Should He Stay or Should He Go?
By Ashley Y.
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
After his apparent infidelities were exposed to the world, does Bobby Petrino deserve to retain his job?
I’ve been out of town all week (part of this time in Fayetteville) watching the case against Bobby Petrino evolve. From what I can tell, people seem to be split down the middle on whether or not Arkansas should fire Petrino.
He has admitted his wrongdoing, and his affair with Jessica Dorrell can be inferred. The real issues come in when you learn that, less than two weeks ago, Petrino hired Dorrell within the football department, and it seems like the story surrounding the police report is ever changing.
The Arkansas employment handbook makes it clear that the person in the higher position will be the person to take the fall. This is not helping Petrino’s case at all. However, Jessica Dorrell will probably never get another job in a major athletic program. She is now too much of a liability. We can assume that Arkansas will pay off Dorrell to keep quiet and/or walk away from her job.
Coming from a 25-year-old woman, my first question for Dorrell would by why? I am an avid football fan, but it makes me cringe to the point of disgust to ever think that I would have an affair with someone more than twice my age, let alone the head of a sports department and, subsequently, a boss. What was she thinking? Additionally, due to his level of celebrity, there is no way that their affair was ever going to stay covered up.
Northwest Arkansas has grown exponentially in the last 50 years due to Walmart, but it is not that big. I’d guess that 95% of the residents know who Bobby Petrino is and what he does for the university. I’d also say that at least 75% of those people know what his wife looks like. It is hard for me to believe that Dorrell assumed that she’d never been seen in the wrong place at the wrong time with Petrino. That is a very fine line to walk, especially considering her job wavered on this. Not to mention that her (we can assume ex) fiance worked within the athletic department as well. What was she thinking? There is literately no way that this could have stayed hidden forever. The world is just too small, and the Arkansas Athletic Department is even smaller.
By the looks of things, you could assume that Arkansas does not want to fire Bobby Petrino. If they did, they would have already done so. There is more than enough evidence to show that he violated the clause in his contract that states that the university can fire him if he “engag(es) in conduct, as solely determined by the university, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of Head Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the University or UAF's athletics program in any way.” I think we can all agree that he did.
The University has had almost a week to fire him, if that is their plan. The decision whether or not he adversely affected the reputation of the university is not that difficult. He did. I think what is making this all very difficult is trying to find a way to justify keeping him in his current position. After all, I wrote an article barely two weeks ago stating how well Arkansas’ football team has done in the last few years, especially last year, and how far they could go next year. At this late stage in the spring, Arkansas does not want to be scrambling to find a head ball coach.
The second problem comes in when we discuss the police report. Did he lie to the police? The evidence seemed a little off when no details were being released of the crash in the immediate aftermath. Also, it seems like the reason for the crash falls somewhere between having the sun in his eyes and an extremely windy day, and it keeps changing little by little.
Why did Petrino wait until Thursday to contact Jeff Long and tell him that there was, in fact, a woman riding the motorcycle with him? He had to have initially believed that he could hide this fact and her name. With the official police report being released, he then realized that everyone would find out.
You can probably make a case for Petrino either way, but what if Dorrell is not the only woman? We’d all love to believe that she is, and that this will all be swept under the rug as quickly as possible, but what if? If Arkansas keeps Petrino and something else comes up later in the season, it could be more detrimental than dealing with the problem now.
Social media has been in frenzy over what Arkansas should do with him, but the question still remains: Should Arkansas fire Bobby Petrino or put all their eggs in the its-not-that-bad-and-he-won’t-do-it-again basket?