Frankly, with all the news coming out about recently-fired Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino and his texting “issues,” maybe the guy should just put down the phone for a while.
Word has come down that Petrino apologized for his conduct to Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and other athletic department employees through a series of text messages. Those messages were sent in the wake of the revelation that he lied about his motorcycle accident in order to cover up the affair he was having with a 25-year-old athletic department employee.
The content of those text messages were still available on his phone and were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Associated Press Thursday night. In one series of messages, Petrino thanks Long for how he handled the April 5 press conference at which time he placed the coach on paid leave.
“Jeff I appreciate how you handled that last night. Let me know if we need to get together again. I’m at your disposal and will do whatever it takes to keep you in my camp and remain your coach.”
Long replied, “Thanks Bobby, I am working through the process. Jeff.”
Petrino’s texts over the next two days to assistant athletic director Chris Wyrick reveal that he was becoming desperate to retain his job. In one he asked Wyrick, “Is the mood to fire me or to keep me???”
Wyrick responded, “I can’t honestly speak to (Long’s) pulse on that, but my gut is he wants it to work. You have done the job and most feel like you are due a mulligan.”
The next day the increasingly worried Petrino send the following message to Long:
“Hey Jeff, I’m just sitting around wondering what I should be doing?? I just want you to no (sic) how sorry I am that this all happened!!”
Petrino’s affair with Jessica Dorrell, who was the passenger during his motorcycle wreck, was revealed to be serious and lengthy. Apparently the pair exchanged more than 4,300 text messages and more than 300 phone calls over the past seven months. Petrino also once gave Dorrell $20,000 for undisclosed reasons.
In addition to Dorrell, Petrino exchanged more than 200 text messages with bikini model Alison Melder between September and November of last year. Melder was named 2008 Miss Bikini USA.
Frankly, after all of these revelations, maybe Petrino should just stay away from his phone for a while.