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Petrino on leave after 'inappropriate relationship'

  • Arkansas Razorbacks coach apologizes to family, fans, university
  • 'I showed a serious mistake in judgment,' he says

Arkansas Razorbacks football coach Bobby Petrino has been put on paid leave following a motorcycle crash in which the married father of four kids was riding with a female employee. Petrino acknowledged the "inappropriate relationship" and apologized late Thursday, according to reports.

The saga all started when he was involved in a motorcycle accident Sunday and suffered injuries, including broken ribs, according to ESPN.

On Thursday, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long went public with a conversation he'd had with the coach earlier in the day. “At that time Coach Petrino shared with me some information he had not previously shared,” Long said. “Specifically that information was that there was another passenger on the motorcycle and that that passenger was an employee of ours at the University of Arkansas.” 

That employee is Jessica Dorrell, 25, who, according to, joined Petrino's staff just last week.

"I informed Coach that given this information," Long said, "I was going to put him on ad leave while I take the time necessary to review this personnel matter.”

In a statement released Thursday by the university, Petrino apologized to the school, his family and fans. 

“I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle," he said in the statement obtained by HLN affiliate KARK-TV. "I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell's name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as 'a lady'. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details.”


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