College suspends woman in Petrino crash
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas has suspended a woman whose relationship with former football coach Bobby Petrino came to light after his motorcycle crashed this month, a school spokesman said Friday.
Jessica Dorrell, a 25-year-old member of Petrino’s staff, has been placed on paid administrative leave, said Steve Voorhies, a university spokesman.
Dorrell was a passenger on Petrino’s motorcycle when it crashed April 1, but he did not initially disclose that.
The college has fired Petrino as its head football coach, citing his lack of candor about his “personal and professional relationship” with Dorrell. The school initiated disciplinary actions that culminated in Petrino’s firing after learning that he had failed to disclose that Dorrell was with him at the time of the crash and that he had given her unfairly favorable treatment in hiring her on his staff.
“Coach Petrino knowingly misled the athletics department and the university about the circumstances related to his accident,” Jeff Long, the school’s athletics directors, said this week.
Long said Petrino, a married father four, had had a “consensual relationship” with Dorrell, and that Petrino had given Dorrell “some $20,000” and failed to disclose their relationship when recommending her for the job with the department, thereby giving her “an unfair and undisclosed advantage for a position on his football staff.”
Petrino issued a statement Tuesday night saying he takes responsibility for what happened and apologizing for, among other things, putting Long “in the position of having to sort through my mistakes.”