Arkansas' Petrino fired

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Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long fields a question regarding Wednesday’s termination of coach Bobby Petrino.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Compared to the tumultuous child sex scandal at Penn State, Bobby Petrino’s wrongdoings seem relatively minor.

But there is no doubt that these wrongdoings are cause for his termination.

Arkansas director of athletics Jeff Long announced his decision on Tuesday and openly discussed Petrino’s various misdeeds and how he misled the University. Petrino unfairly hired his mistress, Jessica Dorrell and then hid their relationship from the University. In addition, both were in a motorcycle accident April 1 and Petrino lied to Long and did not mention that Dorrell was on the motorcycle with him at the time.

Long said Petrino was given “multiple opportunities” over four days to come clean about what happened, but chose not to.

Petrino’s decisions were wrong and he no longer deserves to be the coach at Arkansas. What he did was not related to football and no players were harmed, but his actions are not acceptable for someone who works at a higher institution of learning.

College football players, and college athletes in general, often find themselves in trouble for off-the-field antics and behavior. Coaches and administrators need to be role models for these players who have so much pressure on them to succeed at a high level.

Petrino has failed to act as a role model, and will suffer the consequences.

He will not receive the $18 million buyout that his contract called for because he was fired “with cause.” The 51 year-old married father of four has not set an example for his team. There’s nothing more to it.

His actions are not a poor reflection on the university or his players. His actions were separate from Arkansas and will only hurt his personal reputation. His salary was approximately $3.53 million a year. With that large sum of money, a certain level of responsibility and character is expected out of a coach.

In his four seasons with the Razorbacks, Petrino finished with a 34-17 record. Last season the team finished with a No. 5 final ranking and had a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State.

His departure will be a tough hole to fill for the Razorbacks and Long, with the drop off in behavior came an increase in wins. Long will probably be looking more in depth at the character of the coach who he hires to take Petrino’s place.

Character is a trait that is always stressed in athletics — especially in college athletics when drugs, alcohol and other negative influences are everywhere. Petrino’s actions and then his deception following it were not up to par with the expectations that are given to a college coach.

Printed on Thursday, April 12, 2012 as: Petrino pinched as coach