Louisville’s season hasn’t even started yet and he’s already drawing criticism — from inside his program.
According to Sports Illustrated, which cites sources with ties to the program, Petrino has had feuds with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and several players, who wanted to leave Petrino’s program before it even got started.
Sports Illustrated said there has been quite a bit of “friction” between Petrino and Grantham and that Petrino would have gotten rid of Grantham were it not for the guaranteed five-year contract that pays Grantham $1 million annually.
It’s important to note that Grantham was hand-picked by Petrino. Grantham had spent the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Georgia and had some notable confrontations there. He got into some hot water with Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity in 2011 after Grantham got into a confrontation with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.
In 2010, Grantham gave the choke signal to Florida’s kicker in overtime.
But Grantham isn’t the only one Petrino is rubbing the wrong way.
Sports Illustrated noted that several players thought of leaving the team and entering the NFL’s supplemental draft in June.
“He’s a mean guy,” Jamaine Brooks, a former Louisville defensive tackle who left this past spring told Sports Illustrated. “He cusses you out. You’re never doing enough. He’s still Bobby Mother------- Petrino.”
Public comments regarding Petrino's abusive actions toward players are scarce, but former Arkansas receiver Greg Childs did say in a 2012 interview that he threatened to transfer after Petrino called players "stupid."
Then there's the story about how Petrino used to call players "stupid" during practices. Childs threatened to transfer because of it. "I told him that we'll play better for you if you don't talk to us like that," Childs says. "Jay and I were both upset about it. I had to say something."
Brooks told Sports Illustrated he originally supported Petrino’s hiring, but changed his tune after practicing under him.
“The way he came in doing business I didn’t like it,” Brooks said. “The way he treated people. He just wasn’t a good coach.”
For more Louisville news, visit CardinalSports.com.
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