Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino was put on leave yesterday after disclosing an “inappropriate relationship” with co-worker Jessica Dorrell. The admission came after the coach was in a motorcycle accident with Dorrell as his passenger and lied to administrators about being alone on the bike. Athletic Director Jeff Long appeared in a press conference on Thursday night to announce the news.
Petrino was briefly hospitalized for four broken ribs and a cracked vertabra after rolling his bike; no other vehicles were involved and Dorrell declined treatment at the hospital. When a police report was filed regarding the accident which included Dorrell’s name, Petrino admitted to school officials that he’d been having a relationship with her and said he had initially been untruthful because he wanted to protect his family; the 51-year old is married and has four children.
25-year old Dorrell, who is the Student-Athlete Development Co-ordinator at the university, has not been disciplined yet, but Long said he will have to investigate the matter further to see if action needs to be taken against her. It is unclear how long Petrino will be on paid leave.
“I’m at the beginning of the review. I don’t know what I’m going to find,” Long said. “I am disappointed that coach Petrino did not share with me, when he had the opportunity to, the full extent of the accident and who was involved.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Petrino said he hopes to make amends for his decisions.
“I will fully cooperate with the university throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks,” he said.
Petrino has been with Arkansas for four years and has improved the Razorback’s game every season. Some fear this scandal will injure–or perhaps ruin–his career.