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Jessica Dorrell resigns from Arkansas following Bobby Petrino scandal

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Jessica Dorrell officially resigned from her job Tuesday five days after she was placed on paid administrative leave from the University of Arkansas.

Dorrell was with former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino at the time of his motorcycle accident on April 1 and had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with the 51-year-old father of four. Petrino used his position as head football coach to hire Dorrell as the student-athlete development coordinator from a pool of 159 applicants, including several who were better qualified for the position.

Petrino's decision to hire Dorrell over other applicants — without disclosing his relationship with her — was the reason he was fired last Tuesday.

"While Ms. Dorrell had a legitimate right to apply for and accept a position within the football program, the circumstances surrounding the former coach's decision to hire her compromised her ability to be effective in such a position," Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long said in a statement.

"She and I believe she should have the opportunity to move on."

Dorrell was given a $14,000 settlement and Arkansas officials said they have no immediate plans to reopen the position. Arkansas' immediate attention is on hiring a head football coach or deciding whether to use an interim coach for the 2012 season. Petrino's assistant head coach Taver Johnson is serving as the team's interim coach through the duration of spring football.

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