Petrino and Williams: Public Enemies

Posted: April 11, 2012 in sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are a couple of things I need to get off of my chest.

First, Bobby Petrino.

The Arkansas football coach should have been fired, and it could never have been done soon enough. He is guilty of poor judgment, lying, a cover-up and a general lack of leadership. Those who accept responsibility accept a higher degree of scrutiny and expectation.

This really isn’t about his infidelity. As a married man with four kids, he had no business out motorcycling riding with a 25-year-old woman. But I’ll leave his punishment for that to his wife.

After crashing his bike he tried to cover up the incident, refusing the offer of a passerby to call 9-1-1. Then he lied to his boss after what happened, revealing the truth only after a police report was made public. As usual, the cover-up is as paramount as the misdeed itself.

Petrino has restored winning to the Razorbacks’ program. He led the Hogs to a BCS bowl. Arkansas is expected to be an SEC contender – maybe a national contender – this season with a dynamic offense led by quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis.

But at what price is the university willing to pay for winning? Thankfully, Arkansas agrees with me – that price is much too steep. Good riddance, Mr. Petrino. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Second, Gregg Williams.

I don’t know the veteran defensive coordinator and former NFL head coach even though he spent a year with the Jaguars. I certainly don’t know what’s in his heart. He has been punished for running a bounty program while he was with the Saints. Bounties are against the rules. He was told to stop and didn’t. Suspending him indefinitely – for at least the upcoming season – is reasonable.

But the reaction to Williams’ misdeeds is over the top. That’s especially true of the audio tape that was leaked to the media last week that has Williams screaming at his players, telling them if they kill an opponent’s head, his body will die. On the surface, that sounds awful. But anyone who has been around football, from high school to the pros, probably has heard a similar rant. Does anyone really believe Williams wanted his players to kill an opponent? Or even seriously injury an opponent?

The expression is a figure of speech, albeit a crude one, but it is the language of football. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, football is a violent game, played by large, fast boys and men who are taught to hit opponents as hard as they can. Think about it: Hitting someone as hard as you can often leads to pain and injury. Duh?

In the Petrino case, people tend to under react. In Williams’ case, the tendency is to over react.

They should be reversed.


  1. Wyman says:

    Just two reasons why I don’t follow sports like I once did. Nevermind you are talking football, which is one of my lesser sports interests, but all sports seem about the same for personal corruptness today. Sports once taught valuable lessons. True, sports has always suffered with human shortcomings, but coaches once coached for the love of the game, players played for the love of the game, and everyone understood there were rules. Today, rather than say records are made to be broken, it seems rules are made to be broken. Being corrupt today is fine, so long as you don’t get caught. What values do sports teach us today? Virtually none at the college and professional level. Less and less at the lower levels too. As fewer decent people choose to enter coaching or become corrupted by it, the worse I am sure these scandals will get; bad as they are now.

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