It became apparent pretty quickly on Thursday that Bobby Petrino was hiding something in regards to this past weekend’s motorcycle crash. After both he and Arkansas initially said that he was alone at the time of the accident, a police report specifically cited that there was a passenger on Petrino’s motorcycle – a 25-year-old female passenger that was not his wife.
Common sense told us that if everything was innocent in this scenario, Petrino wouldn’t have lied about being alone. Predictably, it wasn’t.
Once everyone pointed out the discrepancies between Petrino’s version of what happened this past weekend and the police report’s version of what happened, Arkansas AD Jeff Long called a massive press conference in which he acknowledged that Petrino hadn’t been totally honest in his initial statement. According to Long, Petrino called him -- when reports began to surface -- and admitted that he had a previously unspoken of passenger at the time of the crash.
What complicates this whole situation even more is that the person on Petrino’s bike wasn’t just some random blonde girl he picked up at a bar. Jessica Dorrell, 25, is an ex-volleyball player from Arkansas that recently got hired to be the student-athlete development coordinator for the football program. She is also getting married in June to yet another Arkansas employee.
That means on top of lying to his employer about the initial crash, Petrino was also carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
Late Thursday, the Arkansas head coach released this statement (via:4029 News)
“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publically (sic) come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publically (sic) acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed.
“In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.
“I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”
The school has placed Petrino on administrative leave, and he’ll likely remain there until this whole thing blows over. Given his 11-2 record last season, it’s safe to say he’ll be keeping his job. What do you think would have happened if he had finished with six wins, though?
(Kudos to The Big Lead for the video)