As most readers here probably know, I consider Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky’s new head football coach, to be the scumbag of all scumbags; an awful guy who should never been allowed within 100 feet of high school or college athletes. His hiring two days ago sickened me, in that it showed—yet again—that winning trumps all; that even colleges and universities care significantly less about character development and moral fortitude than Ws and Ls.
That said, many disagree with me.
One person with an opposing take is Jeff Tew, a college football fan and Petrino supporter. After we sparred back and forth on Twitter, Jeff kindly agreed to come here and offer his take. You can follow Jeff on Twitter here, and he blogs occasionally here. I thank him for taking the time …
Two days ago, after an eight-month hiatus from coaching which was sparked from an affair with an employee and subsequent cover up to authorities at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas state police, Bobby Petrino was hired as the head football coach at Western Kentucky University.
The hire has sparked angst and vitriol amongst some fans of college athletics who have called it everything from unethical to immoral, absurd to despicable. Moralists and those with the highest of standards have asked, “How could a university president hire a man who was fired from his former employer for not only having a public affair on his wife, but did so with a university employee he hired then lied to university officials and the police in the aftermath that ensued?”
The best answer to this question: Todd Stewart, Athletic Director for Western Kentucky University, hired the absolute best-possible available coach for his football program.
Those who despised the hire just spewed their beverage of choice all over their computer or smart phone after reading that statement. Let’s all take a step back, take a deep breath and reexamine the situation.
Bobby Petrino is a football coach. Let me repeat that again so it sinks in—Bobby Petrino is a football coach. Petrino’s job is not to be faithful to his wife or to even tell the truth, nor is his job to provide a moral compass for 18-to-22-year-old football players. Petrino’s job is to win football games.
Looking at Petrino’s record, he does that pretty damn well.
At Louisville, Petrino went 41-9 in his four seasons as head coach. He averaged 10 wins per season, won two conference titles and took the Cards to a BCS bowl game which brought priceless attention and notoriety to a college which had been strictly known as a basketball school.
After a brief and embarrassing stint with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, Petrino was hired as head coach at Arkansas. In his final two years in Fayetteville, Petrino posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in the toughest division of the toughest conference in the nation and in the 2010 season took the Arkansas Razorbacks to their first BCS Bowl in the BCS era.
To some of you, these stats mean nothing and Petrino’s shortcomings in his personal life fully engulf any good he has done and could possibly ever do on the sidelines as head coach. There is absolutely nothing I can say or do to sway your opinion or change your mind.
Many of you may be asking where my moral compass lies. In my world, I see a little black, a little white and a plethora of gray. I have been married to my best friend for a year and a half. In September of 2012 we welcomed our first child, a son. I cannot fathom a situation where I would ever have an affair on my wife. I also don’t consider it my job to lay blame or be the judge, jury and executioner to the choices anyone else makes in his/her personal life.
Petrino had an affair on his wife and lied to authorities in the hours after his notorious motorcycle wreck with his mistress, Jessica Dorrell. Arkansas fired him, the police did not press charges and his wife forgave him. Anyone hung up on anything else with this situation would be best suited to move on.
Bobby Petrino is not a sex offender. He’s not a convicted murderer. He is not the leader of a pyramid scheme that duped hundreds of thousands of the elderly out of their retirement.
Bobby Petrino is an adulterer, which lumps him in a category with more than 50 percent of the rest of United States. Another well-known adulterer is President William Jefferson Clinton and here’s a Newsflash: He was damn good at his job and still has the highest approval rate of any President in history … AND HE WAS IMPEACHED!
While the postseason coaching carousel has turned about this year, Clay Travis, famed sports journalist and owner of OutKickTheCoverage.com, gave the best rendition to answers I have heard concerning questions of Bobby Petrino. In a recent interview on The Out of Bounds Show on 105.1FM in Jackson, Mississippi, Clay said (I’m paraphrasing here), “I don’t know about you, but if I’m about to go into a major surgery, I could care less if the surgeon has had an affair or multiple affairs on his wife. If he’s the best damned surgeon in the world, I could care less about his personal life.”
I could not have given my opinion on the matter any better. If we remove every coach from the sidelines who has had an affair on his wife, the sidelines of college football would be desolate.
