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Former University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino “never thought the gift was a problem or the relationship,” according to athletic director Jeff Long’s handwritten notes from the investigation he conducted resulting in Petrino’s firing.They were obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The documents show Petrino and former athletic department employee Jessica Dorrell began an intimate relationship at some point last fall, but exchanged 326 phone calls and 7,228 text messages since April 2011.
Here are a few other details obtained from Long’s notes:
- Petrino and Dorrell’s affair began with a kiss over lunch
- Petrino and Dorrell claim they ended their intimate relationship as soon as she informed the coach that she was interested in the job because he wanted her to “earn” it. Long didn’t see how that made any sense if the motorcycle accident took place so recently
- On top of the $20,000 gift Petrino gave Dorrell for her to purchase a car and use on wedding and vacation expenses, he also sent her Hot Tamales candy
- Dorrell initially hid the money under her mattress
- Dorrell’s fiancee, athletic department employee Josh Morgan, thought the $20,000 were simply a bonus because the job required having a car
- Through it all, Long truly wanted to keep Petrino as head coach, but he had no other choice other than firing him after he repeatedly failed to disclose his relationship with Dorrell
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