FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 5: Head Coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks argues a call during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium on November 5, 2011in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Gamecocks 44 to 28. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Bobby Petrino, a life-long motorcyle enthusiast, took one of his five cycles out for a spin Sunday night. Petrino ended up in a ditch, breaking a few bones and acquiring a few scars, including a some to his reputation.
Thursday night Petrino was put on paid administrative leave by the University of Arkansas for failing to disclose that a 25-year female employee of the Athletic Department was a passenger on the bike.
Jessica Dorrell, a former Arkansas volleyball player player and current Razorback Foundation fundraiser was uninjured in the accident. Petrino, who is married and the father of four, has issued a statement about his "lack of judgement" in the matter.
"My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public," he said. "In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I've acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration."
He added: "I will fully cooperate with the university throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks."
Dorrell was hired last month by Petrino as the student-athlete development coordinator. She is in charge of organizing the recruiting process for the football team, including initial eligibility for each incoming player.
Tuesday at a press conference, Petrino said he had spent the day at the lake with his wife and was just out for a spin. He talked about not wearing a helmet.
"It's something that really puts a scare in you," Petrino said. "I can't say that I'm not going to ride a motorcycle again because I might do that. The ironic thing is we were sitting there in the kitchen, Becky and I, and I had two helmets out. I said, `This one's going to be really heavy and hot, and then this one makes me look like a cone head. I think I'll just go with the hat.'
"Obviously, bad call. We wouldn't have converted the third down."
Arkansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said there is no timetable for the length of the suspension. Long said he was particularly disappointed in not finding out about Dorrell being with Petrino until he read the police report.
Petrino just completed his fourth season with the Razorbacks. He's 34-17 in four seasons at the school, 21-5 over the last two, and the Hogs finished last season ranked No. 5 after losing only to national champion Alabama and runner-up LSU. He signed a contract extension in 2010 that runs through 2017 and currently pays him $3.5 million a year.