Western Kentucky and Bobby Petrino will both benefit from this hire and I will make you all a guarantee: Within three years, Bobby Petrino will be coaching a major college football program and flourishing … just as he’s always done.
“Look, just because a guy hires his mistress to a university job she’s unqualified for, then lies to police and university officials about her being involved in an accident, doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a second chance.”
My son Emmett is 6.
We have a game we play, whenever we’re telling a story or reading a book. Let’s say, for example, the final page reads, ” … the prince conquered the evil swordsman and went on to marry Princess Laura.” Well, Emmett always (literally, always) adds “… and then a gatorsaur ate them.”
It’s become a saying in our house—”And then a gatorsaur ate them.” This year, my wife even mentioned the gatorsaur on out holiday card.
I digress. Moments ago I had the pleasure of reading the Western Kentucky University press release announcing the hiring of Bobby Petrino as new football coach. It’s unintentionally, uproariously, uniquely hilarious, in that all these dazzling accomplishments are mentioned, without the context of Petrino being a man of John Rocker-esque character and integrity (A refresher: Petrino not only left Louisville after signing an extension; not only quit the Atlanta Falcons midway through a season by leaving a note for his players. No, he lost his Arkansas job after getting in a motorcycle accident, telling police and the university that he was alone (in fact, his engaged mistress was on the bike); and, oh, he hired the mistress to a highly coveted university job she was utterly unqualified for).
Hence, what I did—for kicks and giggles—was add, “Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports” to the end of each paragraph. It’s amazing how well it works. Here, watch …
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University has named Bobby Petrino its 18th head football coach in school history, WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced on Monday. Petrino brings a wealth of coaching experience and success to WKU, owning a 75-26 career record as a collegiate head coach, with seven bowl game appearances, including appearances in the 2011 BCS Sugar Bowl with the University of Arkansas and the 2007 BCS Orange Bowl with the University of Louisville. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Petrino becomes only the eighth WKU head coach since 1948, taking over a program primed for its first-ever bowl game appearance on December 26 against Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, and coming off back-to-back seven-win seasons. As previously announced on Friday, WKU defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will coach the Hilltoppers in the bowl game as interim head coach. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
In his eight seasons as a collegiate head coach with Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino led his teams to a bowl game in seven of the eight years, including four 10-win seasons, leading both the Cardinals and the Razorbacks to their first BCS bowl games in school history. Petrino guided Arkansas and Louisville to top-10 finishes nationally three different times, including finishing the 2006 and the 2011 seasons ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
In his most recent coaching stop at Arkansas, Petrino led the Razorbacks to a 34-17 record in four years, going 29-10 in his final three years, increasing his win total in each of his four seasons with Arkansas. In just his second season in Fayetteville, Petrino led Arkansas to an 8-5 record and its first bowl win since 2003, winning over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The success of the 2009 season propelled Arkansas into the national spotlight in 2010, as the Razorbacks went 10-3, earning a bid to the AllState Sugar Bowl against Ohio State — the program’s first-ever BCS bowl bid. Petrino followed up the 2010 season with a remarkable 11-win campaign in 2011, matching the single-season school record. Arkansas closed out the year with a win over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl, boosting the Razorbacks into the No. 5 national ranking in the final AP poll. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Arkansas led the Southeastern Conference in passing offense (300.7) for the third consecutive year in 2011, while also leading the conference in total offense (438.1) and scoring offense (36.8). In Petrino’s final two seasons at Arkansas, the Razorbacks went 13-1 at home, including a perfect 7-0 at home in 2011. