 8-4.(?) Yes. Especially someone who sees the potential for a top ten team and/or national contender. No guts, no glory. May I offer a near example. Saban quit LSU and Miles walked into a loaded program. Won the National Championship. Another close by. Nutt quit UA went to Ole Miss and took them to two major bowl games … with Ed Ogeron’s players. Similar deal here. Coaches have big egos, goes with the territory. How many opportunities like LSU and Ole Miss are there. Particularly in the SEC.

        • Jim Dogg

          One must really get rid of that Arkansas inferiority complex. There are so many upsides to this job that Long’s phone is going to ring off the hook. When Nutt left the cupboard was bare, the fan base, alumini and staff were divided and in disarray. And it cost the University big bucks to set it straight. That was when the job was toxic. The SEC West has won 5 recent National championships. To coach in the SEC, especially the West, is the pinnacle of achievement in coaching. A ready made team with all SEC players. Expanded stadium, great facilities, loyal fans, alumin and state citizens,… I could go on but suffice to say that this is one of the best opportunities for any collegiate coach, except for those already in the SEC. Quit poor mouthing the Hog’s program. Long just has to get it right and not panic.

          • uvahog

            If one has an Arkansas inferiority complex, one ought not replace it with delusions of grandeur. Maybe I’m crazy, and maybe I have that lingering inferiority complex…well I’ll just go ahead and admit to it. We ain’t Alabama and we will likely (I’ll qualify) never be an Alabama or LSU or Florida. I agree that the job at Arkansas would be a great opportunity for a coach, but that doesn’t mean that coach will come here and have success and that doesn’t mean that one at this moment in time will want to come and risk it this season at this awkward time for hiring a coach. I guess I’m saying that we should go with an interim for this season as much as that sucks so we can land a truly very good coach in December or January. I have hope that we can land a coach that will continue our (long-awaited) return to national prominence and can, when we look back in twenty years, turn us into a perennial national power. I’m just going to be a little pessimistic on that front because I hate getting high expectations and having them dashed–which, as we’ve seen, can happen in something as quick and seemingly insignificant as a motorcycle crash.

  • Jeff Edgmon

    Was this really a choice? If Jeff hadn’t fired him, and something else happened, Arkansas is getting bigger, but not that big, the tax rates would probably go up by 2 pts, paying off the lawsuit. This was not a choice, Petrino had to be fired.

  • uvahog

    Just spoke to my wife, a lawyer, who said it was the 159 applicants for Dorrell’s job that legally did Petrino in not Dorrell herself. That unfair advantage for employment legally made the situation impossible. If Petrino was retained all of those folks would be able to sue the university.

  • Jay Dodd

    Good job Jeff Long. Integfrity and hionesty above all else. If someone is cheating and lying to their wife what else are they cheating and lying about. I pray Coach Petrino learns froom this and I know our Arkansas Razorbacks wioll do good this year. After all the players are the ones who win the games. I hope we can find a really great coach that has the integrity it takes to teach young men right from wrong and to live it.

  • John

    Great job AD Long. You had no other choice. Integrity is too important. You have demonstrated that you are able to make tough choices. I have been involved, up close and personal, in firings and this is one of the clearest cut cases that I have seen. My hope is for the family to heal. At this point, that is all that is important. Coaches come and go. In the scheme of life, footbal is not that important.

  • GoHogs

    Long stepped up, and did an excellent job; we could just play out this season’s program then introduce a new head coach

  • HopeForHire

    Gus Malzahn. A. S. Who? Bring him back to the ‘ville.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dday4659 Damon Harris

      Gus Malzahn was my thought too.

      • Texass hog

        There ya go. Replace one coach with character issues, with a coach with even worse character issues. Maybe we can get Scamnewton to be OC, Michael Dyer to transfer again for his senior yr to Arkansas. Dakota Mosley in to replace Jessica Dorrell. Mitch Mustain in as QB coach. Mommy Mustain as director of public relations. Yeah, that’s clearly what Arkansas should do..LOL.. As for this Arkansas fan, if Long is dumb enough to do that, I will just have to turn off watching all together. Garrick Mcgee or Dave Wannstadt or an interim hc until the season is over.

        • Mike in magnolia

          And who would miss you? See ya

  • Sportlover77

    Long is to be commended for his tough decision based on integrity rather than winning. There is much more involved in sports than just winning that should crush the dangerous temptation to justify the “win-at-any-cost” mentality. Maybe something good has actually come out of the Sandusky tragedy where individuals who make the big decisions in sports are now less willing to overlook grievous behavior in a coach whether the coach is a “winner” or not. When will people begin to understand that character is the fundamental driving force in an individual’s actions and decisions on and off the field making character IMPORTANT? No, no one is perfect but to much is given, much is required. Petrino can be forgiven….he just should no longer be a Razorback.

  • OwassoHog

    I’m won’t comment on Jeff’s decision other to say these 2 things:

    1) Petrino put Jeff Long in a no win situation… Jeff may or may not have made the right decision. As AD this is his decision to make.
    2) My opinion of Jeff Long hasn’t changed one bit… I STILL have no confidence in the man!

