AD: Petrino's affair was 'several months'

Published Apr. 13, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says the affair that cost Bobby Petrino his job lasted for "a period of several months" before the coach recommended hiring his mistress.

The detail is disclosed in the letter that Long sent to Petrino on Tuesday to tell him he had been fired. The letter also says that Jessica Dorrell used a $20,000 "gift" from Petrino to buy a black Acura car during her first week on the job.

The letter was released Friday as part of a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by The Associated Press.

"(Y)ou deliberately failed to tell me that you had engaged in an extramarital affair with Ms. Dorrell over a period of several months leading up to your recommendation to hire her," Long wrote. "If you had been forthcoming with me about the true nature of your relationship, I would not have approved the hiring."

Long also said Petrino "admitting giving $20,000 cash to Ms. Dorrell as a 'gift.' Ms. Dorrell used the money to purchase a black Acura during the first week that she worked for the football program.

"Among other concerns relating to this 'gift,' you should have disclosed this fact to me ... but you failed to do so," Long wrote.

The athletic director ripped Petrino for "poor judgment" and said that by lying to his boss and the public he had left the school with the task of "restoring the reputation of our institution and our athletics programs."


"I recognize that you are a very talented football coach," Long wrote, "but the university may not disregard your conduct or sacrifice its integrity, reputation and principles."

The university put the 25-year-old Dorrell on paid leave earlier Friday.

In a March 20 letter Long sent to Dorrell offering her the job, he wrote that "you should be aware that you will be held accountable for and must abide by University of Arkansas, Southeastern Conference and NCAA rules and regulations."

The school, he added, "expects integrity" and Dorrell was asked to comply with "conflict of interest policies" among other things. The letter amounts to an "understanding" that there are "no agreements, whether written or oral, regarding your employment other than those contained in this letter." The letter was signed by Dorrell.

A person familiar with the situation has told the AP that Dorrell had "at one time" been engaged to another athletic department staffer, assistant strength and conditioning coach Josh Morgan. Voorhies said Morgan is still employed by Arkansas.