Moments after their motorcycle accident, Bobby Petrino and a female employee told a passer-by not to call 911, then got a ride back to Fayetteville, Ark., where the Razorbacks football coach was met by a state trooper who provides his personal security during the season.
Details of the immediate aftermath of Petrino’s crash were in a 911 call released Friday by the State Police. The passer-by, Larry Hendren, describes coming upon the accident scene Sunday evening just after Petrino and Jessica Dorrell “were getting up out of the ditch.’’ He said Petrino was “walking, but it looked like his face was bleeding quite a lot.’’
“The rider and the passenger of the motorcycle declined us to call 911,’’ Hendren told a dispatcher. “They got into a vehicle and headed toward the hospital.’’
Petrino was taken to a Fayetteville intersection by another passer-by. There, Dorrell left in her own car while Petrino was met by Captain Lance King, his personal security guard during the season. King took Petrino to a hospital, where he was treated for broken ribs and a cracked neck vertebra.
State police said Friday they planned to question the trooper, looking for “any information Captain King may have learned about the crash’’ during conversations with Petrino.
Athletic director Jeff Long appears to have everything he needs to fire Petrino, who failed to mention having Dorrell with him during the accident and then admitted the two had an inappropriate relationship.
What has Petrino in trouble is his attempt to keep anyone from finding out he was riding with Dorrell, a 25-year-old former Arkansas volleyball player who he hired last week. A clause in Petrino’s contract gives Long the right to suspend or fire the 51-year-old coach for conduct that “negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the [university’s] athletics programs in any way.’’
Dorrell was a fund-raiser for the Razorback Foundation before being selected March 28 as the student-athlete development coordinator for Arkansas football.
Congress eyes NCAA
Two members of Congress are planning to take a closer look at the NCAA after Connecticut’s men’s basketball team was banned from next year’s postseason because of past academic problems.
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative John Larson, both Democrats from Connecticut, said they believe the system used to enforce NCAA standards “often appears arbitrary and unfair.’’
UConn faces a postseason ban because of several years of low scores on the NCAA’s Academic Performance Rate. The school argues the penalty was applied retroactively and hurts current students, who had nothing to do with the low scores.
“We believe these issues demand Congressional attention because the questions regarding fairness for student-athletes have gone on too long - and the reforms that have been made are not yet sufficient,’’ Larson and Blumenthal said in a joint statement.
Thomas out at FIU
Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas was fired by Florida International, after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons. His hiring as coach came out of nowhere in 2009 - “No one thought we could pull this off,’’ FIU director of sports Pete Garcia proudly said at the time - and in the end, so did his firing. A call and text message to Thomas, who had two years remaining on his five-year deal, were not immediately returned . . . Deshaun Thomas will not be joining Ohio State teammate Jared Sullinger in the NBA - yet. Thomas said he will return for his junior season. Two days earlier, Sullinger, also a sophomore and a two-time All-American, said he would give up his last two years of eligibility to enter the draft . . . Gary Tinsley, a Minnesota linebacker who had overcome personal problems early in his career and was set to earn his degree in a few weeks, was found dead in his campus apartment, university officials said. He was 22. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released as authorities awaited autopsy results . . . John Cooper, who has been the head coach at Tennessee State the past three seasons, was named the basketball coach at Miami (Ohio) . . . Six Marquette basketball players were involved in an altercation at a Milwaukee nightclub where they were ticketed for being underage, according to a police report. The report details at least two large fights at the club that night, but does not make clear which one involved the players . . . Alabama forward Tony Mitchell left the team after ending his junior season on suspension. Tide coach Anthony Grant said that Mitchell and reserve guard Charles Hankerson Jr. requested and received releases from their scholarships.