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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino (left) was placed on paid administrative leave on Thursday by UA athletics director Jeff Long (right) after Petrino lied about details surrounding his motorcycle accident last Sunday. (AP Photos) - Photo by The Associated Press

— Bobby Petrino has been placed on paid leave following the release of a police report that revealed that he had a 25-year-old female employee with him on his motorcycle during a Sunday crash.

Speaking at a late night press conference Thursday, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long said he will conduct a review of Petrino. The review will determine whether he will remain employed by the university.

Petrino has a contractual termination clause for “engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the University, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of Head Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the University or UAF’s Athletics Programs in any way.”

Taver Johnson, who was hired as linebackers coach in January, will serve as interim coach in Petrino's absence.

Photo by University of Arkansas
A woman identified as Jessica Dorrell on the University of Arkansas athletics website.
Photo by Bob Kramer, Special to NWAonline
Bobby Petrino's Harley-Davidson motorcycle following an accident on Sunday.
Photo by The Associated Press
Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino speaks during a news conference in Fayetteville on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, after being released from a hospital.
Photo by ASHEL PARSONS / Special to the Three Rivers edition of the Democrat-Gazette
Jessica Dorrell and University of Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino appear together in this Feb. 23 file photograph at Searcy High School during a meeting of the White County Razorback Club.

"Any time we have a coach who makes a misstep, it's disappointing to me," Long said. "We have high expectations of every coach and staffer."

Long said he spoke with Petrino shortly before a state police report was released Thursday afternoon and informed the coach of his decision later Thursday night.

Jessica Dorrell, who was hired last week to an administrative role within the Arkansas football department, was on the back of Petrino's motorcycle when it crashed Sunday in Madison County, according to the accident report released by the Arkansas State Police.

Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long addresses Bobby Petrino's suspension as Razorbacks head football coach on Thursday night in Fayetteville.

Jeff Long - Bobby Petrino Suspension

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The report contradicted a statement made by the Petrino family through the University of Arkansas athletics media relations office on Monday stating the Razorbacks' football coach was the only individual involved in the accident. Petrino crashed his Harley-Davidson around 6:45 p.m. Sunday on Arkansas 16 near the rural community of Crosses, about 23 miles southeast of Fayetteville.

"He admitted that he had not been totally forthcoming and forthright with me about the accident," Long said. "He shared with me the reasons why he didn't share the information."

Petrino didn't speak Thursday night, but did release a statement through the university's media relations office.

"The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publicly come to light prior to the report being issued," Petrino wrote. "I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle.

"My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public...In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details.

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Bobby Petrino Accident Report

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"I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks."

According to the report, Petrino and Dorrell were picked up by Benjamin Adam Williams, Jody Diane Stewart and Williams' 12-year-old son, all of Ozark. Petrino and Dorrell were transported to the intersection of Huntsville Road and Crossover Road in east Fayetteville, where Dorrell departed the vehicle.

Petrino was met there by Capt. Lance King, an Arkansas state trooper who serves as his security detail during football season, and transported to Physicians' Specialty Hospital in Fayetteville. King is also the commander of Arkansas State Police Troop L, based in Springdale.

Petrino suffered four broken ribs, a neck sprain and a cracked vertebrae in the accident, he said Tuesday. Dorrell was not injured, according to the report. Neither was cited by police for the accident.

Dorrell is a former volleyball player at the UA and had previously worked for The Razorback Foundation Inc., the university's private fundraising arm. She was hired as student-athlete development coordinator for football on March 28.

Petrino is 34-17 in four seasons at Arkansas, increasing his win total in each season at the school. He led the Razorbacks to an 11-2 record in 2011, tying the school record for most wins in a season and finishing the year ranked No. 5 nationally.

Since his hiring, Arkansas' football program has seen a significant spike in donation levels, allowing for the construction of a $40.35 million operations center to be completed next year and a proposed future expansion to the north side of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The program's assistant coaches have also received pay raises following each of the last two seasons.

The Razorbacks were ranked by Forbes magazine as the eighth-most valuable college football program last year at more than $80 million.

Petrino agreed to a seven-year contract in December 2011 that pays him $3.56 million annually. The contract has a mutual buyout clause that began at $18 million for the first two years of the agreement, but it can be waived for breach of contract.

Petrino statement

“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publically come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publically acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.

I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”

Comments

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  • T6
    April 6, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.

    Lesterday my point was if his wife didn't KNOW about a PREVIOUS relationship. Why would he confess to a previous affair simply because he had a wreck with this girl. The previous relationship was to get the publicity off Jessica. If it wasn't with this girl why would he confess to a previous one?

