Petrino passed over one of his Falcons to hire his mistress

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When Bobby Petrino walked out on the Falcons to coach Arkansas in 2007, he did so in a fashion that had his players feeling betrayed. It turns out that the circumstances that led to his departure from Arkansas this week involved betraying one of the players on that Falcons team as well.

Petrino was fired because, among other things, he hired a woman he had an affair with, Jessica Dorrell, for the position of player development coordinator for the Arkansas football program. Dorrell was fast-tracked for the job and was the first person interviewed even though she wasn’t qualified for it, and she ultimately was chosen over the second person interviewed: Ben Wilkerson, who played for Petrino on the Falcons in 2007. It’s now clear that Wilkerson’s interview was a sham designed to hide the fact that Petrino’s sole objective in the hiring process was to get his mistress a job.

Sports Illustrated has detailed the bogus job search that Arkansas conducted prior to hiring Dorrell, and there’s no way to look at it and not conclude that Petrino wasted Wilkerson’s time with an interview because he wanted to make it look like Arkansas was considering other applicants. Wilkerson was obviously more qualified than Dorrell for the job, but Wilkerson didn’t have the advantage of sleeping with Petrino.

One of the “minimum qualifications” for the player development coordinator position was “two years of prior experience within a football program.” Dorrell had no experience within a football program at all. Wilkerson was a four-year starter at LSU, a first-team All-American on a team that won the national championship, and an NFL player who went back to LSU and worked with the football program after his playing career ended. Another qualification listed for the position was “master’s degree in related field.” Dorrell does not have a master’s degree in a related field; Wilkerson has a master’s degree in sports management from LSU.

Wilkerson wasn’t the only applicant who got passed over; 159 people applied for the job and the Sports Illustrated investigation found that many were obviously more qualified than Dorrell. The third person Arkansas claimed was a finalist for the job that Dorrell was going to get all along, a woman named Tiffany Fields, was significantly more qualified than Dorrell as well. Fields has two master’s degrees from Arkansas and has previously worked for the football program as a tutor, and she has also helped Arkansas organize summer football camps, which is one of the player development coordinator’s duties.

After Wilkerson was passed over at Arkansas he accepted a job as Grambling’s offensive line coach, and he said this week that he doesn’t want to talk about the experience of interviewing at Arkansas.

“I’m ready to just go on,” he said. “Of course I interviewed for the position, but I’d rather not discuss it because of the whole thing . . . I’m starting a new job now and that’s my focal point.”

When Petrino left the Falcons, he was described by others in the locker room as “classless” and “a gutless bastard.” Wilkerson is taking the high road publicly, but privately he could be forgiven if he has even stronger words than that for Petrino.

63 responses to “Petrino passed over one of his Falcons to hire his mistress

  1. Arkansas deserves every bit of this embarrassment. How do you empower a sleazeball like Petrino and expect anything different from what he did in Atlanta?

  2. Petrino’s actions should call into question the hiring strategy of plucking a head coach from their current obligations. Any coach willing to abandon his team and his players obviously doesn’t strong morals. Arkansas got what they should have expected.

  3. No questions this is sleazy. But why is this terrible and the wave of nepotism in the NFL is 100% ok? In the NFL, we have the under qualified offspring of coaches taking jobs that should have gone to men who have put in decades of work to reach that position. Hiring your mistress is unethical. Passing over men who have paid their dues and worked their way to the top to hire your kid or your buddy’s is not fair, either.

  4. Arkansas is not innocent here. Other people had to know. 5000 texts and phone calls between Petrino and Dorral in seven months, plus trysts, and no one knew? Arkansas can’t be that stupid. I’ll bet there are more examples of a flawed culture.

  5. Women in America sleeping their way to a job position???

    You don’t say!!!

    Classic America. Thats your all American girl right there. 🙂

  6. “Petrino’s actions should call into question the hiring strategy of plucking a head coach from their current obligations. Any coach willing to abandon his team and his players obviously doesn’t strong morals. Arkansas got what they should have expected.”

