Top sports scandals of 2012

  • Top sports scandals of 2012

    This Aug. 6, 2011 file photo shows Arkansas college football coach Bobby Petrino speaking to reporters in Fayetteville, Ark. File,AP Photo/Danny Johnston

    7. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino fired for lying about affair with employee

    In early 2012, Bobby Petrino was revered at the University of Arkansas. The football coach had just completed his fourth season with the Razorbacks, who had developed into a national contender under his watch. He was 21-5 over his last two seasons at the school, and the Hogs finished his last season ranked No. 5.

    But Petrino's reign came crashing down - literally and figuratively - on April 1 when the coach was injured in a motorcycle accident. Petrino initially claimed he was riding alone but it soon emerged that he had been riding with Jessica Dorrell, a 25-year-old employee and former Arkansas volleyball player. Petrino eventually admitted having an affair with Dorrell, who he later hired as a football assistant and gave her $20,000 in gifts.

    The next week, Arkansas fired Petrino, saying he "knowingly misled" and engaged in reckless behavior in a relationship with Dorrell. Athletic director Jeff Long said Petrino was fired for trying to cover up the circumstances of the motorcycle crash and his failure to come clean about his relationship with Dorrell.

    On December 10, Western Kentucky hired Petrino as the new Hilltoppers' football coach.

    "It was no secret that Petrino hoped to land a job further up the coaching ladder than the Hilltoppers, but his lies to Long and job-hopping past apparently made him too radioactive for any BCS-level school to touch," wrote's Jerry Hinnen.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for