By Michael Collins
I'm not going to crucify Bobby Petrino for cheating on his wife and betraying his family. That's their personal business and should be left for them to sort out. It's not news.
I'm not going to comically satirize Bobby Petrino for not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Helmet laws aside, that's his personal choice...dumb as it may be.
I'm not going to show vicious outrage and insist that the University of Arkansas fire Bobby Petrino. I've never read his contract, nor am I privy to the rules and regulations governing that institution.
I'm not going to dredge up the past, and present a laundry list of Bobby Petrino's past lies and indiscretions. (If you are interested, Pat Forde's piece is fascinating on that topic)
I'm not going to verbally bash Bobby Petrino, and vent my personal disgust for his actions past and present. (Chadd Scott does an excellent job at that right here)
It's easy to sit back and judge, and demand for justice to be served. After all, this man not only violated the trust of his family, but he violated the public trust in giving a job to his girlfriend at a public university. Tax dollars paying the salary of the highest paid state employee's mistress? Lying to the press and university officials so as to keep your apparent history of adultery under wraps? It sounds unforgivable. But as a flawed human being, I try not to fall into that trap of judging what others have done.
What I will say is that it's time Bobby Petrino owned up to some personal character flaws, and took the necessary steps to remedy them. It's that simple. There's a trend, even a pattern, in his decisions and in his thought processes. That pattern needs to be broken.
To Bobby Petrino I will say - if you happen to read this - that these are all indiscretions and sins that you can and will be forgiven for, by your family, your friends, and any future employers...if you do the right thing. Resign. Step away from coaching for a while. Get your life together, and work on your family. Goodness knows you've got the money to take some time off.
Admitting to your lies and inappropriate - even illegal - behavior is just the first step. Those who are truly repentant are willing to not only accept the punishment that is given to them, but will take steps to show their remorse beyond that punishment.
Saying you want to remain the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks football team is not one of those steps.
Even if the university is benevolent enough to offer you the opportunity to remain at your post, the right thing to do would be decline the offer, and thank them for their kindness and understanding. If you have the courage to do that, you would in all likelihood erase the memory of a lot of your past dishonest behavior, and begin to repair bridges that you have burned over the years in both your personal, and professional life.
Resignation in a situation like this is not cowardly or spineless. It's honorable. It's understandable. Most of all, it's the right thing to do.