The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

82° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arkansas coach’s lies offer life lesson

    George Washington once said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” If only this advice had been delivered to Bobby Petrino.

    Petrino, the head football coach at the University of Arkansas, was fired on Monday for hiring his mistress and misleading the university about his relationship with her. Petrino, who is a married father of four, hired 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell, didn’t tell the school about his conflict of interest and at one point paid her $20,000.

    Petrino “engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive” the athletic staff, said Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. The truth came to light only after Dorrell was present at a motorcycle accident that Petrino was involved in.

    Petrino’s failure to tell the truth and be honest about his mistakes turned a minor infraction into a massively embarrassing situation for himself and his family.

    We live in a forgiving society. We accept people who tell the truth and see confessions as a sign of progress. When people lie it’s because they are afraid, worried that their flaws will be exposed.

    Petrino’s actions were disgusting. His lost soul led him to cheat on his wife, then used government money to pay for his personal life. And when it all came to surface, he tried to sweep it under the rug by lying to his supporters, his family and his boss.

    Petrino was a head college football coach. He was put in power not only to win games but also to influence and guide these young adults. Football, more than any other sport, can teach players life lessons such as how to be a team player and how to be a man, but apparently Petrino hasn’t learned those values yet.

    However, he isn’t the only one. Petrino isn’t the first and won’t be the last individual to make a mistake and try finding a way around it. But people can use his fiasco as a life lesson: When you’re caught red-handed, just admit it.

    The University of Arkansas community may have accepted Petrino’s flaws if he himself had accepted them. Instead Petrino wanted to hide them so it would seem as if he was perfect. No one is perfect, and no one will ever be held to those standards.

    When people lie about themselves it’s because they want to protect themselves. They want to be seen as something they are not. But what really happens when someone lies is it creates more imperfections.

    Petrino lost a dream job and will most likely be out of a job for a while. Perhaps he will use this time to reflect on himself. The strongest quality in a good person is the ability to learn from his or her mistakes. If Petrino can do that, he will be a stronger and better person for it.

    — Luke Davis is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

    More to Discover
    Activate Search