    • John

      He did of course make one huge error in hiring Petrino but it has now come out good by Petrino making himself a target one could not miss. He turned the weapon on himself. Be interesting to see who may be available out there that has class. Long cannot make another hire mistake at this point. Meanwhile the cowboy rides out of town riding, riding, gone with the wind. He rode in on a couple of ominous smoking clouds and is swept out by his own tornado.

      • Jim Dogg

        What? Another mistake? you’ve got to be kidding, right? Petrino took this program to national stature and out of the mess Nutt had it in. And insofar as we know, without NCAA sanctions or recruiting violations. That Petrino stumbled stupidly and perhaps even illegally is a character flaw that has little to do with his coaching ability. The program and Petrino’s coaching is respected even though Petrino’s behavior isn’t. Too bad Petrino wasn’t treated the same as another Arkansan who could get away with doing an employee (Monica) and not get fired Let’s see, wasn’t there something by main stream media opinionists about not judging personal behavior but only by the job he was doing. Long plays by a higher standard, even if forced to.

        • John

          Yes, another mistake. Let’s face it. We fans deserved this. We run off great coaches in Holtz and Hatfield and hire losers like Crowe and Ford; then to win our AD ignored the bad character record of his hire. So, we continue to pay for it. We deserve the unstability that we are getting. So many fans wrongly believed that Arkansas had hit a home run with Petrino because of wins but they did not hear the train coming down the track that smacked them in their faces. Smack! Smack! This sure does not taste good. The cowboy takes his money and rides into the wind. Hopefully, the cowboy will gain his character footing but at 51 years old let’s hope that he has not dug his life trench so deeply that he cannot dig his character out of it. Ah, we human beings are most of the time our worst enemy. People need to read and heed the book entitled “Think Twice” by Mauboussin. I suppose it is part of that “I deserve it” mentality.

  • Soupdhog

    I was behind Petrino until the long presser. Long had no choice.

    The good news we still have the talent.

  • mother earth

    The reality is setting in and I’m pretty bummed. What bothers me about Jeff Long is that Hawgs Illustrated tweeted that Petrino wouldn’t go along with penalties and that’s why he was fired. Also read that 20,000 was a Christmas gift and wasn’t related to job hire, if so, that was a really shrewd move by Long to cast himself(the guy that brought Petrino here) in a great light. Did not like the guys Long looked at before he hired Petrino. But, hopefully we can do better than Nutt.

    • NashvilleHog

      20 grand for a Christmas gift? Right, people do that all the time.

      • John

        Yes. They do. :) Just chicken change. :)

    • Hawgfan100

      Petrino was offered no package. Evidently there were no negotiations of any sort.

    • Jim Dogg

      “But, hopefully we can do better than Nutt.” Well, just don’t get your coach out of a Murray State or any ohter Division II (I think) school. We’re better than that.

  • T-towner

    The national take is that Jeff Long is THE MAN! Yes, that does matter!!! If we get someone who is able to run our offense and recruit, Arkansas football will be the best in its long and somewhat illustrious history. Oh, I almost forgot, the new dude needs to maintain a short leash on his trouser worm!

    • Carolina Hog

      He said “trouser worm”.

  • Rosa

    Patrino is NOT a nice man. Known this for a long time. A friend was recruited by Patrino and even the players told him not to come. That it was not a good environment. When a coach yells at players for praying after a practice “get off my f-ing field w that sh–”, shame on him. He’s suffering the consequences for his long-time actions.

    • Rosa

      Good luck to my HOGS!! I’m a perpetual Razorback fan!

  • Jim Dogg

    Must get a coach whio can use the weapons that Petrino brought. Offensive gun slingers. Will cost money but they can use Petrino’s salary. My favorites: Patterson, Peterson, Jones and Ault. Ault is old but would give the Razorbacks time to plan for another coach. Saban came South, maybe Dantonio would too. Haynes maybe a good coach, but he’s defense. That’s not what this team needs NOW. There are probably numerous coaches out there who would love to coach in the SEC. And get a ready made team projected to be # 5. This team, thanks to Petrino, has high expectations, don’t go second class.

    • John

      The gunslinger is at SMU…formerly a gunslinger in Hawaii before gunslinger was cool.

  • John

    Are you talking about a chastity belt? Would be great to hear that he turns to a new, improved life with his family. That would be a great ending to a sad life trajedy.

  • John

    We are soooo proud of AD Long! He showed class at a time that the program sorely needed it.

  • uvahog

    I’m going to make one last comment on all this before I move on fully. I’ve spoken to several more lawyers, other than my wife, who have more knowledge about employment law, and they think that the university was actually not in too serious a position when it came to lawsuits. So that being said, I’m going to turn to that great Southern writer William Faulkner for an analogy for the situation that Arkansas football finds itself in (and I think those folks that wished we could have somehow hung on to BP will like this and even many who wanted him gone immediately, too, we’ll see).

