Bobby Petrino speaks for first time since being fired

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

For the first time since losing his job at Arkansas in April, Bobby Petrino talked about the events that led to his dismissal and what his life has been like since. While talking with ESPN's Joe Schad Petrino expressed regret for the decisions he made and the consequences that came with them.

"I have played it over and over in my head a million times," Petrino told ESPN. "How could I do this? How could this happen? And not just the hiring. Or that day. But my actions, my behavior -- for months it was just wrong."

Petrino also said he had planned to tell Arkansas AD Jeff Long and his wife Becky the truth about the accident and why Jessica Dorrell was on the bike with him, but he was too injured and incoherent to do so immediately following the accident. He had planned to tell them three days after the accident but Long left town and a police report listed Dorrell as a passenger the day earlier.

Petrino also admitted that the process in which Dorrell was hired to be the student-athlete coordinator was wrong.

"There is no justification," Petrino said. "There is no excuse for having her in the interview pool, hiring her, having her on the back of the motorcycle. I look back on it and there is no good answer. I wasn't thinking and I wasn't acting correctly."

Petrino's biggest regret from the incident is the impact it has had on his family. He and his wife Becky are currently in counseling and Petrino says he's "working hard to save my marriage" and that his main priority is "making things right with my family."

Petrino also admits during the interview that he would like to get back into coaching at some point. He says he's talked with coaching staffs at both California and the NFL's Tennessee Titans, not for a position but just to talk football.

"I would like to be able to explain the mistakes that I made," Petrino told ESPN. "I think I've got to take this one day at a time, continue to improve as a person and as a husband. I'm also going to continue to work on football. And I just hope and pray that I get that opportunity again."

It's that hope for the opportunity that likely brought forth this interview in the first place.

Whether or not you believe Bobby Petrino when he says he's sorry isn't the point. The point is that in order for him to ever get back into coaching again, a public apology like this is a necessary step for him to get back to where he wants to be.

Now, whether he'll ever get back to coaching at a high profile position like Arkansas -- which Petrino referred to as his "dream job" in the interview -- is up for debate. Still, given Petrino's track record at Louisville and Arkansas, it's not hard to imagine that he'll be able to find a job at a smaller school in the next few years and could work his way back to a major program.

College football is a sport where forgiveness is achieved quicker by winning football games than teary-eyed interviews after all.

 
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