Bobby Petrino’s Redemption Song

So, the wandering coach has himself a new gig at Western Kentucky, and the chattering class is predictably outraged.  Stewart Mandel is in a state of gastric distress and thinks that Something Should Be Done:

If all of this makes you want to vomit, then you’re living under the fantasy notion that winning with integrity is still a priority in college sports. It is in a few places, but one needs to only follow the recent conference realignment wars to know that ego and/or desperation drives most decisions these days. And it’s not like anyone in power is stepping in to stop it.

Man, if they ever made a rule that punished institutions for hiring horn dogs, people in power would be the first ones to feel its bite.  Besides, it’s also not like anyone is going into this deal with his or her eyes closed, as even Mandel admits.

Meanwhile USA Today’s Mike Lopresti clucks that it’s all too soon (exactly when is the right time for something like this, anyway?) and wonders what the parents will think.

Western Kentucky has a new football coach. What are the parents of a high school recruit supposed to say, the day Bobby Petrino sits in their living room and promises that he will be a role model for their son, and that his program will instill values and principles — not to mention a pretty good passing game?

The same things parents were saying when he was at Arkansas, of course.  It’s not like people didn’t already have a good handle on Petrino’s character before he took that motorcycle ride.  The only difference this last time was that he shat in his own bed.  Ironically, it’s likely to be the one lesson he learns about how to conduct himself.

In the meantime, we’ll get the pleasure of watching him open next season coaching against two SEC teams.  If he beats either, it’ll start him back down the road to a major conference coaching job that much sooner.  I just hope WKU did a good job with his contract numbers.  If the school plays its cards right on the buyout, it could turn a profit on Petrino, which, when you think about it, would be the cherry on top of the cynical sundae.


Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

43 responses to “Bobby Petrino’s Redemption Song

  1. Billy Mumphrey

    Don’t forget that Kentucky is also the state of Rick Pitino. A man with his own amorous adventures.

    • DawgFaithful

      Nothing to do with this post and I’m not saying this is why the game was lost because it was lost on Bama’s 350 yds rushing but Mel Kiper think we should have spiked it too. I get both sides of the argument. But when everyone and your brother is yelling spike it in that brief moment, that’s their gut telling them that. Gotta go with your gut in those situations. Spiking would have given us a shot to regroup. Just saying. I think the coaches maybe panicked just a bit in that split second and let the decision get away from them. Again not saying thats why we lost the game. Just agree with the majority that a spike would have increased our chances of success there. Overall I thought the coaches did a great job all year mostly. I’m glad Murray is coming back though. Can’t wait for next year. Gonna be an interesting year to see how the defense performs. I hope we retain Bobo. I think Murray staying will influence that. Still hurtin from that loss. Toughest one I’ve ever been a part of in my 30 years. Proud of our boys and coaches and how Richt turned it around in the fashion he did. God I love the GA Bulldawgs. Go Dawgs.

      • The principal reason Richt indicated to Murray to go for it was to prevent Saban from subbing his goal line package in. It was a calculated risk and not the result of panic.

        • DawgFaithful

          Thanks buddy but Like is said, I get both sides of the story. I know the reasoning behind not spiking it. Still doesnt mean you shouldnt spike it there. How much time did he have to “calculate” it? 2 seconds maybe? How long does it take you to make a calculated decision? Had he spiked it, he would have had more time to calculate. Just saying that I agree with Mel Kiper, Bobo and most everyone else who thinks it should have been spiked.

  2. Lrgk9

    Grace is free but a Pardon is earned.

    Bobby may have a difficult time earning a pardon to get back to the upper echelons.

  3. Merk


  4. Go Dawgs!

    The handwringing over Petrino certainly feels a little hollow. If he hadn’t hired his mistress and exposed Arkansas to the peril of lawsuits, I really think he’d be coaching somewhere in the BCS this year. Some fanbase somewhere is going to enthusiastically embrace the guy just as soon as he proves at WKU that he didn’t forget how to coach in the last six months. Hell…. many if not most fans of Arkansas would have taken him back. This is the era of “All In”, baby. This is the era of Mark Richt’s too nice of a man and too good of a person to win a championship, you have to wallow around in the muck to win.

    Trust me, if WKU upsets Kentucky or Tennessee in the first two weeks, Petrino is going to go ahead and cut back on spending to work on the buyout. And he’ll be announced at somebody’s press conference next December.

    The real shame for Petrino is that he missed a big year of SEC turnover. With the possible exception of the OBC deciding to retire, I don’t see any SEC jobs opening up next year. Maybe Missouri? I don’t get the impression that Misssissippi State fans are that unhappy right now but I think Mullen might have the warmest seat in the league right now. Poor Petrino. He may have to go to the Big 12 or something. Good. I don’t want him back in this league.