    Great point. Karma Police caught up with all of them.

  7. At a time like this I am reminded of Harlem Nights; “Honey, her “feline” is so good..if you throw it in the air it will turn to sunshine”

  8. A perfect fit for the TAINTS this year. They will welcome him with open arms? No class, gutless, and he got caught cheating!! New Orleans, here I come!! But Bree’s will still need to hear a explanation.

  9. No one……NO ONE….should EVER give this scumbag a job in any capacity. Football coach, 7-Eleven cashier, bagboy…

    What a true waste of human flesh. Nothing but a coward.

  10. Dorrell has a Masters Degree from Arkansas. She graduated with an Masters in Business Administration in 2010.

    “Dorrell, a former First-Team All-SEC volleyball player and team captain for Arkansas, worked for the Razorback Foundation as assistant director for women’s athletics before being hired by Petrino, and previously as a graduate assistant for the Arkansas athletic department from 2008-2009. She graduated with a Masters of Business Administration in 2010.”

    This is also mentioned at

  11. This sounds like another form of prostitution when one is hired for their elite physical attributes and skills to perform other than the job requirements.

  12. Never underestimate the power of winning the oral examinantion poetion of the interview process.

  13. Him and Greg Williams will go drinking and trolling for skank.
    that wouldnt work!! if they did that Williams would bounty Petrino.

    now seriously, this isnt a shocker of a story. That’s one reason why he’s fired is the hiring of the girl. i’m not a falcons fan, but i also agreed it was a low thing to do what Petrino did. leaving or quitting isnt awful, but he didnt even stay one full year. at least Saban and Spurrier tried to fix their team’s. Petrino was like a captain who did not go down with his ship and just took the first boat off. and as for Arkansas, i feel for them, but they knew what they were getting into when they hired him. they should be fine (Wilson is a fine QB prospect) next year though.

  14. He would have passed over Vince Lombardi for his little blonde tart. Arkansas deserves this based on the way they hired him. A snake is going to bite you, because that’s what they do. Ask Arthur Blank. Ask Louisville. Ask his wife. Ask his next team, he will be a snake.

  15. Reality is that pretty, hot chicks that put out gets the job, remember that next time for a job interview ladies, especially if I’m the interviewer, I’m a perve too just like pervtino

  16. Honey I’m going to another staff meeting with the AD, I have to teach her some new things.

  17. So what you’re saying is that Petrino followed his own modified version of the Rooney rule?

  18. “Wilkerson was obviously more qualified than Dorrell for the job, but Wilkerson didn’t have the advantage of sleeping with Petrino.”

    Maybe he did but just wasn’t as good, thus creating the disadvantage.

  19. You know, I’ve been a hogs fan my whole life. When all of this first came out, I didn’t want them to fire him at all. However, the more and more of these tiny details that come out….I’m starting to realize that….maybe these “Petrino is scumbag” guys aren’t just trolls.

  20. “infectorman says: he oughtta be in Obama’s white house”

    “mjkelly77 says: Damn! He’s dumber than George Bush”

    Wow. Am I the only one who thinks these people who tie everything in life to politics are kind of…weird?

    There’s just no correlation between this scum bag and either Obama or Bush. I mean, seriously.

    Just plain weird…

  21. that gal is gonna get labeled more like a hooker,not a mistress! he gave her 20k,and she laid it all out there for him! that’s got to be why she went after him,she’s a good looking 25 year old,and he’s a scumbag!

  22. I can’t stand a guy who makes an a$$ out of himself over a woman. To make matters worse, he did it at the detriment of others who deserved better and to the advancement of someone who was pathetically undeserving. Also, I can’t stand a woman who wants to make it through life by using her sexuality, in the business world, as her only means of credentials. There are plenty enough prostitutes in that field of endeavor already. I feel sorry for his family, but not for him. They should all leave him immediately. He’s just plain pathetic.

