Arkansas’ coach Bobby Petrino admitted on Thursday that he is involved in a relationship with Jessica Dorrell after the police report revealed that the two were riding the same motorcycle during the accident. The University of Arkansas put Petrino on paid leave for an undetermined period of time.
Jeff Long, the Athletic director, held a special press conference on Thursday night to communicate the University’s decision to put coach Bobby Petrino on paid leave. The decision was not influenced by the recent motorcycle incident that the coach suffered over the weekend, but by Petrino’s attempt to hide his relationship with a female employee who is half his age.
Jessica Coddrell is a student working as the Athlete Development Coordinator at the University of Arkansas. Her relationship with Bobby Petrino, who is married with four children, has been highly criticized, especially since Petrino lied that the woman was with him at the time of the motorcycle accident. Reporters repeatedly asked the coach whether there was a second passenger with him when the motorcycle skidded off the road on Sunday, but he said ‘No’.
Petrino released his first statement during Tuesday’s news conference. He told reporters that he was taken to the hospital by a woman and a man who stopped the car next to him and asked him to get in. Despite this, Petrino modified his initial declaration on Thursday saying that he was indeed accompanied by Dorrell on Sunday night. He further stated that he did not want to make his family suffer by revealing his relationship with Jessica Dorrell. In the end, Arkansas’ coach promised everyone that he will do his best to cooperate with the university in order to repair his relationships with the family, the athletic director and the Razorbacks.
Jessica Dorrell was not available for declarations when reporters tried to reach her. The former volley player was hired by Petrino on March 28 as the student-athlete development coordinator. Long told the press that he hasn’t decided yet whether to fire Dorrell or not. He will take a decision after speaking with her in private.