Home » blog » Petrino: Does Character Matter

Posted by on April 8th, 2012 in blog, CFF Features, Jeff Siverhus | No Comments

Well, in a win at all cost College Football world, I thought it would be interesting to dig into Bobby Petrino’s résumé and let you see if in hindsight he passes the character test. In the end, if you are like me, most of the time, there were many red flags that should have been heeded.

In November 2003, during Petrino’s first season as a Head Coach at Louisville, he engaged in a brazen double-cross with Auburn. Bobby Petrino met across the Ohio River, in southern Indiana with Auburn officials to discuss the Tigers’ coaching job. The issue was, neither the Tigers nor the Cardinals had finished their seasons yet. In doing this Petrino undercut his former boss, Tommy Tuberville, under whom he was offensive coordinator at Auburn.

Petrino lied about having any contact with Auburn officials until two reporters from a local Louisville paper confronted him with documentation of the private plane that brought the university president and athletic director to Sellersburg, Ind. Bobby Petrino still resisted telling the truth until Auburn issued a statement owning up to the whole affair.

The next season, Petrino showed no remorse for the previous shenaigans by quietly interviewing at the same airport with Notre Dame Officials. During that same season he also had discussions with Florida and Mississippi about their coaching vacancies.

Then, in December of 2004, he pledged his loyalty to Louisville in an official statement. Two weeks later he signed a contract extension to stay with the Cardinals; five days after that, he interviewed for the LSU coaching vacancy. And another week after that, when it was apparent LSU was going to hire Les Miles, Petrino publicly withdrew his name for the LSU job.

In 2005, after repeatedly stating he had no interest in coaching the pros, he interviewed with the Oakland Raiders. He ultimately withdrew his name for the job and again touted his commitment to Louisville, once again.

In July 2006, Petrino signed a 10-year contract worth $25 million – a huge deal for a school the size of Louisville. Upon signing it, Petrino again vowed that Louisville was where he wanted to coach and raise his family. He made a point of insisting that a $1 million buyout provision be put into the contract.

 Five months later, he was the new coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

That last stint lasted all of 13 games, before Petrino quit during the season and without telling his players. Well-respected Falcons owner Arthur Blank let it be known publicly the fact that Petrino showed absolutely no character in his handling of the abrupt departure from the NFL club.

So, with this checkered past, is it any wonder Arkansas officials are now left scratching their heads wondering what to do with this pathological liar.

I don’t know about you but Petrino kind of reminds me of the John Lovitz SNL character; what do you think….

Some of the time lines for this article were gleened from a yahoo sports article written by Pat Forde.

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