Admittedly, no SEC athletic director in his right mind is ready to come out publicly and say he’d consider hiring Petrino, because nobody wants to have to answer to this kind of thinking – yet:
My answer was that hopefully neither school will hire him. Hopefully no one anywhere will hire the former Arkansas football coach who somehow forgot he was a married father long enough to have an affair with an athletic department employee, promoted her to a job she may or may not have been qualified to have, then lied about all of it to his athletic director.
Any university that would hire Petrino should disallow any pretense that ethics, character and decency are a part of its mission statement.
Just come right out and say, “Our motto is ‘The End Justifies the Means.’ We’re changing our athletic nickname to Pigs, Snakes or Cockroaches — at least until the ACLU or Humane Society charge that’s an affront to pigs, snakes and cockroaches — and we’re trying to hire John Edwards or Arnold Schwarzenegger as our school president.”
But I’d be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that Petrino’s name has been breached behind closed doors. And more than once. Which doors? Well, speaking of betting money, check out these three lines that greeted me this morning:
- Alabama at Tennessee +20.5
- Georgia at Kentucky +28.5
- Auburn at Vanderbilt -7.5 (!)
When’s the last time Auburn was an underdog to Vandy?
To add insult to injury, I doubt I’d pick any of the ‘dogs to cover. Those are lost seasons and you’ve got to figure there’s enough restlessness in the respective fan bases to encourage at least one AD to hold his nose and proclaim that he’s convinced Bobby Petrino is a changed man. Of course, there are two ways you can go from there – you can hold stealth negotiations and announce the hire as a fait accompli, or you can let word get out that you’re seriously considering the possibility of hiring the man. I’m hoping for the latter, if only to smoke out all the desperate actors.
The only thing more embarrassing than hiring Petrino would be to get in a bidding war for his services and lose out to another conference school.
As for the buyout money that Wiedmer frets over, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Never underestimate the size of frustrated alums’/supporters’ checkbooks. And this is what SEC TV money’s for, anyway.