From the very moment that Bobby Petrino crashed his motorcycle a few weeks back, his passenger at the time, Jessica Dorrell, had to know what was inevitably coming her way. Even before the public came to recognize her as the woman who was improperly hired by the team’s successful head football coach and apparently had a pretty lengthy affair with him, she had to have realized that her days at the University of Arkansas were numbered.
On Tuesday it became official – Dorrell stepped down from her position as the football team’s student-athlete development coordinator. According to ESPN, she was paid $14,000 “to settle ‘all matters between the parties.’”
"While Ms. Dorrell had a legitimate right to apply for and accept a position within the football program, the circumstances surrounding the former coach's decision to hire her compromised her ability to be effective in such a position," AD Jeff Long said. "She and I believe she should have the opportunity to move on."
Following an accident at the beginning of April, it came out that Petrino had been having an affair with a subordinate (Dorrell) that he hired in a very shady, very unfortunate matter. Even though it initially looked as through he might be able to retain his job if he just waited out the storm, details of just how badly he abused his powers continuously leaking made that impossible.
He was eventually fired from his post after an investigation that lasted less than a week.
Dorrell was the last link to the embarrassing scandal Petrino brought onto Arkansas’ campus this year, and now that she’s gone, everyone involved can presumably move on. You would have to figure that finding a new head coach for a team as solid as the one the Razorbacks will trot out next year shouldn’t be all that difficult, but the timing of this situation does sort of complicate matters.
We'll find out in the coming weeks what Arkansas will do with their head coaching vacancy, but this much is for certain: whoever gets the job will also get a lot less freedom in doing what he does than his predecessor. And given everything we've learned over this past month, maybe that's not such a bad thing.