So, yeah, Bobby Petrino lied to both his athletic director's face and the Arkansas public over the details of what could have been a life-threatening motorcycle accident, hired a woman with whom he was engaging in an "inappropriate relationship" to fill a coveted position at the state's largest and best-known public university, and permanently smeared (to some degree, at least) the reputation of both his program and the University of Arkansas for as long as he remains employed there.
But he's also gone 21-5 the past two seasons with wins in the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl. So you can guess which way one large, vocal segment of Razorback fans is leaning when it comes to whether Petrino should stay.
That segment is a Facebook group named "TEAM SAVE COACH PETRINO," they have more than 10,000 members, and this is their mission statement/rallying cry:
Support our Coach! HOG NATION ban together and Support Coach Bobby Petrino!! ...
Arkansas Football: It's the players running through the A, Hog Hats. It's more than 70,000 fans calling, "WOO PIG SOOIE!".
Arkansas Football: It's the State of Arkansas banding together behind one team, and a mascot like no other. Those select few who put on the jersey are, chosen. They wear the colors, they pay the price, and they succeed. They are exceptional, they are Razorbacks.
Together we stand as tall as the tower of Old Main. Our memories are etched in stone like names on Senior Walk. And our blood flows Razorbacks Red. For 100 years we've been Hogwild, and today we continue the tradition.
We are, Arkansas Razorbacks!.
SAVE OUR COACH!
Arkansas Football: it's also fans using the Freedom of Information Act to attempt to run the morally questionable coach you don't like out of town, while rallying furiously behind the one who just-so-happens to be one of the brightest offensive minds in the country. And we aren't use the term "rallying" metaphorically here: the Facebook group (and others like it) are planning a rally outside the athletic department's Broyles Complex at 7 p.m. Monday evening to make sure A.D. Jeff Long is put in as awkward a position as possible.
There's an argument to be made, certainly, that Petrino's value to the school and its football program outweighs his substantial errors in judgment over the previous two weeks, and that ultimately his transgressions -- the worst of which, from the perspective of his employment, remains that he simply didn't tell his boss the truth -- don't rise to the level of fireable offenses.
But forgive us if assembling an agitated mob to scream at Long as he wrestles with what's already likely the most difficult decision of his professional career doesn't strike us as the best way to engender sympathy for that argument.
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