Ex-Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is a dummy, but his sense of entitlement is more troubling

Remember when that feeling of being above the standards set for everyone else was seen as an athletes-only problem? Now we find it's the adults who sometimes need to be slapped upside the head.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 15, 2012

Bobby Petrino is a dummy.

That's the easy answer to the scintillating soap opera that has erupted to our east, isn't it?

Arkansas is now without a football coach, and Petrino is now without a job because he is a big ‘ol blockhead. The motorcycle crash. The repeated lies. The employed mistress. Knuckleheadedness in action, right?

The thing is, with details still continuing to emerge, there's something more troubling lurking here.

Entitlement.

Remember when that feeling of being above the standards set for everyone else was seen as an athletes-only problem? Remember when we used to rail against the young and immature for their actions, then beg the adults to set them straight?

Now we find it's the adults who sometimes need to be slapped upside the head.

Petrino did what he did because he thought he'd never get caught.

And if he did get caught like he had at Louisville, then with the NFL's Falcons? Well, it had never cost him before. Why, he figured, would it cost him now?

Otherwise, why would use his university-issued cellphone to call and text Jessica Dorrell, the Razorback volleyball player turned object of Petrino's affections, with the frequency of a lovesick sixth grader?

In only seven months, the two exchanged more than 4,300 text messages and almost 300 phone calls.

And, of course, because Petrino used his university-issued cellphone, the records could be obtained and were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Apparently, he never thought about the cell records that linked Petrino's predecessor at Arkansas, Houston Nutt, to a mistress and cost him his job.

Obviously, Petrino never thought he would have the same problem.

The whole thing smacks of entitlement.

Ditto for his hiring of Dorrell.

She was one of 159 candidates for the job of Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. Even if she was a qualified choice — she has an MBA and worked as a fundraiser for the Razorback Foundation — she certainly wasn't the only one.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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