Bloomberg News

Petrino Fired as Arkansas Football Coach After Crash, Cover-Up

April 11, 2012

Bobby Petrino was fired as football coach at the University of Arkansas, nine days after he was injured in a motorcycle accident and then covered up the fact that a female football staff member also was on the bike.

Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a news conference last night at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas, that Petrino had been reckless and was involved in a “pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior.”

Long said Petrino gave the female employee $20,000 at one point, though he did not specify what the money was for. Petrino was fired with cause and will not receive a buyout included in his contract, the athletic director said.

“He made the decision to mislead the public,” Long said, choking up at points during the news conference.

Petrino, a former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League, led Arkansas to a Cotton Bowl win and a No. 5 final ranking in the Associated Press national college football poll this past season.

Petrino, 51, who had a 34-17 record in four seasons leading the Razorbacks, was left with four broken ribs and other injuries in the April 1 motorcycle accident. He was placed on paid leave after acknowledging he had lied at a news conference about the presence of the 25-year-old woman.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Gloster at

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