The scandal surrounding Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and his 25-year-old employee Jessica Dorell has divided Razorbacks fans, with many supporting the embattled Arkansas coach.
Petrino, who has been extremely successful at Arkansas over the last two years with a 21-5 record, was put on paid leave last Thursday after the married 51-year-old father of four admitted that he failed to disclose he had been riding with a female employee half his age when his motorcycle skidded off a road.
Petrino initially told reporters and Long that he was riding his motorcycle solo when he crashed resulting in broken ribs and cracked vertebrae. But the police report released on Thursday showed that Dorrell, a former volleyball player at the school, was riding on the back of the motorcycle at the time of the crash.
“I expect to move very expeditiously in my review of this personnel matter and hope to have a resolution soon,” athletic director Jeff Long said, adding that he did not know yet if Jessica Dorrell would also be suspended from her position at the university.
ESPN writes that on Monday, more than 200 Petrino supporters attended a planned rally to influence Long’s decision in favor of keeping Petrino in front of Broyles Complex at the University of Arkansas.
Matt Couch, one of the organizers of the rally, said he graduated from the school and is a football booster, admitting the group would “probably not” have come together had Petrino had less success last season — when the Razorbacks finished 11-2 and ranked No. 5.
“We’re not condoning what he did morally,” Couch said. “We are disappointed in him, but he’s still our football coach and no one’s perfect.
“… I wouldn’t ask him for marriage counseling, but at the same time we’re supportive of him and we want him to do well.”
More on the rally for Bobby Petrino in the video below:
In light of the Jessica Dorrell scandal, do you think Arkansas should keep Petrino on as head coach of the Razorbacks?