Where to draw the line?
The Bobby Petrino case is very interesting. I personally believe that there are no grounds for him to be dismissed with pay, as head coach. What he did was immoral, but what does it have to do with his job? He crashed a motorcycle while his mistress was riding on the back with him, would a professor at Arkansas be dismissed if he had done the very same thing?
What happened to Petrino was unfortunate, and if we are going to look at his case as a whole, then maybe his dismissal is understandable. He has made some sketchy decisions in the past, like resigning as the coach of the Atlanta Falcons, which he specifically said he wouldn’t do, in order to accept the very job he may lose now. But, there are honestly no grounds for Petrino to be placed on a “paid leave.”
The Petrino story brings up a conflict that has always interested me. Where is the line between off the field/court and on the field/court actions drawn? It’s the reason why Pete Rose and Cris Carter are not in their respective Hall of Fames. What does Cris Carter’s relationship with the media, or former drug habit, have to do with what he did on the football field? Carter is fourth in all time receiving yards and touchdowns for Pete’s sake.
Speaking of Pete, I am from Cincinnati, so the Pete Rose issue hits home. Many Cincinnatians are still fuming mad that Charlie Hustle is not in Cooperstown. He was legitimately one of the best players to ever play and he is not in the Hall? It seems a bit ludicrous.
However, Rose lied about what he did. And we all know what lying can do to a reputation/career, just ask Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints. The fact that Petrino tried to cover up this incident hurts him, but it shouldn’t cost him his job. He led Arkansas to an 11-2 season and a Cotton Bowl victory, to fire him is to set back an uprising program a couple of years, and that’s something a SEC school can’t afford to do.
In summation, the fact is that Petrino did not damage the football program or do anything illegal. He was cheating on his wife, and he crashed while doing it. It is a true series of unfortunate events, to say the least. Petrino’s situation should be handled by himself and his wife, this is not a public matter. Petrino should be able to resume his career at Arkansas immediately and get the Razorbacks rolling.