A few months ago, I wrote a series of blogs predicting the fate of Joe Paterno. He’d been allowed to become a runaway coach, but his reign, I suggested, had come to an end. There was no way a Board of Trustees could allow a football coach, even one of his stature, to tell them what they would do and when they would do it. I got that one right. Let’s see if I can run my streak to two (far shy, I know, of the 11 wins Coach Petrino rang up last season).
Bobby Petrino will lose his job. These are excruciating decisions for university presidents, in part because they are so public, and when the President of the University of Arkansas fires this coach, he will be massacred in the court of Arkansas public opinion. I have no doubt about that. But, frankly, what choice does he have? Bobby Petrino lied to his boss, and more than once. He lied by omission when he hired this young woman as his assistant and then he flat out lied again when he told his boss about the accident. Forget the affair. That’s of no relevance here. If the most high profile and highest paid employee of the university is allowed to stick around after lying to his superiors about something this important, then I wish the university good luck in ever trying to fire anyone else. I know football is king, but in this case, as it was with Penn State, I predict the king will die.