Arkansas received 159 applications for the position of Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. Jessica Dorrell was hired ahead of some much more qualified candidates. According to Sports Illustrated, some very impressive resumes never got more than a glance.
Among the applicants that never got a look from Petrino and Arkansas – the former Kentucky and Oregon director of football operations, the former director of football operations at UAB, a former employee of the San Francisco 49ers, the Pac-12, the NFL and the University of Missouri, a former Southland Conference associate commissioner, someone who had worked in the recruiting offices at Stanford and Washington and an Arkansas Graduate and who has worked in the student-athlete academic advising departments at Arkansas, Utah and Florida International.
The job was posted on March 4th and was supposed to remain up for 30 days before the school could even begin the interview process. Petrino stepped in. From Sports Illustrated:
Five days later, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long pushed along a request from Petrino and sent a memo to Danielle Wood, the school’s assistant director of affirmative action, asking if interviews for the position could begin even though the job had been listed for just five days, not the required 30. “We feel that flexibility is needed,” Long wrote.
Records show that on March 12, Carrie DeBriyn, the human resources manager for Arkansas athletics, e-mailed the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance to ask that the hiring process be expedited at Petrino’s behest. The e-mail said, “Coach Petrino would like to request to interview early due to needing a Player Development Coordinator as quickly as possible.” Without filling the position quickly, DeBriyn wrote, “we could potentially make a recruiting error with NCAA rules and regulations.” At 10:44 a.m. that same day, approval was granted to interview candidates. According to records, however, Dorrell’s interviews had already been scheduled and were set to begin at 9:30 that same morning.
There you have it. The beginning of the end of Bobby Petrino’s tenure at Arkansas. Still though, how did Petrino get everyone to go along with this hire? I’m guessing his argument was, “She’s definitely the most qualified. If you know what I mean.” Then he winked repeatedly, elbowed everyone in the ribs and shot the double guns to anyone who passed by the window.
Headline note: Ba-dum-tsss!