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NCAA Football

Bobby Petrino Accident and the Seedy Underbelly of SEC Football

It’s no secret that SEC Football is the pinnacle of the collegiate coaching profession. They get paid a lot of money and they’re deified by their fanbases. Occasionally, some of them even win games, but apparently they do a lot of other sweet stuff too.

They know how to rock a visor (Steve Spurrier) and they certainly have no qualms sporting a snazzy leather jacket (Gene Chizik.) They have perfectly manicured hair (Derek Dooley) and they’re completely comfortable in their blatantly metrosexual tendencies (Derek Dooley again.)

They ride motorcycles (Bobby Petrino) and bang volleyball players (Petrino) and then hire their mistresses to work in their program (you guessed it), and then eventually they combine all three into one beautiful act of career suicide. Unfortunately, you have to pay extra for the neck brace.

Bobby Petrino’s history of shadiness began long before he arrived in the Southeastern Conference, but it’s quite clear to me, based on his most recent salaciousness, he’s perfected the craft under the watchful tutelage of his peers. Let’s face it, the only thing that rivals the tradition of winning in the SEC is a rich tradition in nefariousness.

(Details of Petrino’s accident and ensuing administrative leave can be found here.)

The Bobby Petrino accident is even threatening to enter the rarefied air of some of his predecessors in the conference. It’s the stuff notoriety is built on in the SEC. Who can forget the legendary escapades of Mike Price and that warm Pensacola night where he had his date with Destiny?

(Destiny was a stripper.)

And although it’s rarely talked about (because apparently the folks in Tennessee are far more experienced in the nuances of a well-organized cover-up) current USC head coach and former Tennessee Volunteer front man Lane Kiffin also had his bouts with infidelity (and apparently moving violations). Despite the fact that he already has a smoking hot wife, Kiffin was noted for an appetite for co-eds, and he was routinely spotted at local Knoxville bars enjoying the company of Tennessee’s finest.

Kiffin allegedly got all liquored up one night in September and drove his complimentary Lexus into a tree, then proceeded to get out and walk home. Kiffin claimed to be alone but reports stated that he had left an area bar with SEVERAL co-eds in tow. However, we’ll never know because Kiffin ditched his ride and whoever was in it on that September night and we never heard any of the details until mid-January.

I’m sure that was just an SEC thing and that Lane Kiffin would never DREAM of doing such a thing in a place like Los Angeles (insert winky emoticon here.)

Kiffin was the leader in the clubhouse for stupidity while in the SEC, which is astonishing because he was only around for about 13 months and we’ve been doing this for awhile, but the Bobby Petrino accident is charging hard on the back nine. The fact that Kiffin’s wife was hot (no offense to Mrs…. or should I say Ms. Petrino) and the fact he was drunk gives Kiff the edge, but he was smart enough to chose the safety of four wheels as opposed to two, and Petrino’s mistress worked for the football department.

There are hoards of unsavory men everywhere who could have told Petrino that was a bad idea.

Obviously, there’s no questioning how disgusting Petrino’s actions over the last few days have been, but the truth of the matter is: As long as he’s winning, people really don’t seem to care. Unfortunately for Petrino, he also made the mistake of lying to his boss, and that — not his moral ambiguity — may likely be his downfall.

This isn’t exclusive to the SEC, but illicit behavior does seem to flourish in the Southeast. Bobby Petrino has 34 wins in four years at Arkansas and that program is gently easing its way into the upper echelon of the conference, but NOW, he’s truly been indoctrinated into SEC lore.

Probably not the best way to go about it. Huh, Bobby?