    • Macallanlover

      Your opening sentences state exactly how I feel. Petrino had an affair, with an adult no less, and it was of a different sex….wow. People find that shocking? Really? I am not condoning the impact of extramarital affairs on members of families involved but this pales with what is tolerated in this society today. And it isn’t even close to the moral collapse of deliberately oversigning young athletes with dreams while knowing that signature means someone is going to have their dream “bubble” burst. Buy 125 horses knowing you can only feed the 85 most fit. That would be bad enough with horses, cows, etc., it is totally immoral when it comes to teenage athletes.

      The instinct Petrino followed may disgust some because man is supposed to suppress that natural mating instinct (although it is tougher around university campuses in this country) but I find “excessive oversigning with evil intent” to be worse. I know Petrino is probably guilty of both, but the one getting the most attention is the wrong one, imo. I think he cleans the womanizing problem up, and oversigning won’t be an issue at WKU; getting a full class with talent will be. I think this buys him some time at a school where he can have some success until the next coaching round-robin begins. He will eventually win out, no doubt in my mind. He might even get a shot at the NFL after this season, Jerry Jones is going to be hungry again, and Little Nicky may not want to die with a failure on his resume, Petrino would be a much cheaper buy.

      • godawgs, macallanlover…I think you guys are missing the larger point here. if Petrino’s only mistake was having an affair (though I have higher standards for myself and my own marriage, I might argue it was simply getting caught having the affair), I think it would be simple to rationalize.

        that said, he used his position of influence to get his girlfriend a job OVER presumably other more qualified candidates at a state owned and publicly funded institution. then he lied to his boss about when the details of his crash came to light. it does not take a lot of imagination to think that WKU is taking a large legal risk IF something remotely similar to this happens again. I suspect that he will not have the same leeway at WKU that he had at Arkansas, and I imagine the probability of something like this happening again is low, but what happens if it does? What happens is a if a woman in the athletic department claims she was sexually harassed by him? How could WKU credibly state that they were not aware of his prior history and the risk it posed to the women in their workplace?

        It would seem a tad unforgiving to say he should not have the chance to work again, but it is NOT AT ALL unreasonable to think his acts were so brazen that they would all but end his coaching career.

        • Ginny

          mdcgtp stole the words out of my mouth.

        • Russ

          Exactly. The transgression was not the affair, sleazy as it was. It was putting said girlfriend on the public payroll and bypassing the laws in hiring. Public institutions take that seriously, and he opened Arkansas up to lots of liability if he was still there.

          It’s the same situation as Clinton and Lewinsky. The problem wasn’t the affair. After all, what’s more American than using your cool job to pick up women? 🙂 The problem was that he lied to a grand jury about it. People get wound up in the affairs, but it’s really about the legal implications.

      • Ginny

        What about the part where he hired his mistress as a university employee and lied to his boss?

      • stoopnagle

        I’m not disagreeing with your sentiment. I think both you and Go Dawgs! are correct.

        I think the bigger problem I would have with my school hiring BP is that he showed favoritism in a supposed open hiring process, breaking the law and lying to his superiors. That’s what lost in the salaciousness. The affair: yeah, that’s not good; but illegally conducting a hiring for a public position and then being dishonest about it? That’s, um, illegal. And really should have kept him out of a job at a public university for another year. *Should*, of course, isn’t how the world usually works.

        He can spin his motorcycle shenanigans on the recruiting trail. Afterall, it is littered with 18-20 year olds who have made a mistake or two (sometimes more high-profile than others) with parents happy to hear a redemption story.

        I think he’s permanently radioactive where the NFL is concerned. That’s probably my only quibble here.

        • Newt

          I don’t think much of the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing is over the way he worked the hiring process for his side piece. It’s people moralizing about “an institution of higher learning hiring a known liar and philanderer.” Most people don’t even know much about the fact that he got her a job. Don’t forget that the cfb blogosphere (and this blog in particular) is much more dialed in to the behind the scenes machinations of big time college athletics than the casual fan who is outraged that Petrino already has another job.

          • Macallanlover

            I don’t disagree with any of you above about the “bigger picture” issue, but I do feel this part of BP’s life is behind him. Sure the institution would have some increased lliability if he ever was allowed to manage women in the workplace but every institution already has most of that liability, even for someone with a clean record. They got Petrino for a steal, and the added publicity (some not favorable obviously) will benefit their program. Not saying I would have hired him defintiely, but the risk/reward seems to favor WKU to me.

      • Will (the other one)

        While I’ve heard some “Saban to Cowboys” rumors, I think the more likely result there is the Cowboys miss the playoffs again this year, Garret gets canned, and Jerry Jones sees what Sean Payton can do with Tony Romo.

        It’s more realistic than Saban to the Browns at least.

