Bobby Petrino was fired by the University of Arkansas Tuesday night after he attempted to conceal then later admitted to having an inappropriate relationship, with a 25-year-old employee Jessica Dorrell.
Dorrell, a former volleyball player for Arkansas had been hired in a fund raising role by Petrino just four days prior to that motorcycle accident that brought the relationship to light.
Dorrell was one of three finalists for that job from a pool of 159 applicants and was given the job in an unusually quick hiring process, according to the university.
When the accident happened initially, Petrino called Dorrell a lady who flagged down a passing car, making no mention of the fact that she was on the motorcycle with him or that he knew her at all.
When Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long announced the hiring, he said that the relationship between Dorrell and Petrino had lasted for a signifigant time, and that he had given her $20,000 of his own money at one point in time as a gift.
He made the decision, a conscious decision, to mislead the public on Tuesday, and in doing so negatively affected the reputation of the University of Arkansas and our football program, Long said. 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.
Dorrell was engaged to another member of the athletics staff at the university, but she is reported to have called off the engagement a week prior to the accident. She has retained a lawyer and could sue the school for sexual harassment. Under the University of Arkansas' sexual harassment policy, even consensual sexual relationships between faculty and their students or between supervisors and their employees in some instances may result in charges of sexual harassment.
In his statement after his firing, Petrino acknowledged his wife Becky and his family and apologized to them specifically for his actions.
I have hurt my wife Becky and our four children. I've let down the University of Arkansas, my team, coaching staff and everyone associated with the Razorback football program, he said.
In his four seasons in Fayetteville, Petrino built the Razorbacks into a national power, leading them to a 21-5 mark over the last two years including an 11-2 record in 2011. Arkansas lost only two games last season - to national champion Alabama and runner-up LSU - and was thought to be a contender in the SEC this season.