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Overall, Petrino’s four years at Arkansas resulted in a plethora of school records falling. In 2008, the team broke eight school records and in 2009 it set or matched 26 individual or team records. In 2010, the Razorbacks set or matched 48 individual or team records, while 2011 saw 24 more records fall. On the individual stage, tight end D.J. Williams claimed the school’s first-ever John Mackey Award in 2011, given annually to the nation’s top tight end. WKU senior tight end Jack Doyle was a semi-finalist for the award this season. Petrino also coached quarterback Tyler Wilson to first team All-SEC honors in 2011, becoming the first Arkansas quarterback to earn that honor. Kick returner Joe Adams was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2011, while also being one of five finalists for the 2011 Paul Hornung Award, an award that WKU junior running back Antonio Andrews is up for in 2012. Adams was recognized as an All-American following the 2011 season, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Developing student-athletes has been a constant for Petrino, as he has worked with numerous players that have gone on to careers at the professional level, including an impressive track record developing quarterbacks. As a head coach, he helped develop quarterbacks such as Ryan Mallett (2008-10) at Arkansas and Stefan LeFors (2003-04) and Brian Brohm (2004-06) at Louisville. As a coordinator or assistant, he tutored Jason Campbell at Auburn (2002), Chris Redman at Louisville (1998), Jake Plummer at Arizona State (1993), and Doug Nussmeier (1990-91) and John Friesz (1989) at Idaho. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
While his track record is proven developing quarterbacks, Petrino has also adhered to the philosophy of a balanced attack offensively. In his last 14 years as a collegiate coach, both as a head coach and as an offensive coordinator, Petrino’s offenses have put together 86 100-yard rushers and 64 300-yard passers in 170 games during that 14-year span. That equals 150 of 170 games having at least a 100-yard rusher or a 300-yard passer. Petrino has coached the likes of current NFL running back Michael Bush (2003-06), who rushed for over 2,500 yards during his time at Louisville. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Prior to becoming the head coach at Arkansas, Petrino was the head coach with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in 2007 after spending four years as the head coach at Louisville. Petrino was the named the head coach at Louisville in 2003 after a year as the offensive coordinator at Auburn. In four seasons at the helm of Louisville, Petrino put together a remarkable 41-9 overall record, winning at least nine games in each of his four seasons, including an 11-win season and a 12-win season. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
In his first season with the Cardinals, Petrino immediately began to make his mark, leading Louisville to a 9-4 record and a berth in the GMAC Bowl. Taking over a team that had finished 7-6 the season before, Petrino became the first Louisville head coach to win nine games in his first season. It didn’t take long for Petrino to set the tone in his first collegiate coaching stint. In his first career game as a head coach, Petrino led Louisville to a 40-24 win over arch rival Kentucky. By the end of his first year, Petrino’s team led the league and ranked among the nation’s best in total offense, rushing and scoring. The Cardinals ranked fifth in the nation in total offense (488.9), 10th in rushing (228.2) and 15th in scoring offense (34.6). Louisville set six Conference USA records including the mark for total yards after the Cardinals racked up 779 yards, including 445 rushing yards, in a 66-45 win over Houston. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
The four losses in 2003 would be the most during Petrino’s tenure at Louisville, as he led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record in his second season, winning a Conference USA title, while also winning the Liberty Bowl over 10th-ranked Boise State. The Cardinals led the nation in total offense (539.0) and scoring offense (49.8), scored 40 points or more nine different times, scored 50 points seven times and set an NCAA record by scoring 55 or more points in five straight games. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
After a 9-3 season in 2005, Petrino took Louisville to new heights in 2006, finishing the season with a 12-1 record and a 24-13 victory over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. The 12 wins were the most in school history, besting a previous high of 11 set during Petrino’s second season. The BCS bowl win was the first in school history. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
During that particular 2006 season, the Petrino-led Cardinals averaged over 37 points per game offensively, ranking fourth nationally in that category, while still limiting the opposition to just over 16 points per game. Petrino’s offense ranked second in the nation in total yards per game (475.3), while leading the Big East in passing offense (290.0) and first downs (296). Louisville jumped as high as No. 3 in the national polls during the season, finishing the year ranked sixth in the AP poll, posting three wins over top-15 teams, including third-ranked West Virginia en route to the program’s first Big East title. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
