Win 10-plus games a season in the SEC and you’ll be treated like a leviathan amongst a sea (the SE-sea to be exact) full of monsters. However, give your mistress a promotion, ride her doubles on your motorcycle, crash said motorcycle, lie to your boss about it, and then refuse to accept sanctions from that boss, and that all goes away in a hurry. Just ask Arkansas Razorbacks soon-to-be former head coach Bobby Petrino.
ESPN’s Joe Schad reported earlier this evening that Petrino would be fired by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long at a 7:15 pm cst press conference held in Fayetteville, and I have to say that I admire the stones on Jeff Long to make such a justified, yet difficult, decision. Adultery is one thing — sordid but still a personal issue — but the blatant insubordination was intolerable, and the petulance of Petrino to denounce the sanctions Arkansas wished to impose that would have let him keep his job is downright insufferable.
However, despite all that, the amount of power the head football coach wield in the SEC makes decisions like these extremely arduous. And in this time of serious tumult in Arkansas, Jeff Long’s true character has been revealed (Petrino’s too.) When Petrino was exposed as seedy, Long was diligent. When Long was compromising, Petrino was cross — if not downright obstinate.
The sad part is, the vast majority of the fans who have good heads on their shoulders will agree almost wholeheartedly with the decision of Arkansas and Jeff Long, and they’ll be drowned out by the vocal minority of lunatics who don’t give a damn about anything but winning football games.
They’ll burn things because, let’s face it, that’s just what we do in the Southeastern Conference. Donors will threaten to pull funds and people will call for Long’s job. Granted, it would take some thunderous tree-shaking by all of Arkansas’ largest donors for a reversal of fortunes that sees Long out and Petrino back in, but the mere discussion will be enough to make your stomach turn.
So kudos to you, Jeff Long. Several will sing your praises for putting that blithering idiot in his rightful place, but I have the sneaking suspicion that the ones that issue you assurances tonight will be drowned out by the ones who scream, “Wooooo pig soooie” as they finish two-minute tirades where they may or may not hint at burning your house to the ground or “runnin’ that Lawng feller outta town.”
You did the right thing.