Western Kentucky Hires Bobby Petrino

December 12, 2012

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Coach Bobby Petrino

Just a quick stop en route another big time job?

How in the hell does Western Kentucky have the chance to hire Bobby Petrino? More importantly why is this guy allowed to coach anywhere?

Right after getting inked to a 10 year contract with Louisville, Petrino left for the friendly confines of the National Football League to head up the Atlanta Falcons.

Things went badly with the Falcons. Michael Vick was in prison, the team was trying to break in a new quarterback and a bunch of young players – the team found themselves at 3-10 and losing 34-14 to the New Orleans Saints. How did Bobby respond? He left notes in the locker room explaining to his players that he was leaving to go back to college football. That is right, he left players notes…did not even have the decency to talk to them…man to man.

Less than 24 hours after leaving the goodbye notes in the lockers….off to Arkansas went good ol’ Bobby P. There he was singed to another large contract. He was going to take Hog Soooooeyy to the next level of the SEC. They had achieved success under Houston Nutt – they even had talented running backs like Darrin McFadden – but the boosters ran Nutt outta town.

Petrino did not last real long at Arkansas either. If you remember it was discovered that he was sleeping with a tall blonde who coincidentally was riding on the back of his Harley when he wrecked in in April of 2012…which in and of itself seems like no big deal. Except Petrino’s was married, the tall blonde was not his wife but instead was a person that he personally selected for a job in the except that he had also awarded her a job in the Arkansas football department over 158 other applicants — and then kicked in an extra $20,000 as a gift to her.

Now Petrino is getting yet another chance. Western Kentucky is hiring him to take over their football program as head coach.

Pretty obviously to me that they are beyond desperation to hire someone who has such an interesting past as this guy. He has shown the propensity to be non-loyal, abuse his position of authority and step out on his family.

Not it appears he is just following the money.

And Western Kentucky apparently has closed their eyes and ears to all of these past problems and just cares about one thing….

Trying to get a winning football team.

A couple of years ago the Hilltoppers made the jump to Division 1. They had a successful 1-AA program. They made the move to the higher class, spent almost $50 million in improvements to their stadium and facilities, and then tanked…..losing 26 straight games over the course of three seasons.

They rebuilt the program, even made a trip to Lincoln to play my beloved Huskers, and with former quarterback Willie Taggart at the helm, the Hilltoppers went 7-5 the last two years.

Taggert headed to Florida to greener pastures and more money, which left the Hilltoppers looking for a new man to run out behind the Orange Blob mascot (what the heck is that thing anyway?)

It is too bad that schools overlook morals, cheating, recruiting violations and other character faults when hiring coaches. I am sure Petrino is just going to use this as a stepping stone after his long fall from grace just a year ago…the question will be…will there be an even bigger school waiting to give him yet ANOTHER chance?

Until next time….Stay classy Carlsbad, New York

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Did Arkansas Have To Fire Bobby Petrino?

April 13, 2012

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Head coach Bobb...

Happier times ...

On April 1, Bobby Petrino was the head coach of a highly successful Arkansas Razorbacks football team.  Nine days later, he was out of a job.  After a motorcycle accident that uncovered the presence of a mistress, Petrino was first placed on leave and then fire for cause (meaning he does not receive a buyout).  Bobby Petrino is most likely desperately looking for another job, since it’s probably a bit uncomfortable in the Petrino house at the moment.

Before the firing, fans gathered in support of Petrino.  One woman said that she supported Petrino, but had no sympathy for the woman, as she knew what she was getting into.  Huh?  A guy cheats on his wife with another woman, and he’s somehow less to blame than the mistress?  Pretty sure it takes two to tango.

Was the a necessary course of action for the school?  Yes.  On March 28, long after he began a relationship with the woman, he hired her for a job within the athletic department.  The position garnered 159 applicants, and the person Petrino though was best suited for the job was the woman he was having an affair with.  That’s quite a coincidence.  He was so sure he was making the right choice, in fact, that the candidate search was “shorter than our normal affirmative action hiring process”, to quote Athletic Director Jeff Long.  Reading between the lines, Athletic Director Long is saying that Petrino failed to do due diligence in the search and simply picked the person he wanted, regardless of how her qualifications stacked up to those of other candidates.

Maybe it’s just me, but this seems wildly inappropriate.  It’s an epic conflict of interest, and I’m guessing that 158 other people may be looking for attorneys at the moment.