  5. Uglydawg

    Senator, you are quite the stylist with the pen.
    BP’s motorcycle incident was the trigger that finally put the man’s whole sorry and selfish lifestyle in the light. It goes way back…to at least the under handed way he was dealing with the dark powers at AU to depose T.T. in such an underhanded way. (On the other hand, given what TT did to Ole Miss, I wonder if the Barners reasoned this was the way things happen in TT’s world).
    I’m disappointed in Western KY for making this hire. Is there no shame?
    Mandel’s point that “winning with integrity” is a fantasy except “in a few places”, bought immediate thoughts of gratitude and admiration for CMR.
    As for WK…”Lock up your daughters!”.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      As for WK…”Lock up your daughters!”.
      Wonder why the only angst in this sordid affair is directed as Booby? The young “lady” involved was no teenager. She was engaged to be married in the near future and apparently had not changed her calender with respect to the upcoming nuptials. Having two sons I have often cautioned them about their behavior. Having two close friends that both had two daughters each the same age as my kids was a real eye opener. These kids grew up, went to school, and are in college together. Best of friends. Like cousins. Go on spring break together. I get to listen to my bride tell me how my “nieces” often run some of my sons potential girlfriends off cause they are “sluts” . Our families are heavily weighted toward the female gender. I don’t think the boys complain much…… in fact I think they are rather spoiled.

  6. HVL Dawg

    Petrino is being paid .850 and the buyout from another school is 1.2.

    WKU was paying their last coach .450, up from .250 the previous year.

    I’d say they did their math right. Petrino stays 2 years and the school makes out like a charm.

    Petrino gets a 10k bonus if WKU sells 12,000 season tickets.

  7. DawgPhan

    If you really want to be cynical, check the attendance numbers for this season. PSU’s “incident” only cost the AD 5% drop in attendance. I am sure it will be back up next year. I also believe that 2012 was the university’s largest donation year, around $200million this year.

    I am sure that ADs everywhere are taking note. Dont get the details, head in the sand, and the worst that could possibly happen is 5% drop in ticket sales, or about the same drop as UT in the middle of a major multi year decline.

    • Will (the other one)

      Oh they already are: see the disappearing sexual assault allegations at Notre Dame (and everyone forgetting about the videographer who died last season.)

  8. hassan

    Petrino is a known commodity. Everybody knows what they get here. The AD needs to keep him on a short financial leash to keep from seeing what little coffers WKU does have go to support a Hooters waitress. As for the kids and their parents? Please… There are two kinds of football players that go to WKU, players that aren’t good enough for the big boy schools, and players with character issues that prevent them from being looked at by the big boy schools. As for the latter, Petrino can use his past as a recruiting tool. “Hey man, I am just like you!”

  9. ScoutDawg

    Hate his no good ass, but wouldn’t it be delicious for him to beat BOTH UK and UT after they passed on him?

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I was thinking the same thing and it doesn’t seem too far fetched does it?
      The Hilltoppers took Kentucky to overtime this season losing 32-31. Troy scored 26 on them and lost. That same Troy scored 48 on the Hillbillies and had 658 yards total offense. I bear no malice towards the Wildcats….. but uT is a whole other matter.

      • ScoutDawg

        Didn’t have the details… and really didn’t know IT WAS SO LIKELY. Thanks man…

      • stoopnagle

        Yes. Keep UT down. Beat them, beat them, beat them. They can’t be bad enough.

      • Bulldog Joe

        WKU beat Kentucky this season. It was a big reason why the head coaching position was open.

        WKU in Knoxville next season just became a “must win” game for Butch Jones.

  10. Cousin Eddie

    What are the parents of a high school recruit supposed to say, the day Bobby Petrino sits in their living room……. Quit staring at my wife.

    • HVL Dawg

      Fist off, a whole bunch of his recruits won’t have parents. They will have a mom. And Mom isn’t about to pass judgement on this man for having sex out of wedlock. And she don’t give a damn about him giving his girlfriend a cushy job, in fact, it will seam pretty thoughtful.

      But she’s for sure gonna know that Coach Petrino was once the successful coach of the Atlanta Falcons. And she’s gonna know for sure that if her little boy makes it to the NFL, she’s getting a new house- one with nice draperies and a walk in closet.

      • And the winner for most passively aggressive racist comment of the year goes to…

        • AthensHomerDawg

          How so?

        • Newt

          You can dispute how he made his point, but HVL has a point (although I’m hoping his characterization of Petrino’s stint with the Falcons as successful was sarcasm). The point is, if Petrino is the best guy to get their child to the NFL (and that’s how many recruits’ families look at college football), then his past will be quickly forgiven. It’s not like he hasn’t had to answer questions about being a dirt-bag before. He can sell it, plus now he’s got a new “I almost lost what was most important to me and I’ve learned my lesson” family man angle to play up.

        • HVL Dawg

          Thanks AuditDawg. I spent a little time in here today and I’m OK.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Man on deck!
          okay…. you’re up AuditDawg.
          Make me know something here. I know it ain’t tax time but if you need to burn one to relax it’s cool with me. K?
          Let’s see what you got…. careful when you throw that card out there…. someone may call your hand.

          just sayin’

        • Normaltown Mike

          And the winner for most ignorant comment on what the word “racist” means goes to….

  11. Dog in Fla

    “Stewart Mandel is in a state of gastric distress” caused in part by Bobby P. being from Montana