Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Full text of Bobby Petrino’s dismissal letter

Presented only for the purposes of posterity.

April 10,2012


Robert P. Petrino
4518 Bridgewater
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Dear Mr. Petrino:
The purpose of this letter is to notify you that I am terminating your employment as Head Football Coach for cause, as provided in Section 14(f) of your Employment Agreement, effective immediately.

As you know, Section 14(f) provides that your employment may be
terminated for cause for the following reason:

"Otherwise engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the
University, which is clearly contrary to the character and
responsibilities ofa person occupying the position ofHead
Football Coach or which negatively or adversely affects the
reputation of the University or UAF's athletics programs in any

As required by the dismissal procedures attached as Exhibit H to your
Employment Agreement (please see attached copy), I met with you in my
office this morning. At that time, I shared the reasons that I believe exist to
terminate your employment for cause and provided you with an opportunity to
respond to them. At the conclusion of our meeting, I told you that I would
consider your responses and reflect upon the information I gathered during my
review that began on April 5, 2012.

In my professional judgment as Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director, I
believe your conduct has been clearly contrary to the character and
responsibilities required by your position as Head Football Coach, and your
actions have negatively and adversely affected the reputation of the University
of Arkansas within the State of Arkansas and on a national level. Specifically,
I base my determination upon the following facts:

• In a meeting with me, you recommended hiring Jessica Dorrell as
the Student-Athlete Development Coordinator, but you
deliberately failed to tell me that you had engaged in an extramarital
affair with Ms. Dorrell over a period of several months
leading up to your recommendation to hire her. As such, you used
your University position to advance your personal interests in
violation of the University's policies on conflict of interest. If you
had been forthcoming with me about the true nature of your
relationship, I would not have approved the hiring of Ms. Dorrell
for this position.

• Immediately following your accident on Sunday, April 1, 2012, I
believe you deliberately failed to disclose that an employee under
your supervision, Ms. Dorrell, had been a passenger on your
motorcycle, under circumstances when it was incumbent upon you
to be forthcoming about the full truth ofthe matter. Following
your release from the hospital on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, you
insisted on conducting a press conference and attending football
practice afterwards. At the press conference, however, I believe
you were deceitful with our fans and the citizens of the State of
Arkansas in order to conceal the true nature of your relationship
with Ms. Dorrell. In response to a question from a member of the
media as you were leaving the press conference, you falsely
confirmed that no other person was with you at the time of your
accident. In my judgment, you deliberately attempted to create the
impression that no other person was with you at the time of the
accident, and you did nothing to ensure that the public or the
University administration was informed of the truth relating to the

• In light ofthe fact that Ms. Dorrell was an employee in the
University's football program at the time ofthe accident, I believe
it was highly inappropriate to take her for a motorcycle ride given
your previous intimate relationship. Your actions reflected poor

• Despite having multiple opportunities to inform me that Ms.
Dorrell, a current University employee under your direct
supervision, had been a passenger on your motorcycle, you waited
until 3:12 p.m. on Thursday, AprilS, 2012 - just minutes prior to
the public release of the accident report by the Arkansas State
Police - to tell me. Again, your actions reflected a deliberate
failure to be forthcoming about this matter, and you informed me
only when you knew I would learn about it through the release of
the report.

• You admitted giving $20,000 cash to Ms. Dorrell as a "gift." Ms.
Dorrell used the money to purchase a black Acura during the first
week that she worked for the football program. Among other
concerns relating to this "gift," you should have disclosed this fact
to me when you recommended hiring Ms. Dorrell in the football
program, but you failed to do so.

• Your conduct and actions in this matter have generated
volwninous negative media stories and opinions, within Arkansas
and nationally, that have harmed the reputation of the University of
Arkansas and our athletics programs. We are now faced with the
task of restoring the reputation of our institution and our athletics
programs that many individuals and teams have worked hard to
build over the years.

All ofthese facts, individually and collectively, are clearly contrary to the
character and responsibilities of the person occupying the position of the Head
Football Coach - an individual who should serve as a role model and leader
for our student-atWetes. Moreover, all ofthese facts, individually and
collectively, negatively and adversely affect the reputation of the University
as well as our athletics programs. For all of these reasons, therefore, I must
terminate your employment for cause effective immediately. As you will note
in Exhibit H to your Employment Agreement, you have the right to seek a
review ofthis decision. If you wish to do so, please follow the steps outlined
in Exhibit H. In the event additional information becomes available, I reserve
the right to supplement this letter and the grounds for termination.

Due to the compelling public interest in this matter, the University requests
your consent to release this correspondence to the public immediately. Please
call or text me to let me know whether the University may release this letter to
the public immediately.

Obviously, I was very excited when we completed your most recent
Employment Agreement, and I looked forward to a bright future. I recognize
that you are a very talented football coach, but the University may not
disregard your conduct or sacrifice its integrity, reputation and principles. As
a personal matter, I certainly wish you and your family the best in the future.


Jeffrey P. Long
Vice Chancellor
Director of Athletics

cc: G. David Gearhart, Chancellor


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