It looks like Arkansas football is without a head coach after Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long decided to terminate the school's relationship with Bobby Petrino with cause on Tuesday.
Some may say that Petrino's indiscretion with 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell was not a big deal considering that both parties are adults and she was not a minor when they met. And, considering that Arkansas had a winning record, 34-17 over a four-year period, that all should have been swept under the rug.
It's true that Miss Dorrell was not a minor and that poor misunderstood Bobby did take the Razorbacks to three postseason games where they won two -- beating East Carolina 20-17 in the Liberty Bowl (2009) and Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl (2011).
It's not that Petrino, a father of four and a grandfather of two, was messing around with a girl young enough to be dating his oldest son, Nick, who is 23. I mean, if he can do what he did to his wife and children without bothering his conscience, then good for him.
After all, any Falcons fan knows that the man -- I use the term loosely -- has no conscience after leaving Atlanta before he lived up to his commitment in 2007 by deserting the team with a couple of games remaining in the season. Yes, the Falcons had a losing season (3-10) at the time of his departure, but to quit midseason is reprehensible.
The offense that got Bobby terminated was that he took advantage of his position as head coach to hire his extramarital girlfriend, a former Arkansas volleyball player, and that he lied to university officials following the accident. Those facts make me say good for Jeff Long in doing what he did.
From watching Long talk about his decision, you could tell that he really didn't want to fire Petrino. But I don't think that he really had a choice in the matter.
In this case, even though Petrino was a winner on the field, the ends did not justify the means and someone in charge was forced to face the consequences.
Borrowing a line from the movie "Good Morning Vietnam," "This could give the Army a black eye."
I suppose that the administration saw that other schools could use what happened if Petrino got a slight slap against the university. I mean really, what parent would feel comfortable with their kids being in a school where coaches and or figures of authority were allowed to prey on their children, no matter how old they are?
Reports say that there were 158 other applicants competing for the student-athlete development coordinator position for Arkansas football that Jessica Dorrell was hired to do. The position, which paid $55,735 annually, was designed to organize on-campus recruiting visits for the team and assist with initial eligibility for each incoming player. I wonder if that salary includes the $20,000 given to her by Petrino?
My wife would know if $2 were missing from our bank account. How do you give someone who is not family a "gift" of that much without raising your spouse's suspicions?
It's not for me to judge him. I will leave that to his wife's divorce attorney and the court system. I'm just saying...
Manny Fils is a sports writer for the Citizen.