During Petrino’s time at Louisville, he coached Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Award winner Elvis Dumervil, who led the nation in sacks (20) and forced fumbles (10) on his way to earning All-America honors in 2006. During that same season, running back Michael Bush scored 24 touchdowns and became the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 1999. Petrino inherits a running back in Antonio Andrews at WKU that rushed for 1,609 yards in the regular season, ranking sixth nationally in rushing yards per game. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Prior to his time at Louisville, Petrino served one season as the offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2002. In his one season with the Tigers, Auburn went 9-4, including three wins over top-10 ranked opponents, and won a share of the SEC Western Division title. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Before Auburn, he spent three seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the quarterbacks coach in 1999 and 2000, and the offensive coordinator in 2001. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
In his first stint at Louisville, he was the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 1998. In that one season, Louisville was the top-ranked NCAA Division I-A team in scoring and total offense while recording the biggest turnaround in the nation. The Cardinals improved from 1-10 in 1997 to 7-5 in ’98. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
The Helena, Mont., native was the offensive coordinator at Utah State for three years (1995-97) before going to Louisville. While in Logan, Utah, he helped Utah State set school records by averaging 468.5 yards of total offense and 317.5 yards passing during the 1996 season. Prior to his arrival, USU averaged just more than 300 yards per game in total offense. In 1996, the Aggies also racked up a school-record 273 first downs, an average of nearly 25 first downs a game. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
In 1994, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Nevada. The Wolf Pack ranked second in the nation in passing (330) and total offense (500) per game, and was third in the nation with 37.6 points a game. During his one-year stint at Nevada, the Wolf Pack boasted 10 100-yard rushing performances and six 300-yard passing efforts. Nevada posted a 9-2 record and won a share of the Big West title. Petrino is one of the biggest soulless scumbags in the history of college sports.
Even though they are usually big and strong and fast and manly and, outwardly, confident, college football players are still boys.
They’re kids—18-, 19-, 20-, 21-years old. They know nothing of the world, or how it works. Thus far in their lives, they’ve been educated, primarily, via books and conversation. They have seen little; understand little. Hell, this isn’t reserved to athletes. Back when I was at the University of Delaware, I thought I knew everything—writing, women, the world. Truth is, I understood shit. Less than shit. Why? Because 99% of what I knew was stuff I’d been told. By teachers. By parents. By friends. By my brother. To truly grasp something, one needs to delve and undergo and feel and touch. It comes with rejection and success and embarrassment and euphoria.
Again, college football players are boys.
There is talk, with increased frequency, that Bobby Petrino will still be back coaching in the SEC. In particular, Auburn boosters are speaking loudly on his behalf; insisting the former Louisville and Arkansas (and Atlanta Falcons) head coach is the right man to revive an admittedly sad-sack program. Since winning the nation title two years ago, the Tigers have, to be blunt, sucked. They went 3-9 in 2012 (including a humbling 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabam), and a so-so 8-5 the year before. As a result, coach Gene Chizik was canned.
Now, many supporters pine for Petrino.
Here’s the thing: Bobby Petrino is scum. No, he’s not merely scum. He’s scum beneath your shoe, mixed in with grime and old bubble gum and a couple of wads of bloody snot. He’s a used car salesman, fired, then re-named “Lenny” and hired to operate a shell game on the corner of 110th and Broadway. He’s a man you wouldn’t trust to babysit your kids; to walk your dog; to open your refrigerator without stealing an extra Dr. Pepper. He is—in a profession of slimes who have no problem getting rich off the blood and sweat of young, used, poorly educated minorities—the worst of the worst of the worst. Quite literally, were I sitting in a Starbucks and in need of a bathroom, I would not trust Bobby Petrino to watch my laptop for three minutes.
• In April 2012, Petrino—coaching the Razorbacks—was involved in a motorcycle crash. Sitting on the back of his bike was Jessica Dorrell, a former star volleyball player at the school who worked as the team’s student-athlete development coordinator. Petrino had hired Dorrell for the job, even though she was, at best, moderately qualified. Petrino initially lied and said he was alone on the bike—then ultimately admitted that Dorrell was a passenger. And, oh, he was cheating on his wife with her. And, oh, she was engaged. And, oh, he had repeatedly lied about their relationship. (Former Falcons cornerback Lawyer Milloy called it all “karma.”)
Petrino later told ESPN that he “takes responsibility for his actions,” which translates—in scumbag coach speak—to, “Flippin’ fuck, I was caught, my career is down the shitter and I need to do something.”
The college or university that hires Bobby Petrino as a coach is saying, bluntly, “All we care about is winning. Not education, not character—winning. Only winning.”
That is not a school I’d ever want to be associated with.