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This articles sums up PERFECTLY what the Hogs are getting in Petrino.


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Petrino's been down this road before & and likely will again

By Pat Forde

ESPN.com

Updated: December 11, 2007

In the coming days and weeks, the disingenuous drifter will say what Arkansas fans want to hear.

He'll look at them with blank shark eyes and tell them, in a monotone voice, how excited he is to be the coach of the Razorbacks. He will tell them how impressed he is by the tradition and the fan base. He will tell them that the Southeastern Conference is the place he always wanted to coach (and that might be the one true thing he'll say, given how many times he's tried to land a job in the league).

It will be a trumped-up stump speech, as sincere as a politician's pledge to cut taxes. It will simply be the latest pack of lies in a career full of them.

But it will be what Arkansas fans want to hear, and the poor saps will be desperate to believe him. During their arduous search to replace Houston Nutt, they've been used and abused by one-fourth of the coaches in the ACC -- first Butch Davis, then Tommy Bowden, then Jim Grobe. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville flirted for a minute as well.

So hiring a guy with a 41-9 college record will get the blood pumping. But those Arkansas fans ready to embrace their new hotshot coach and his pretty ball plays need to understand one thing:

The disingenuous drifter doesn't love you or any other fan base. He doesn't love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.

That's it. Don't expect it to change.

Bobby Petrino will return your embrace, Hog fans. But while he's hugging you he'll be looking over your shoulder, scanning the terrain for his next hook-up.

Even in a profession rife with dishonest posturing, Petrino is singularly mercenary. Loyalty, allegiance, commitment and honesty are foreign concepts to him. It must be a sad existence.

I apologize to Alabama's Nick Saban -- last year I named him president of the Liar's Club. He's been impeached and replaced by the disingenuous drifter.

Petrino's old boss at Louisville, Tom Jurich, took the high road when asked Tuesday night about the drifter's latest change of address.

"He's a great football coach," Jurich said, adding that he spoke to Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long about Petrino last week and "said nothing to discourage him" from hiring his old coach.

But Jurich did allow that he's "not totally surprised" Petrino would move on less than a year after leaving Louisville for a $24 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

"He's five for five," Jurich explained.

What he meant: this is the fifth straight year Bobby Petrino has tried to get another job. Every single season he's been a head coach, he's ended it by pursuing something else.

Follow the grease stain that is the disingenuous drifter's career path:

" In 2003, his first year as a head coach at the University of Louisville, Petrino went behind the back of his employer and his onetime boss, Tuberville, to negotiate a deal replacing him at Auburn. He held a clandestine meeting across the Ohio River from Louisville in southern Indiana with Auburn officials, two days before both the Tigers and Cardinals played their final regular-season games.

It was, by any rendering, a spectacular bit of philandering by both interested parties.

Petrino lied about having any contact with Auburn officials -- until two reporters for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal confronted him with documentation of the private plane that brought the university president and athletic director into Petrino's backyard. I was one of the two reporters. And even when faced with the evidence, Petrino resisted telling the truth until Auburn issued a statement owning up to the whole affair.

Boxed into a corner, Petrino asked forgiveness and chalked it up to the inexperience of a "young coach." Louisville forgave him because he was 9-3 and his offense blew up scoreboards.

It wouldn't be the last time Petrino toyed with the school's loyalties, or the last time he was forgiven for doing so.

" In 2004, Petrino interviewed for the Notre Dame job and had discussions with Florida and Mississippi about their jobs. Then, on Dec. 7, he pledged his loyalty to Louisville.

"I want to make it clear that I'm not interested in any other coaching jobs, and am happy at the University of Louisville," Petrino said. "& I'm very excited about our move into the Big East, the opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game and the chance to compete for a national championship. [school president] Dr. James Ramsey and Tom Jurich, through their hard work and dedication, have made this the best job in the country. As I've stated before, Louisville is the perfect place to raise a family and I plan for all four of my children to graduate from high school in Louisville."

On Dec. 21, Petrino signed an enhanced contract to stay with the Cardinals.

On Dec. 26 -- well before the Petrino children had graduated from high school -- he interviewed with LSU to replace Saban. On Jan. 1, 2005, when it became obvious that he'd lost out to Les Miles, Petrino pulled out of consideration.

