Hooray for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks! Last season, “we” won 11 games, including the Cotton Bowl. We finished No. 5 in the country, losing only to national champion Alabama and No. 2 LSU.
There were wishful whispers of “next year” and “national championship.”
Then, Coach Bobby Petrino had a motorcycle accident. No life-threatening injuries, mind you, just scraped up a bit. But suddenly some non-physical injuries became, well, job-threatening.
Originally, Coach Petrino told reporters that he was alone on that crashed cycle. Turned out he had a passenger: Jessica Dorrell, the team’s recently hired student-athlete development coordinator.
You guessed it: Petrino, 51, and Dorrell, 25, had carried on an “inappropriate relationship.” Petrino also failed to disclose their relationship when he picked Dorrell over 158 other applicants for the job.
He had also not disclosed his personal “gift” to her of $20,000. Quite a bonus for an employee — or a girlfriend . . . or both.
University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long found that “Coach Petrino abused his authority . . . and . . . jeopardized the integrity of the football program.”
Soon, the hopes of many fans that Coach Petrino, and especially his winning ways, could survive the scandal, were dashed.
“We have high standards,” Long said in a statement announcing Petrino’s termination. “Our expectations of character and integrity in our employees can be no less than what we expect from our students.”
UA student athletes and Razorback fans can’t help but hope things work out on the gridiron. But standing up for principle always works out, one way or another. In this case, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation just announced a $1 million gift to the Razorback athletic program citing Long’s “courageous leadership.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.