Arkansas placed Petrino on administrative leave Thursday evening after he acknowledged a previous inappropriate relationship. Petrino failed to disclose that he was with a female subordinate employee at the time of his accident Sunday.
"I'm at the beginning of the review. I don't know what I'm going to find," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said.
And in a statement released to the media Petrino acknowledged the inappropriate relationship between him and Jessica Dorrell, whom Petrino recently hired as the student-athlete development coordinator for the football team.
"My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public," he said. "In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I've acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration."
Jessica DorrellOK. Even though I tried to play this one straight in my previous post, we all knew this was going to end this way. You don't just happen to go out joyriding with a 25-year-old former Arkansas volleyball player. And the use of the word "previous" is laughable. Previous, as in, it ended once the media found out today.
Obviously, this is horrible for Petrino's wife and his four children. Even worse is the fact that Petrino spent the day with his wife before he left the house to meet up with his mistress. Also, Petrino was sitting with his wife, deciding which helmet to wear, for his rendezvous with Dorrell. The level of humiliation Petrino's wife, Becky, must feel right now is probably off the charts.
Similarly, Dorrell is reportedly engaged.
While Petrino has been placed on administrative leave, and could be fired for his inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee who he just hired, there's been no word about Dorrell's job status. If she isn't fired, it's probably going to be tough for her to be anywhere near the Arkansas program right now.
If there's good news for Petrino, Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino survived an affair, so there's a precedent for this type of thing. However, Pitino never blatantly lied to his bosses or hired his mistress to work underneath him (yeah, that was on purpose). And there is a morals clause in Petrino's contract that allows Arkansas to fire him for cause.
If Petrino does stay Arkansas' coach, it's going to be difficult for him to earn the respect he once had. How can he go into a recruit's home and tell parents he can teach their son morals and make him a man. If his own wife can't trust him, how can parents? They can't and Arkansas football will suffer because of it if he stays.
Petrino has put Arkansas in a terrible position here. He finally got the football team back on the national map and now he's dragging it through the mud.