Sports

Muller: Winning Shouldn’t Save Bobby Petrino’s Job

Bobby Petrino. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Bobby Petrino. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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By Shawn Muller-

(CBS) Stop embarrassing yourselves, Arkansas Razorback fans.

Holding a rally on the University of Arkansas campus Monday evening to show support for head football coach Bobby Petrino?  Really?

So what if Petrino is “embattled?”

Who cares if he is going through a “tough time” right now?

Bobby Petrino is a snake.

He embarrassed his wife and four children by having an inappropriate relationship with a 25-year-old female football employee. He didn’t inform athletic director Jeff Long that said female—former Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell—was the other passenger involved in the motorcycle crash that occurred on April 1on a rural road outside of Arkansas’ Fayetteville campus. And he sullied the good name of Hog Nation.

Talk about pathetic.

I mean, I know winning football games is the most important thing in life for SEC fans, but give me a break.

Does no one care that the man is an adulterer, a liar, and a cheat?  Shouldn’t support be going out to Petrino’s wife and kids?  Shouldn’t people be relieved that Ms. Dorrell wasn’t seriously injured in the crash instead of treating her like she is the problem?

I guess as long as Petrino wins football games, everything else can–and will– be swept under the rug, regardless of his actions away from the football field.

Would anyone have shown up in support of Petrino if he had been a sub .500 coach during his tenure at Arkansas?  Would anyone have started a Facebook page called “Team Save Coach Petrino” that would have over 17,000 followers?

Nope.

The only reason Arkansas fans “care” about Bobby Petrino, is because he is 21-5 over the past two seasons and has the Razorbacks looking to contend for an SEC championship again next year.

Popularity should not supersede doing the right thing, and the right thing for Jeff Long to do is fire Bobby Petrino—if Petrino decides not to step down on his own accord—for not only bringing shame upon the Arkansas football program, but also to prove that no one individual is bigger than the University of Arkansas in its entirety.

Jim Tressel was arguably the most recognizable name in the state of Ohio outside of LeBron James while he was the head coach of the Buckeyes, but that wasn’t enough to save his job for his role in the “Tattoo-Gate” fiasco.

Joe Paterno MADE the Nittany Lions the powerhouse program that it is today, but, after 50-plus years on the Penn State campus, even he wasn’t able to escape the wrath of the university after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.

So why, then, should the fate of Bobby Petrino be any different?

What Tressel did at Ohio State was ethically wrong.

What Paterno did at Penn State was morally wrong.

Yet, what Bobby Petrino has done is ethically and morally wrong.

If a player breaks a team or university rule, they are punished accordingly, be it a suspension or dismissal from the team.  Petrino didn’t commit some petty secondary rules violation by making excessive phone calls to a recruit.  He sullied the good name of his wife and kids, he thought he was bigger than the university and he has brought undeserved and unwarranted shame and embarrassment to the young lady he was canoodling with on the side.

Don’t coaches always tell their players that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back of it?  Yes, they do. But the head coach should be held to an even higher standard.

Back in 1982, a columnist for The Oklahoman asked for then-Oklahoma Sooners head coach Barry Switzer to resign due to his actions—and inaction–off the field regarding the Sooner program.  The columnist said, “The top man of any organization sets the moral tone for his associates.  Switzer has never set the best of examples in his personal life for the young men on the Sooner football team. … Perhaps it’s time for him to move on.”

The same thing could be said about Bobby Petrino in 2012.  Petrino has not set the best of examples for the young men on the Razorback football team.  It is time for him to move on as well, be it voluntarily or forcefully.

shawn muller 2 9 Muller: Winning Shouldn’t Save Bobby Petrino’s Job

Shawn Muller

Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24. Read more of his blogs here.