TULSA - Well, what have we here? A school from the SEC that makes a decision based on integrity, and not just winning? I give you the University of Arkansas.
Good for them. Some backbone. Took a tough situation and made a simple decision. Fired a coach who appeared to display arrogance to the umpteenth degree.
Athletic Director Jeff Long said as much in a press conference announcing the firing of his head coach.
By now you know the details. Bobby Petrino had a motorcycle crash. Held a press conference and came across as some tough guy coming back to coach spring drills despite severe injury to back, neck and face. A man's man!
Said he was alone on the Harley at the time of the wreck.
As it turns out, he was a wimp. An arrogant wimp. The press conference was a cover to deceive his superiors and fan base.
Here is what happened that did not make the press conference notes.
According to Long, Petrino failed to mention that he had a passenger on his Harley when he wrecked on a country road 20 miles from the Arkansas campus.
The other passenger was 25-year-old football office employee Jessica Dorrell.
Dorrell was allegedly given the football office job just two weeks ago by Petrino, bypassing 150 or so other applicants for the same position.
Petrino later admitted to having inappropriate relations with Dorrell.
Petrino paid Dorrell $20,000 with no explanation.
Petrino and Dorrell had conversed for six months, according to phone records.
As a result, Petrino is no longer getting paid $3.5 million a year to coach the Razorback football program.
Petrino had the arrogance to wear the Sugar Bowl hat to his accident press conference to try and remind fans of his success.
Who at the time thought the press conference was a campaign to keep his job? Maybe he knew the stuff would hit the fan.
In his statement of apology a week later, when the stuff did hit the fan, he was still campaigning to keep his job. Basically pleading to stay on as coach. An attempt to pull on the heartstrings of the fan base.
Credit to the fan base. Most did not buy his act after the truth was revealed.
As Long mentioned at Tuesdays press conference, there is not one coach bigger than the program.
For those who think Petrino should not have been dismissed or are wondering if Arkansas football will survive... Yes, a thousand times yes.
Trust me, Arkansas knows it will have to make the right decision replacing Petrino. I know it too. But the Hogs will make it without Coach P.
Houston Nutt went to two SEC championship games. Petrino did not.
Petrino is a good coach, but he did not invent the game.
With all due respect to Kansas State, there have been tougher teams to beat in a Sugar Bowl.
Long had no choice. With the climate of college football over the past two years... USC, Penn State, Ohio State, North Carolina, etc. etc. etc. all giving the college game a bad name. Arkansas had to nip it in the bud, and they did.
So, who gets the nod? Could take more than a few months.
The interim is Taver Johnson, an assistant coach.
Here are the early entries for the Arkansas Coaching Derby, not to be confused with this weeks Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn.
Taver Johnson 5-2
Tim Horton 4-1
Skip Holtz 5-1
Garrick McGee 5-1
Gus Malzahn 5-1
Dave Wannstadt 10-1
Butch Davis 15-1
Todd Graham 99-1
Jimmy Johnson 99-1
Pat Jones 999-1
Barry Switzer 9999-1
Jerry Jones 10,000-1
Have a nice day!