Commentary: Moralizing aside, Arkansas needs Bobby Petrino

Save me the pious pontification on morality. This is college football. This is the world where pieces of crap like Cam Newton (laptop thief, academic fraudster) are celebrated.

This is the world where if you ain’t cheating, then you ain’t trying.

Yet, some members of the press want to tar and feather Bobby Petrino for having an affair with an attractive younger woman.

These Ken Starr-wannabes shouldn’t cast stones.

Arkansas needs Bobby Petrino.

His record speaks for itself. Petrino won 11 games last season and 10 games in 2010. His Razorbacks ranked fifth last season and climbed as high as third.

However, Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino admitted and apologized for an “inappropriate relationship” after it was revealed a female Arkansas employee was a passenger on his motorcycle the night Petrino crashed.

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long placed Razorback football coach Bobby Petrino on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted into the Petrino situation.

In a prepared statement, Petrino pledged to cooperate with the inquiry.

“I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks,” Petrino said.

There will be tough questions asked during the athletic director’s investigation.

One important question will swirl around the timeline of the “inappropriate relationship” with Jessica Dorrell.

Jessica Dorrell was named Student-Athlete Development Coordinator at Arkansas last week, according to an AP report of March 28, 2012. (Source)

So at some point, Petrino wanted Dorrell working under him.

Petrino apologized for the “inappropriate relationship” in a release to the press.

“Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration. I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program.”

Petrino’s apology should be good enough for the University of Arkansas leadership.

After all, Petrino wins football games.

This isn’t the case of an older man preying on a White House intern. This is the case of two consenting adults apparently indulging in pleasurable pursuits.

Yawn.

Big deal.

As long as Bobby Petrino can score on the field with dynamic play calling, why can’t he score off the field?