Wednesday, April 18, 2012
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe called the recent scandal involving former Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino "sad" and praised the university and athletic director Jeff Long for how they handled the situation.
"It's sad for everybody up there and for everybody involved," Beebe said. "I certainly support what Jeff Long did and what the school's administration did. From all the stuff that came out, I don't think they had much choice."
Beebe left for his trip to China on April 4, the day before the news broke that Petrino was riding with Jessica Dorrell, the Student-Athlete Development Coordinator at the time, when his motorcycle ran off the road on April 1. Petrino later admitted to having a "previous inappropriate relationship" with Dorrell in a statement.
Petrino was placed on paid administrative leave on April 5 and fired April 10 — while Beebe was in the middle of his trip — and the university announced that Dorrell resigned and received a nearly $14,000 buyout Tuesday evening.
"With what coach Petrino did will leave a mark on the university, but what Jeff Long did will leave a bigger and more lasting mark," Beebe said.