Even if we put this aside for the moment, it’s not as if improper conduct around members of the opposite sex have never cost anyone a job before.  Larry Eustachy won a national coach of the year award when he was the basketball coach at Iowa State.  Pictures surfaced of him partying with students at road games (students at the opponent’s school) and posing for pictures with women.  Conduct unbecoming a coach?  Definitely.  But I’d say it’s step below what Petrino is accused of.

From another perspective, I see the firing as a good thing.  No longer do wins serve as a mitigating factor for improper conduct.  In the past several years, successful coaches Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, and of course Joe Paterno have been fired for off-field actions.  While you can argue about the merits of the charges levied against them, the fact that the universities fired them is an indication that there are still administrators who will not let coaches go rogue, who will put their foot down and place the reputation of the institution of higher learning – and the future of the student-athletes – ahead of a few extra wins and a few million dollars.

There’s a word for that.


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The Sports Beat

April 10, 2012

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Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson signing autographs on the putting...

No more car payments!

It’s been a good year for Bubba Watson.  Back in January, Watson bought the original General Lee from the Duke of Hazzard TV show for $110,000.  How to pay for such an expensive ride?  Well, Watson had been planning to sell his house … but after winning $1.44 million in prize money by gutting out a sudden death overtime at the Masters, there’s little chance that Bubba will end up homeless.  Watson hasn’t had a golf lesson since age ten, and doesn’t use a swing coach.  Does he remind you of Tin Cup, too? 

Phil Mickelson was a stroke back entering play on Sunday, but his chances to win the tourney were seriously dented with a triple bogey.  Tiger Woods had an awful weekend, making some wonder if the rumors of his resurgence were greatly exaggerated. 


Cow Palace, San Francisco

Wow. 21 million bucks.

Baseball owners continue to hand out money like it’s candy.  In the last two deals, teams dropped $96 million on three players. players.  Ian Kinsler, the oft-injured star second baseman for the Texas Rangers, signed a five year deal worth $75 million.  Moments ago, fellow second baseman Brandon Phillips of the Reds signed a six year deal worth $72.5 million.  These are two of the elite second basemen in the game today.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians signed catcher Carlos Santana  to a five year deal worth $21 million, with a club option for 2017.  There’s been an uptick in spending in recent years, much of it financed by big new regional sports television deals.  (Hey, MLB: know how to make the regional deals worth even more?  Get rid of crazy blackout situations like mine – where five teams are blacked out even after I pony up big bucks for MLB Extra Innings).

On the one hand, it’s easy to love these deals as a fan – teams are locking up core contributors for a long period of time.  On the flip side, there’s a lot of financial risk.  Unlike football, baseball contracts are guaranteed.  If Albert Pujols stinks it up this year, the Angels can’t wriggle out of his contract.  I’m definitely concerned about the amount of dead money some teams could have if a player takes a downturn.  My thought would be to have some sort of vesting option.  If a player reaches a certain threshold (125 IP or 350 plate appearances, for example), the next year automatically vests.  This would protect the team while still being better for the players than the “cut you at any time” model of the NFL.

NFL Draft

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 31:  Quarterback Ryan Tanne...

Teams are hoping that Ryan Tannehill isn't "all hat, no cowboy"

The NFL draft is now just a couple of weeks away.  With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III sure to be off the board with the first two picks of the draft, attention turns to the third best QB in the draft – Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M.  Tannehill was a wide receiver for two years before getting a chance to player quarterback for the Aggies.  I can’t imagine there’s a long list of players who have accumulated 1500 receiving yards and 5000 passing yards in a career, but Tannehill’s on the list.

The Dolphins desperately want Tannehill, but everyone knows that.  The Dolphins have the eighth pick, so it’s conceivable that a team could trade up in the draft to leapfrog Miami, or that the Dolphins themselves could push higher as a preemptive strike.  Don’t be surprised if Tannehill is among the top six players off the board.

Bobby Petrino

Arkansas placed head coach Bobby Petrino on administrative leave following a motorcycle accident.  At issue is the fact that Petrino lied to his boss regarding the involvement of a second person.  The passenger on the motorcycle was a young woman who worked for Petrino – and with whom he was having an “inappropriate relationship” (his words).  On Tuesday, a crowd gathered to support Petrino.  This is going to get interesting before all is said and done.

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