There's a lot of slime balls in the world of sports, but we're seeing one of the all-timers right now. Bobby Petrino some how found a way to move even further down the list this week, into an area where integrity and morals have long ago disappeared.
The former Arkansas football coach (as of Tuesday) showed more undesirable behavior by dumping his motorcycle, with no helmet, while his 25-year old mistress was riding on the back. A scandal involving an affair, a $20,000 payment and a job all surfaced following, which lead to his firing this week.
Petrino, a father of four, admitted to having an "inappropriate relationship" with the former University of Arkansas volleyball player, and gave her 20 grand and recently hired her to work in the football program with a salary of over $55,000.
Everyone makes bad decisions and choices. Lord knows I'm no one to judge others, and I don't judge. The facts are Bobby Petrino has a track record of sleazy, shady, questionable decision-making. And while Arkansas should have never hired him in the first place, they certainly made the right move in firing him Tuesday.
Petrino "rose to power" at Louisville before signing a long extension in 2006, only to leave the school to take the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job in 2007. Petrino was going to make Michael Vick into a "complete quarterback" when he took the job. However, Vick's dogfighting troubles began shortly after, which left Petrino in a tough spot.
So what did the first-year NFL head coach do when the team was 3-10 and struggling? He quit. He vanished under the cover of darkness after a game, leaving a note in the player's lockers. Just up and left. He was doing Arkansas's "Sooey" chant the very next day. He had told Falcons' owner Arthur Blank how committed he was just the day before. That was all I needed to see from Bobby Petrino to know I didn't want anything to do with him.
Yet Arkansas was desperate to stay relevant in the SEC so they hired him under those horrendous conditions. If I'm Arkansas and I did want him as coach, I would have said, "We'll sign you up after you fulfill your commitments to the Falcons. We're not going to hire someone who will up and quit on their team in the middle of the season."
Trusting a quitter to lead you is never a good idea, as Arkansas is finding out the hard way almost five years later with Petrino spilling his Harley and his girlfriend on the asphalt.
Whether it's quitting, infidelity, shady payments, a massive ego, or the entitlement that comes with his position, Petrino demonstrated he's far leadership material. In fact, it's been quite clear since his locker room note to the Falcons.