  • Greenboat8
    April 6, 2012 at 12:41 a.m.

    The ride is just beginning. My money says more lies will come to light. Better break out the boots and shovels.....it gonna get deep!

  • OldRazorback1
    April 6, 2012 at 2:15 a.m.

    I support Coach Petrino. He is the best coach we've ever had at the University of Arkansas, and I hope and pray that he remains our coach. All of you critical, self righteous, judgmental people need to get a life. Everybody makes mistakes, even good people. Get over it.

  • bfineprint
    April 6, 2012 at 2:24 a.m.

    I find this rather amusing since Pinochiotrino coached at Louisville and you could never believe a thing he said. (He usually didn't say much, however.) He had the AD there get a new contract for him a couple of months before he flew the coop to Atlanta, then didn't even finish out his first year. You can trust him about as much as the Wall Street banks that sold junk bonds that were rated Triple A. But then the bottom line these days is how much money you make for the school, and he is a very good coach. So he will get a slap on the wrist and told don't lie to us anymore and as long as you win, you will be fine. Ironically, Louisville had a worse scandal than this involving Pitino (funny how their names are similar) and he came out of that unscathed. So based on that precedent I would fully expect Pinochiotrino will be back on the field after a 1- or 2-game suspension and everything will go back to the way it was ... until the next lie or scandal comes up. And as long as there are schools or pro teams desperate to win, these coaches will continue to not be affected by these incidents. Now if it is the average working stiff then they would be let go. But remember the bottom line at our higher places of learning --- do as I say, not as I do and keep on winning and we'll forgive you for lying to us, like you did at Louisville, Atalnta, Auburn, and every other school you tried to get hired by while you were pretending you wanted to stay there.

  • screamc
    April 6, 2012 at 3:43 a.m.

    I care about 3rd and 10. Anything else he has done is none our business. Get a life im sure some of you want the public no where near your personal life, so stay away from his

  • amberjack
    April 6, 2012 at 5:20 a.m.

    Who cares, great coach, and having an afair is really not that big of a deal. I"ve had my share so I think just focus on his football coaching and get on with it, but like my daddy would say, "don't ride the working stock"

  • GeorgiaFan1
    April 6, 2012 at 7:15 a.m.

    Hey Arkansas fans, remember us, Atlanta Falcons fans, the people who tried to warn you about Perrino? When you hire someone on the run in the middle of the night, dont be shocked if problems come up later. There is a character flaw in the mix that can't stay hidden. And it didn't stay hidden. Now you can deal with it, sort through the mess left by a coach who couldn't control his urges or mouth with his family, university and a pile of money at stake. A terrible shame, but not an unexpected shame.

  • SoWhatSoWhat
    April 6, 2012 at 7:16 a.m.

    Who cares. It's nobody's business what he does on his personal time. This is between him and his wife not the rest of Arkansas! I think the school is setting a bad example by suspending him because of this. The very people judging him most certainly have skeletons in their own closet....heck we all do. When is America going to learn to stay out of other people's personal lives? If he had committed a crime then yes, he should be suspended, like say he was drinking and driving and that caused the accident or that the girl was underage.... but as far as an affair, it may not be correct behavior in the eyes of God, but it is between him and his family. God also directs us NOT to judge our fellow many but most of the posters here aren't abiding by that moral commitment either. Why do Americans think they have the right to pry into everyone's personal lives but when the shoe is on the other foot state that "it's my private business". I blame the media in this country for putting too much info out there but hiding important info that we need to be informed about. It's all about ratings and drama.....it needs to stop and this country needs to get back to worrying about what is important and Petrino's supposed affair isn't one of those things! If you don't want your own closet opened for all to view then STOP looking into other's closets. The only person he should have to answer to about this is his wife. If the girl were under age then that would be another story. How many people cheat in cooperate america? Probably lots but you don't see it making the news or them being fired!

  • SPA
    April 6, 2012 at 7:20 a.m.

    "Where'd all the good people go?"

    Petrino might be suspended? Well, for him, not to worry. He's perfectly suited for politics; he could move right in and join the lot of 'em.

  • dmallor
    April 6, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.

    So its ok for a high school teacher to have sex with 18 year olds but its not ok for a college football coach to be with a 25 year old?

    Mar 29, 2012 – The court sided with 38-year-old David Paschal, an Elkins High School history and ... Teacher/student sex now ok in Arkansas if student is 18.

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