Bobby Petrino spent his final days as head coach of the University of Arkansas football team fretting over his future, and whether or not people would be able to read the content of his text messages on his business phone.
As a public employee, Petrino's business cell phone records are subject to public scrutiny. The Associated Press, Deadspin, and other outlets requested his records via a Freedom of Information Act request that was granted on Thursday.
The records dump initially turned up another possible mistress, Alison Melder, a 26-year-old GOP staffer who the coach exchanged almost two hundred text messages with over the course of three months.
Now as some more detailed investigations are being done, the content of some of the texts has come to light.
On April 6, the day after he was put on administrative leave by Athletic Director Kevin Long, Petrino was concerned that he might be let go and reached out to assistant AD Chris Wyrick.
Coach, I know I sometimes aggravate you, but PLEASE listen to me. Does Jeff know EVERYTHING from your standpoint?? Wyrick asked in a text.
Yes I believe he does, Petrino responded. Is the mood to fire me or to keep me???
I can't honestly speak to (Long's) pulse on that, but my gut is he wants it to work, Wyrick wrote. You have done the job and most feel like you are due a mulligan.
Petrino also texted someone known only as Andy, at about the same time that night. The coach asked, can they get content off my text.
I think thy (sic) can only get who you text, replied Andy.
There are documents that indicate that Petrino and Dorrell exchanged video and picture messages and a report from OutkickTheCoverage.com that says that there could be nude photos of Petrino among the data.
Petrino also reached out to Long himself on April 7, three days before he was eventually fired.
Hey Jeff, I'm just sitting around wondering what I should be doing??, Petrino wrote. I just want you to no (sic) how sorry I am that this all happened!!
Long did not reply via text.
Patrino was fired for failing to disclose his relationship with Dorrell to the university and for withholding other information from Long about the relationship.
Petrino also thanked Long for how he handled the news conference in which Petrino was put on leave.
Jeff I appreciate how you handled last night, Petrino texted. Let me know if we need to get together again. I'm at your disposal and will do whatever it takes to keep you in my camp and remain your coach.
Thanks Bobby, I am working through the process. Jeff, Long replied.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident there were calls and texts from Long to Petrino that showed nothing but concern for his coach's health. But after a phone call on 3:11 PM on April 5, when Petrino revealed the details of his affair to Long, the texts become much more businesslike.
Fourty-five minutes after that phone call, Long texted Petrino, Bobby, we need to talk sooner, Long texted. I'll call you when I get back to town.
Little is known about Petrino's next steps, but this incident could signal the end of his career as a big-time college football coach. Despite leading the Razorbacks to a 11-2 record this season, he has a checkered past and will not be a popular choice to coach a team in the near future.
Arkansas is already searching for Petrino's replacement.
No decision on Interim Coach, Know current assts well, no need for folks to lobby, have watched for myself, he tweeted late Thursday. All scenarios still on table.