  23. Here is the sad part. Arkansas Athletic Director, Jeff Wood; Danielle Wood, the Assistant Director of Affirmative Action; Carrie DeBriyn, the HR Manager for Arkansas athletics, all approved Petrino not following school procedures and hiring his mistress. It’s sad because they should lose their jobs, too. Jerks like Petrino pull down lots of good folks with them who all decided not to do their jobs.

  24. So is the sham of interviewing male candidates in football, when its clear a woman is going to be hired based on her “actionable assets”, now called the “Petrino Rule” from this day forward?

  25. I’m a Saints fan, and I have to say what he did to the Falcons was despicable. What he did here was just more of the same. What a dirtbag.

  26. infectorman says:
    Apr 14, 2012 8:20 AM
    Looks like he missed his calling…
    he oughtta be in Obama’s white house or coaching little league baseball…
    Where nepotism reigns supreme

    Hey Infectedman,

    Look up the definition of nepotism before you start throwing words around. I wish PFT req’d a minimum of a high school education before they allowed dumba$$e$ like u to post a comment. Post ur address and I’ll FedEx u a dictionary.

  27. lostsok:
    Maybe he’s getting mentioned in the same breath as Obama & Bush because he’s got alot in common w/ them…He’s a liar, a thief, & a scumbag with questionable (at best) hiring practicies who obviously enjoys betraying the people that pay his salary. Pretty clear really, no matter which side of the political aisle you’re on.

  28. Maybe details like this will show his defenders that it wasn’t just that he was having an extramarital affair that got him fired. It was that he outright lied to his superior, used his position to hire his unqualified mistress, and only fessed up when his state trooper buddy let him know what was on the police report, (Why coaches need state trooper security is beyond me. Is that paid by the school, or the taxpayers? I digress..), and in typical fashion, texted his former boss an apology. Is that phone qwerty enabled?

    He definitely lives by the “It’s all about number one” philosophy.

  29. @ oiler2titans:
    Based on yr response , you probably have a cush newly-invented government job stealing money from people in the private sector as part of Obomination’s all encompassing Wealth Re-distribution plan.
    Save your sanctimonious nitpicking and grandstanding for someone who gives a Sh*t.

    Nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, extreme liberalism….they all apply here…

    Do yourself a favor, instead of sending me a dictionary, Save your pennies for when the next liberal policy induced economic collapse hits and your dollars are worth 30% of what they are today.
    Under this administration, your gonna need em,

    If you can’t see the correlation between Obama’s policies of big government (Bigger then ever, mind you) and the state of this country, then you are truly blind

  30. @pizzon…..

    Your right. A lot of people have a lot of wallpaper and can’t find their ass with both hands tied behind them. Apparently, Ms. Dorrell didn’t have that problem.

  31. Infectorman: you’re a dope. Keep your uninformed talking points to yourself. No one came here to read your horsesh*t opinions that you copy/pasted off the Drudge Report. “Extreme liberalism” has absolutely nothing to do with this story, jagoff.

  32. There’s just no correlation between this scum bag and either Obama or Bush

    William Jefferson Blythe Clinton would be the one you’re looking for.

  33. @herb deluxe:

    I guess the truth hurts, eh Herbie boy?

    Nicely played on your part though; straight from the liberal playbook, when someone has an opinion that differs from your own, resort to elementary-school level name-calling.

    Can’t quite figure whats weaker; your insults or your post.
    Cronyism has everything to do with this story and THAT is what your president OBAMA is all about…

  34. maybe if Wilkerson was a hot girl Petrino would’ve hired him. if the girl with 2 masters degrees put out like Dorrell she might’ve had a chance. Petrino is a pig.

  35. What’s funny is that it’s quite common for universities to post job openings that are quite specifically targetted, so that the intended candidate is the only one that fits the description. Petrino could have at least taken the trouble to create a position that she was actually qualified for.

  36. @infectorman

    Note that most responders are not attacking your views….just the fact that your bringing that stuff here. Most of us are just looking to keep it at the fart joke level in our posts.

  37. They’re both from Arkansas…. I’m betting Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton was this guys mentor. They both seem to have the same value system.

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