On the inside, several Louisville administrators were disappointed they had to keep him. They were sick of the game -- but there was no firing a guy who just went 12-1.

" In 2005, Petrino interviewed with the Oakland Raiders. That's after telling people for years that he had no interest in coaching the pros -- college was where he wanted to be. He ultimately turned down the job and professed his commitment to the Cardinals again.

" On July 13, 2006, Petrino signed a 10-year contract worth up to $25 million -- a staggering deal for a school of Louisville's modest football heritage and fan base. The day he signed it, Petrino vowed again that Louisville was home. He made a point of insisting that a $1 million buyout provision be put into the contract, putting his money where his dissembling mouth is.

"We did want to make a statement," the disingenuous drifter said that day about the buyout. "& I wanted to make sure everyone understood -- I know I've said it -- that this is where I want to be, where my family wants to be. But I want everyone to really believe it."

Sure, he wanted everyone to believe it. Not because it was true, of course. Just because he was tired of answering questions about his wandering eye.

Five months later, he was gone to Atlanta.

Even this time around, there have been recent pronouncements of commitment to the task at hand and the people who write his checks.

On Nov. 26, Petrino told the Associated Press that he was staying in Atlanta. "I haven't given it [college coaching vacancies] one bit of thought," he said.

Shockingly, that didn't hold up, either.

Early in his career, Rick Pitino was famously called Larry Brown on training wheels. Petrino isn't Larry Brown on training wheels; he's Larry Brown in a Maserati.

The good news for Arkansas is that it might be the last school willing to give this guy anything more than what he deserves: a one-year contract and a monitoring device on his ankle. The NFL certainly will never give him another chance as a head coach, not after fleeing with three games left in the season and undercutting an owner like Arthur Blank. And every college in the country should know by now how fickle Petrino can be.

Even in what appears to be a major rebuilding year for the Hogs in 2008, I predict Petrino will do better than expected. He's that good as a coach -- for my money, the best offensive game-planner and tactician since Steve Spurrier's heyday at Florida. That will be a welcome dynamic at a school that struggled to diversify its offense beyond Darren McFadden and Felix Jones the past two years.

But a little success can be a dangerous thing. It might tempt some deluded and desperate school to offer Bobby Petrino a job -- and that's a temptation the disingenuous drifter is powerless to resist.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.

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Once again, Pat Forde hits the nail on the head! Petrino is a mercenary, who has left behind a trail of carnage anywhere he has been a coach. While he is at Arkansas, he WILL turn that program around, but when he leaves they will be as bad off as Ole Miss! The next AD or GM that gives this so-called man a job deserves to lose theirs!!!!!!!!!!!

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I can't believe all of the whining from NFL people on this subject. Especially from ESPN. Forgive me if I am wrong but isn't Lou Holtz on their staff? He did the exact same thing to the T. The Falcons have had more problems this year than I care to or have time to list but this is the least of them. The players would not conform to Petrino and were quick to start bashing them. What about the players loyalty? (If there is such a thing) How many players hold out year in and year out for what they want regardless of how it will affect the team. Those players are hypocrites and should look themselves in the mirror for these problems. They didn't go 4-9 because of Petrino.

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Jon Waters (12/13/2007)
I can't believe all of the whining from NFL people on this subject. Especially from ESPN. Forgive me if I am wrong but isn't Lou Holtz on their staff? He did the exact same thing to the T. The Falcons have had more problems this year than I care to or have time to list but this is the least of them. The players would not conform to Petrino and were quick to start bashing them. What about the players loyalty? (If there is such a thing) How many players hold out year in and year out for what they want regardless of how it will affect the team. Those players are hypocrites and should look themselves in the mirror for these problems. They didn't go 4-9 because of Petrino.

It is amazing how close the Lou Holtz and Petrino situations are.

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LawDawg (12/13/2007)
Dirty Bird Razorback (12/13/2007)
Gotta love the sensational ESPN.

I understand you're an Arkansas fan, but Forde didn't write anything that was untrue.

I agree, I understand why people hate Petrino, but unfortunately most of that hate is carrying over to the U of A and even the state of Arkansas as well. The last part, I just can't take.

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