It has been confirmed that Bobby Petrino will be returning to the University of Arkansas football program, this time as the offensive coordinator. The move comes 11 years after he was fired in total disgrace, then from the position of head football coach, following the exposure of his affair with Razorbacks and volleyball player and student assistant Jessica Dorrell.
The dominant imagery of Petrino’s first Razorbacks tenure/the scandal that ended it was the press conference he conducted while wearing a neck brace.
In April of 2012, Petrino was in a motorcycle crash that left him with four broken ribs and damaged C2 vertebrae.
He initially claimed that he was on the bike alone at the time.
It was later exposed that Jessica Dorrell was with him, and from there the romantic relationship between student and then 51-year-old head football coach was exposed.
Petrino was married to his wife Becky at the time of the affair and the couple is still together today.
Dorrell, who kept a very low public profile through all this (no doubt because she got solid legal advice) was engaged to the University’s Director of Swimming and Diving Operations, Josh Morgan, at the time.
The couple’s wedding website has to be shut down, due to public defacing, but they did go ahead and get married the next year.
All three figures, Petrino, Dorrell and Morgan, left the University of Arkansas shortly thereafter, but with the Razorbacks having now brought Petrino back, it’s time to revisit this scandal.
Jessica Dorrell got a plum job with the university, one that 159 other people reportedly applied. She was also lavished with gifts by Petrino, including a sum of $20,000 which was understood to be a Christmas gift. So in addition to lying to his boss about the motorbike accident, Petrino was also having an extramarital affair with a student, one that he was pulling lots of strings for.
Or you could say he was just “paying her off” too. So when we saw all the reports stating that Arkansas was “vetting” Petrino, it was nothing but unintentional comedy. This also puts to bed, for good, the idea that “cancel culture” is actually a thing that truly exists.
Petrino spent this past season as offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, after having head coaching stints at Missouri State, Louisville and Western Kentucky. He was only out of football less than a year after this scandal broke, so it’s impossible to say that he really “suffered any consequences” at all for his sordid actions.
After leaving the University of Arkansas, Jessica Dorrell got a new job working for the South Carolina Association of School Administrators a few months later.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now, while writing for the International Baseball Writers Association of America. You can follow the website on Twitter.