    In the Snopes trilogy (The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion), Flem Snopes and his clan of poor, rural tenant farmers begin to climb, socioeconomically, through cunning and for the most part low-down and dirty tactics in the life of the town of Jefferson, Mississippi. Their economic success, by the end was undisputed, but what ultimately led to the downfall of Flem Snopes in the end was his attempt to gain respectability. When he tried to become an upstanding, respectable citizen, everything came crashing down, because in the end he wasn’t respectable and could never be a truly upstanding citizen.

    So here’s the analogy part (and it doesn’t work perfectly but I think it’s amusing). We had a coach who was in no way respectable nationally, amongst sports journalists or even other coaches. But he was damned good at winning football games. In my mind, he is very much a Flem Snopes character (and we can debate whether we should have hired a “Flem Snopes” in the first place). Now Long fired Petrino (especially if the threat of lawsuits was not the determining factor) to gain respectability for Arkansas sports after our name had been fully disgraced in the national sports media. My hope is that attempt at respectability doesn’t lead to our downfall (which it easily could–we get another Nutt or even Hatfield and spend another 20 years in mediocrity). Consider, alternatively, (and I understand and for the most part agree with the positions of those that hold that moral values, honest leadership, and a good example for children and young adults as being more important than football), that Long had come out and said, we knew what we were getting into with BP, we condemn his actions and will reprimand him, but he wins football games and that’s what we pay him for, and we’re only little scrappy Arkansas, we can’t afford respectability. We’re going to win a championship next year and if you don’t like us and our little weasel of a coach you can suck it.

    Now that last part is where the analogy ends since Flem sought respectability. I proffer this little story as part cathartic alternative history for those of us wishing somehow things could have turned out differently and part cautionary tale in our coaching hire. Long better not rest until he finds a great football mind to replace Petrino and continue his (on the field) success. He better not use this hire to seek respectability by going out and getting us another “Right Reverend.” Sorry for the extended analogy but I hope you find it enjoyable.

    • GolfHog

      The problem with analogy; Arkansas could just as easily be Snopes. I thought the Broyles era was over with the firing of Nutt. This maybe bigger than us all. Arkansas’ professional golfer was John Daly, our President got BJs in the oval office, and our NC basketball coach is Nolan. Our mascot is a pig. And now this.

      • uvahog

        I think that is more a confirmation of the analogy. And now we’re seeking respectability.

      • John

        It is indeed larger than us all. As former governor Huckabee was quoted as saying, “The country’s biggest problem is morality” or the lack thereof in so many high and low places. These type problems are far too many. Around 50% being born out of wedlock with family being the bedrock of a solid strong country, I am afraid at this point that we have not seen the worse as a nation. This just happens to be a small microcosm in our nation. Money, money, money. More will make us all happier. Yeah, right.

        • Carolina Hog

          Some might argue that the country’s biggest problem is judgmental assholes like Huckabee, but the truth is we should keep politics off of this site.

          • John

            Another pig that did not graduate or if they did they need to sue their university for indoctrination rather than educating! Morality is not a political issue. Morality is glue that makes a civilized society.

          • Carolina Hog

            I rest my case.

          • uvahog

            Legislating morality that the nation is divided on is political and shouldn’t be on this board. And really I don’t get your original comment as a response to my extended analogy, but thanks for playing.

  • http://twitter.com/Jstallz54 @Jstallz54

    hire Charlie Strong, he is from Ark

  • John

    I disagree uvahog. EEO law would hammered the UofA. UofA would have been hammered in that arena. I have been involved up close and personal based upon far less grossness than the miscarriage of justice for the 159 applicants. UoA would have been in an indefensible position of settling out of court for at least $100,000 grand per person. $15.9 million give or take a few.

  • Richard Johnson

    Call Jimmy Johnson, time to get off his boat in Florida, come back home, coach the Hogs…..WPS

  • Jim Dogg

    John, I disagree with you and UVA assesment of potential sexual harrasment and employment lawsuits. First there is the reality of the political factor whereas the NCAA will not, by its pressure, allow the possibility of such suits to go forward. Other member schools could find themselvels in a similar fix. Dorrell will have to prove she was harmed by Petrino before she has a case and by evidence and not just touchy-feely statements. The University might just give her a severence pay that would satisfy her lawyers but not a huge payout.

  • Jim Dogg

    Had to break this in two. Insofar as the other is concerned, it would have to be a class action suit which would not divy up much to each litigant except to the lawyers. Anyone participating in such a suit would never work again in collegiate athletics as they would be poison. Lastly, the University could turn this back on to the litigants by saying the UA was applying affirmative action in hiring a female for the position. Of course this is ludicrous, but they can say that they approved of it and didn’t (laugh here) realize that Bobby was hiring his mistress. Another factor is that the judicial litigation system favors plantiffs going against those with deep pockets and not public institutions. I’m not a lawyer, but UVA did you know that in Arkansas you cannot sue the state? Any reward has to be agreed upon by an oversight committee and can be adjusted. It’s that way for medical cases and i’m sure it applies elswhere.