I totally agree with Arkansas's decision to fire head coach Bobby Petrino, who hired his 25-year-old mistress to work for the Arkansas football program, wrecked his motorcycle with her riding on the back and then tried to hide her involvement in the accident from both the public and his bosses. (It also came out Tuesday that Petrino once gave her $20,000 -- a "gift," apparently, from the married father of four. This was before he hired her).
But in this case, the Razorbacks cannot pat themselves on the back for taking the high moral ground, for they have reaped what they have sown. Petrino is a bad seed, a vagabond who watches out for himself No.1, No.2 and No.3. And they should have known that when the hired him.
You may remember Petrino's very brief stint as the Atlanta Falcons' head coach in 2007. He quit -- to go to Arkansas, which was offering him a pile of money -- before the season was over. Rather than tell the players in person, he left them each the same 78-word note in their locker, saying something about how much he "respected" them. They didn't respect him after that -- they torched him publicly, and rightfully so.
Petrino was the human version of tbe Baltimore Colts, fleeing in the dead of night to somewhere else.
Was that out of character? Not really. Take this line from the AP story about Petrino's firing Tuesday: "He infamously met with Auburn officials in 2003 to talk about taking the Tigers' head coaching job while Tommy Tuberville still had it."
This is a man who should be radioactive to anyone who cares about integrity. He really shouldn't ever get another head-coaching job in the NFL or in college. I'm not a big fan of Jim Rome, but he had a great tweet the other day about this situation, saying something like Petrino left "half of his face and all of his cred" on that road in Arkansas when he wrecked his bike.
But guess what? I bet he does. There will be a rehabilitation period, certainly. But someone, somewhere, in a few years will say, "Hey, this guy went 21-5 his last two years at Arkansas. And he had that trouble, yes, but he did say he was sorry!"
And then that program will walk down the same road that Arkansas has.
No, Petrino didn't kill anyone. Far worse things are done every day. But a leader of men?
He's not fit to be one.
9 months ago