By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Bobby Petrino ordeal, with him having been fired as the head football coach at Arkansas after a scandal erupted involving a motorcycle crash and a mistress. Given the media deluge involving this story, I won’t bother with the details . What I’m interested in is the fallout from this whole scandal. There have been alot of things said about what this means for Arkansas football and the college game in general. This being a scandal, most of it has been bad and it’s reflection of culture of the sport in this day and age.
Morally, what Bobby Petrino did was wrong. There’s no doubt about that, but the problem is that this facet of the story has been overshadowed as pundits and commentators focus more on other things they deem important. What’s even worse is that some are even leaping to his defense. A few days ago on ESPN they had one of their talking heads, Jimmy Dykes, on and he went all hog wild in is defense of Petrino, saying he was a family man who loved to coach football. Considering the man had a secret mistress, it’s safe to say he didn’t value his wife all that much. So for Dykes to say Petrino is a family man is incredibly hypocritical and why he would try to make him a sympathetic figure is beyond me.
Another interesting response to all this is Arkansas AD Jeff Long and the news conference announcing Petrino’s firing. He basically said Petrino’s conduct ‘adversely affected’ the Razorback reputation and he ‘abused his authority’. Thank you Captain Obvious. His comment about having high standards and that no one can bigger then the team is almost comical given the stature and pull that coaches at elite football schools enjoy. At least Long can breathe easy knowing that he doesn’t have to pay a giant severance fee given he fired Petrino ‘with cause’. Those texts and calls to his mistress sure didn’t help Petrino’s case and you’d think he’d be more discreet.
So Arkansas is left without a head football coach and a black mark on its program. Bobby Petrino has barely even been fired and there is already talk about where he’ll coach next. Really? I mean, some team will take a chance on him eventually, but all that talk is a bit premature, don’t you think? This whole scandal/story/saga reveals several things that are wrong with college football. Coaches should not be above the rules or their program, but unfortunately they are in this day and age. Way too often programs will look the other way at moral and ethical violations in order to have a winning program. Arkansas dealt with this scandal as it should have, firing Petrino, but I’m sure if the motorcycle accident hadn’t happened, they would still have employed him as their head coach.