April 13th, 2012 10:32 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Arkansas
Tags: Associated Press, David Gearhart, Does Jeff Long, Joe Schad
Upon his dismissal at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino released a statement suggesting their might be a time and a place to refute AD Jeff Long’s decision to show him the door. Chancellor G. David Gearhart released a brief, bias-less statement saying that a clause in Petrino’s contract made it possible that the ex-coach could bring his case to him and that he might have to rule on whether or not Petrino deserved the boot Long gave him.
According to Joe Schad of ESPN, the coach won’t exercise his right to appeal:
“Petrino has accepted responsibility for his actions and resulting termination, the source said.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press obtained some of the text messages that had not been deleted from Petrino’s phone. Those transcripts show a man who after his suspension was — quite naturally — worried sick that he might lose his $3.5 million-per-year job with the Razorbacks. And according to one text message exchange with an assistant AD at the school, it appears that UA was looking for a way to keep him:
Assistant AD Chris Wyrick: “Coach, I know I sometimes aggravate you, but PLEASE listen to me. Does Jeff (Long) know EVERYTHING from your standpoint??”
Petrino: “Yes I believe he does. Is the mood to fire me or to keep me???”
Wyrick: “I can’t honestly speak to (Long’s) pulse on that, but my gut is he wants it to work. You have done the job and most feel like you are due a mulligan.”
If Petrino had simply carried on an inappropriate relationship, he might just have gotten that mulligan. But Long’s investigation into the matter found that Petrino had hired Jessica Dorrell into his department over 158 other candidates in a faster then normal fashion. He’d also given Dorrell a gift of $20,000.
In other words, he’d opened the University of Arkansas up to a number of lawsuits from a number of people.
So much for the mulligan. And with his decision not to appeal — even though his chances of winning some form of buyout were slim to begin with — so much for Petrino at Arkansas.
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