On Sunday, April 1, 2012, Bobby Petrino, head coach for the University of Arkansas' football team, was involved in a minor motorcycle accident. Petrino had injuries but his passenger was uninjured. Though Petrino is married, his passenger was his young coworker, Jessica Dorrell. As it turned out, Petrino and Dorrell were having an affair. While having the affair, Petrino had been involved with getting the young woman hired. The University felt that there was little choice but to fire the coach due to the deception involved in her hiring and his failure to explain the events surrounding the accident.
Joe Paterno will likely be a polarizing figure at Pennsylvania State University for many years to come. He was one of the greatest coaches in college football history with over 400 victories in his 62 years as head coach for the team. Despite the legacy, Paterno was fired via telephone in November of 2011. The Board of Trustees for the University felt that Paterno had failed to take enough action when he was notified by Mike McQueary that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was allegedly raping a minor. Paterno died on January 22, 2012, just weeks after he was fired. McQueary is still an assistant coach with the team.
Though Mike Leach's career is currently far from over, it likely should have been in significantly more jeopardy than it was following allegations of mistreatment of a player. In 2009, Leach was initially suspended after he had allegedly locked a player with a concussion in an electrical closet. The player happened to be the son of an ESPN analyst. Within days, the coach of the Texas Tech football team had been fired. In 2011, he was hired to coach the Washington State University football team.
Woody Hayes saw his career end after hitting an opposing football player during a bowl game. In 1978, Hayes' team, Ohio State University, was playing Clemson University. When a Clemson player was hit and went out of bounds, Hayes punched the player. The school had no choice but to fire him.
It wasn't the fact that he ignored allegations of rapes while simultaneously blaming one of the victims, a female place kicker for the University of Colorado football team, that finally brought Gary Barnett down. It wasn't even the rumored allegations of drugs and money as signing bonuses. It was a series of losses that combine with an inability to agree to a new contract that brought the powerhouse coach down. These prior controversies, however, may have had a hand in keeping Barnett from re-entering the world of college football.
Though Kristin Watt is not a fan of all sports, she does follow the news on most sports religiously. Major news events in one sport do tend to ripple out to others and she makes sure that she never misses the big stories.