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.
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 The information that Oregon said Lyles provided for the fee was largely outdated.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.
Five best drills to watch
1. The 40-yard dash: A player’s career can be made, or destroyed, in a flash. One memorable 40-yard-dash story involves Deion Sanders’ run in 1989. Back before the Combine was televised or even all that much covered by the media, Sanders reportedly showed up late and did just one drill — and only once. As the story goes, Sanders ran a 4.29 in the 40 and then jogged right into the Hoosier Dome tunnel and out the building. Without breaking stride, he hopped into a limousine and took a trip to the airport, where he boarded a plane and flew home.
2. Bench press: How many times can a player put up 225 pounds in one sitting? Can’t fake this one.
3. The gauntlet: A wide receiver or a tight end gets a pass from a coach, catches the ball and drops it. He then runs across the field and catches five passes in a row from five different quarterbacks across the field. It’s all hand-eye coordination.
4. The speed-turn drill: A defensive back starts at the line of scrimmage, backpedals 5 yards, runs forward 5 yards and then is told to run in a certain direction. At about 15 yards, the defensive back is asked to look up and locate a football. What kind of ball skills do you have? The speed-turn drill gives an indication.
5. Three-cone drill: Three cones are placed in an L shape. Players go 5 yards to the first cone and back, then to the second cone and back and then run a loop around the third cone, switch direction and come back around the second cone. Got all that? A shifty running back/wide receiver can usually do a three-cone drill in 6.5-7.0 seconds.
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford (Jr.) 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Proj. 1
2. Robert Griffin III, Baylor (Jr.) 6-2, 220, Proj. 1
3. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State 6-3, 220, Proj. 2
4. Nick Foles, Arizona 6-5, 245, Proj. 2
5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State 6-2, 210, Proj. 4
6. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State 6-4, 230, Proj. 3
7. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State (Jr.) 6-8, 240, Proj. 3
8. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 5-11, 200, Proj. 5
9. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M 6-4, 225, Proj.
10. B.J. Coleman, UT Chattanooga 6-3, 234, Proj. 4
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 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.
CBSSports.com 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.