Bobby Petrino done at Arkansas


Bobby Petrino believed he could win a national championship at Arkansas. He won’t get the chance. Athletic director Jeff Long fired Petrino on Tuesday night and laid out a stunning laundry list of misdeeds against the man he hired away from the Atlanta Falcons four years ago.

He scathingly dressed down Petrino for hiring his mistress and intentionally misleading him about the secret relationship that was laid bare following their April 1 motorcycle ride together that ended in an accident. He said Petrino missed multiple chances over the past 10 days to come clean about an affair that had crossed the line from infidelity into workplace favoritism.

”He made the decision, a conscious decision, to mislead the public on Tuesday, and in doing so negatively and adversely affected the reputation of the University of Arkansas and our football program,” Long said, choking up at one point as he discussed telling players that their coach was gone. ”In short, coach Petrino engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident.”

The 51-year-old Petrino, a married father of four, maintained an inappropriate relationship with 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell for a ”significant” amount of time and at one point gave her $20,000, Long said.

Long would not disclose details of the payment, or when the money changed hands, but said both parties confirmed the ”gift.” Kevin Trainor, a spokesman for Long, said the money came from Petrino, not university funds.

Petrino issued a lengthy apology and said he was focused on trying to heal his family.


O-ooohh…Something Fishy in Oregon????


Oregon has acknowledged in documents that it did not adequately monitor its football program and that it did not follow NCAA regulations relating to recruiting and use of recruiting services

A statement of ”proposed findings of violations” submitted by the NCAA to the Oregon athletic department was obtained Friday in a public records request by several media outlets.

The NCAA has been looking into Oregon’s recruiting practices since questions arose over a 2010 payment of $25,000 to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. The information that Oregon said Lyles provided for the fee was largely outdated.

Oregon has not received a formal Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. The heavily redacted documents released Friday do not include any possible penalties.

TCU Drug Bust

Authorities arrested 17 students in a sweeping drug sting at Texas Christian University on Wednesday, a bust that included four members of the Horned Frogs football team accused of selling marijuana to undercover officers during the season and as recently as a few weeks ago….. Police said the 17 people who were arrested were caught making ”hand-to-hand” sales of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs to undercover officers. They said the bust followed a six-month investigation prompted by complaints from students, parents and others.

The arrests stunned the campus community, coming just one day after a thrilling overtime victory by the men’s basketball team and less than 24 hours after TCU released its football schedule for next season, its first in the Big 12 Conference. TCU has an enrollment of about 9,500 students, but the involvement of the athletes drew the most scrutiny.

”There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days,” coach Gary Patterson said. ”As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.”

Three prominent defensive players on the team were arrested: Linebacker Tanner Brock, the leading tackler two seasons ago, defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey and cornerback Devin Johnson. The other player is offensive lineman Ty Horn.

Police said they had not determined whether the four were selling to their teammates or other athletes, though the arrest affidavits raise the possibility.

In November, a Fort Worth police officer was informed that Horn was selling marijuana to ”college students and football players at Texas Christian.” The officer allegedly bought marijuana that day, Nov. 3, two days before a road game at Wyoming, from both Horn and Yendrey.

Memphis to Big East???

Memphis is the latest school to sign up for a spot in the new Big East

A person familiar with the decision says Memphis is joining the Big East. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was pending.

Memphis Athletic director R.C. Johnson said the school is holding a conference call followed by a news conference Wednesday to discuss the university’s athletic affiliation.

The Tigers will join the league for the 2013-14 season and compete in all sports, becoming the fourth Conference USA team to move to the Big East in the last two months, along with Houston, Central Florida and SMU. first reported Memphis was on the verge of joining the Big East.

The Big East is trying to replace basketball powers Syracuse and Pittsburgh and West Virginia, and create a football league with at least 12 teams.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia is headed to the Big 12.

Along with previously adding in December three CUSA schools, Boise State and San Diego State agreed to join the Big East in football only in 2013.

Last month, the Big East announced Navy will become a football-only member in 2015.

When West Virginia, Syracuse and Pitt are leaving is still up in the air. West Virginia has sued the Big East in an effort to join the Big 12 in 2012. The Big East filed a countersuit trying to force WVU to abide by the conference’s bylaws, which require a 27-month notification period for schools to depart.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto has said the league intends to hold West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse until the summer of 2014.


Alabama ….National Champs??

The Crimson Tide romped to another BCS championship against top-ranked LSU with a smothering defensive performance Monday night, a numbing barrage of field goals and even a long-overdue trip to the end zone. Final score: 21-0.

No. 2 Alabama posted the first shutout in the 14-year history of the BCS, relying on Jeremy Shelley’s right leg for most of the points – he made a bowl record-tying five field goals – and letting its defense do the rest. It was the Tide’s second BCS title in three years.

”That was the message before the game: to finish,” coach Nick Saban said. ”In fact, it was how bad do you want to finish? We certainly didn’t play a perfect game, we got a field goal blocked, we couldn’t find the end zone for a long time, but we just kept playing.”

While only crimson-clad fans will remember this as a thing of beauty, Alabama (12-1) erased any doubts that it deserved to be in the title game over another one-loss team like Oklahoma State or Stanford.

