FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas put football coach Bobby Petrino on paid leave Thursday following he failed to disclose he had been riding with a female employee half his age when his motorcycle skidded off the road over the weekend.
Petrino, who coached the Atlanta Falcons throughout the 2007 NFL season before quitting immediately after 13 games to take the job at Arkansas, apologized and stated he had been concerned about guarding his family members and keeping an “inappropriate connection from becoming public.”
“I will completely cooperate with the university throughout this procedure and my hope is to repair my relationships with my household, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks,” he said in a statement issued by the university.
Athletic director Jeff Extended announced the choice at a late-night news conference and said he had no timeline in determining the 51-year-old Petrino’s future with the Razorbacks.
“I’m at the beginning of the review. I don’t know what I’m going to find,” Extended stated.
Extended said he was disappointed that he didn’t hear about the passenger — former Arkansas volleyball player and present football system employee Jessica Dorrell, who is 25 — till Petrino named him Thursday afternoon, minutes before a police report was released that disclosed her presence at the accident.
Petrino, who is married with 4 youngsters, didn’t mention he had a passenger in the course of a news conference on Tuesday, two days following Sunday’s accident, and a school statement that day quoted Petrino’s family as saying “no other people” were involved.
Petrino, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was hospitalized, but has because returned to practice. He will not be cited for the accident that occurred near the little town of Crosses on a road well-liked with motorcyclists.
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