April 3, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino speaks at a press conference at Razorback Stadium following a motorcycle accident he sustained on April 1. (Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE)
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - In December 2007, Bobby Petrino became head football coach at the University of Arkansas in a cloud of controversy.
Less than five years later, he exited the same way.
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced at a press conference Tuesday night that Petrino has been relived of his duties for "abusing his authority" and "jeopardizing the integrity of the football program" following the aftermath of his motorcycle accident on April 1.
Petrino suffered a cracked vertebrae and four broken ribs in the accident, but did more damage by not disclosing a female employee of the Arkansas athletic department was riding on his motorcycle at the time of the incident.
Though his family released a statement saying he was riding alone, the third page of a four-page collision report released last Thursday by the Arkansas State Police lists Jessica Dorrell, 25, as a passenger on the motorcycle with him.
The 51-year-old Petrino, who is married with four children, later acknowledged Dorrell was present, saying he was only trying to "protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public."
Long placed Petrino on paid leave after the police report was released and ended the coach's four-year tenure with the Razorbacks on Tuesday.
Petrino went 34-17 in Fayetteville and guided the program to an 11-2 mark and a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State this past season. He is one of only three coaches to lead two different programs to a BCS bowl.
He took Louisville to the Orange Bowl, then had shortened stint with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons in 2007. He fled Atlanta with three games remaining in his first and only season following a 3-10 start and with the Michael Vick dogfighting controversy in its initial stages.
Petrino signed a seven-year extension with Arkansas in 2010 that garnered him $3.56 million per season.
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