Then again, one of those teams might have actually scored a touchdown before Alabama finally did, with 4:36 left in the game, long after fans may have flipped to something more entertaining than a one-sided kicking contest. Amazingly, these Southeastern Conference powerhouses played twice in a span of about two months, and never came that close to one of those things that’s worth six points – you know, touchdowns – until Trent Richardson broke off a 34-yard run with 4:36 remaining.

It only took 115 minutes, 34 seconds, plus an overtime period in their first meeting….LSU (13-1) had beaten eight ranked teams – including Alabama in early November – to establish itself as the clear No. 1 going into the bowls, but the Tigers crossed midfield only once in the sequel to the Game of the Century in Tuscaloosa. Instead of putting up a ”Godfather II,” this one was more akin to ”Speed 2.”

The Tigers were outgained 384-92 in total yards, managed a puny five first downs and didn’t cross the 50 until there were just 8 minutes left. From there, they went back, back, back – the last gasp ending appropriately with beleaguered quarterback Jordan Jefferson getting the ball knocked from his hand before he could even get off a fourth-and-forever pass.

The BCS title belongs to Saban, who is carving out quite a legacy of his own at the school that still worships Bear Bryant as if he just retired yesterday. The Associated Press likely will follow suit by bestowing the title on the Tide when its poll comes out early Tuesday, given the dominance of Alabama’s performance.

Who ya Got?

After a bowl season full of offensive shootouts, LSU coach Les Miles says to expect some ”big boy football” when his top-ranked Tigers take on No. 2 Alabama in BCS title game Monday night…..Miles and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban each had their final news conferences before the championship on Sunday morning, and posed for photos with the crystal BCS trophy.

Miles says that he expects the game to be ”big boy football. And I’d expect it to be very, very physical.”

The two SEC teams met on Nov. 5, with LSU pulling out a 9-6 overtime win.

Saban says he’s telling players to focus on the opportunity in front of them, not the pressure. His Crimson Tide won the national championship two years ago, beating Texas.



Tebow Magic ….Lives

Sorry, Pittsburgh Steelers…..The magic is back….Tim Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime and the Broncos defeated the stunned Steelers 29-23 in the AFC wild-card game on Sunday. Wild doesn’t begin to describe it. The play took 11 seconds and was the quickest ending to an overtime in NFL history.

Thomas hauled in a high play-action pass at the Denver 38, stiff-armed Ike Taylor and then outraced Ryan Mundy to the end zone. Tebow, who looked as startled as everyone else, headed for his own end zone and knelt on one knee — a gesture known far and wide these days as Tebowing. Then he pounded a fist in triumph and took a victory lap.

Behind Tebow’s 316 yards passing, the Broncos (9-8) are heading to New England for a second-round game against the top-seeded Patriots on Saturday night.

Huskies look to the SEC for new Defense

Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon have accepted jobs on Washington coach Steve Sarkisian’s staff, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

The person told The Associated Press about the departures on condition of anonymity because the moves have not been announced by either school. The moves come two days after Sarkisian fired defensive coordinator Nick Holt, linebackers coach Mike Cox and safeties coach Jeff Mills…Wilcox is expected to replace Holt, who was fired on Saturday, just two days after Washington gave up 777 total yards and 67 points against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. It was the most yards allowed in school history and second-most points surrendered.

Washington officials had no comment on Monday morning.

Wilcox and Sirmon are the latest in a string of departures from Tennessee, which is still struggling to rebuild after back-to-back coaching turnovers following the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett and tight ends and special teams coach Eric Russell also have left the staff of Volunteers coach Derek Dooley.

Wilcox’s defense was one of the bright spots in a disappointing 5-7 season for Tennessee. The Vols allowed 340.5 yards and 22.6 points per game, ranking them among the top 35 teams in the nation in both categories.

Wilcox, 35, was set to earn $700,000 at Tennessee in 2012. He and Sirmon were teammates and roommates Oregon, though Wilcox first made a name for himself in four seasons as defensive coordinator at Boise State, where his players lead the Western Athletic Conference in total defense and scoring defense from 2006-2009 and compiled a 49-4 overall record.

Sirmon, 34, a veteran NFL linebacker, spent the 2010 season as a graduate assistant for the Vols and was promoted to linebackers coach for 2011. He was set to earn $175,000 in 2012.

The pair will be stepping in to lead a defense with ongoing troubles. The Huskies gave up 65 points, 446 yards rushing and 615 total yards to Stanford this season, then another 40 points and 426 yards to Southern California. Even when the Huskies held Oregon to under 400 total yards, it came in a 34-17 defeat….Only four times in 13 games this season did Washington hold an opponent under 400 total yards, and just 11 times in Holt’s 38 games in charge of the Huskies defense. Washington’s 2011 defense set school records for most points allowed, total touchdowns, yards passing allowed and total yards allowed.

Holt’s firing came almost three years to the day after he was introduced as the defensive answer to Washington’s woes. He was wooed from Southern California by a contract that trumped that of some other head coaches in the conference and the autonomy to run the defense as he wanted.