Petrino Leaving Falcons for Arkansas

The Atlanta Falcons' miserable season just became worse. Bobby Petrino, the team's first-year coach, resigned today and plans to return to the college ranks and accept the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas, an NFL source said.

Petrino left the University of Louisville and signed a five-year, $24 million contract with the Falcons in January, replacing the fired Jim Mora.

But he lost his quarterback when Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to his participation in a dogfighting operation based at a property that he owned in southeastern Virginia. Vick was sentenced Monday to 23 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. He also faces state dogfighting charges and is on indefinite suspension by the NFL. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday that the team must operate under the assumption that Vick will be out of the NFL for three full seasons and might not return to the club.

The Falcons traded highly regarded backup Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans in the offseason, before learning of Vick's legal troubles, and have struggled to a 3-10 record this season with Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich and Chris Redman sharing the starting job. Petrino has clashed with cornerback DeAngelo Hall and at times appeared to lose the support of some of the veteran players in the locker room.

By Mark Maske |  December 11, 2007; 6:18 PM ET  | Category:  Falcons
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Posted by: eric | December 11, 2007 6:58 PM

If this actually pans out, I could not be happier with this selection for the new coach at Arkansas.

Sooie Pig!

Posted by: arkie | December 11, 2007 7:08 PM

He just wasn't ready for the NFL

Posted by: ANDREA | December 11, 2007 7:09 PM

i dont know why, but i found this funny

tee hee

Posted by: pack4life | December 11, 2007 7:10 PM

pig so0oooooooooooooooooooooooo way to go bobby how about them hogs

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2007 7:10 PM

what a chump!! and as a hogs fan, i cant even muster a single positive thought for a guy that dumps his college team for the nfl to begin with! then for the captain to jump off a sinking ship--petrino must have been castrated at birth!!

Posted by: BSBrian | December 11, 2007 7:11 PM

Petrino is the poster boy for cutthroat ambition. Keeps a U-Haul in the driveway with the motor running. Constantly on the prowl to put more cash in his pockets. Woe unto those who deal with Petrino. He will cut your throat in a heartbeat. And the A.D. at Arkansas better start compiling his list of Petrino's successor--now.

Posted by: cody mccall | December 11, 2007 7:13 PM

Wow, Bobby Petrino is the equal of Larry Brown in basketball. A new team every 18-24 months, whoever throws out the most money wins! He's got his realtor on speed dial. Too bad Hogs...

Posted by: phil | December 11, 2007 7:22 PM

First of all, Petrino is taking a pay cut to go back to college. Secondly, he was quoted as saying he didn't enjoy the pros. As a hog fan, I am super-pumped to have a pass-first coach at our school for the first time in recent memory. Now maybe we can get a good quarterback and contend for the national title. GO HOGS!!

Posted by: George in Louisiana | December 11, 2007 7:23 PM

Just remember, Petrino was the guy who met secretly with the former AD at Auburn in an effort to replace his former boss and head coach at Auburn, T. Tuberville. I think cody mccall has it about right.

Posted by: auburnfan | December 11, 2007 7:32 PM

He took a pay cut your theory on him being a cash monger is weak at best.

Posted by: Booger butt | December 11, 2007 7:47 PM

In college football, you have to meet secretly until everything is in line. Petrino has been trying to get into the SEC as a head coach for awhile and now Auburn has lost their chance. Arkanasa WILL be a team to be rekoned with in the years to come. GO HOGS!!!

Posted by: George in Louisiana | December 11, 2007 7:50 PM

I don't have much respect for his lack of loyalty, but, he is a good college coach. As far as not being ready for the NFL, the Falcons stint was not his first rodeo.

Posted by: mgrody | December 11, 2007 8:00 PM

Booger butt: It's not the pay. It's his willingness to scuttle his former head coach that is the issue.

George: I agree that Bobby will be a good coach. Just don't trust him.

Posted by: auburnfan | December 11, 2007 8:01 PM

Hogs fans are morons for running Nutt out of town

Posted by: farce1 | December 11, 2007 8:16 PM

What a shock, another mercenary coach. I'd never send my son to play for this carpetbagger. Last I checked, the NFL season isn't over yet. Way to stick with your team, Bob! I hope Arkansas finishes 0-12 next year.

Posted by: Carpetbagging 101 | December 11, 2007 8:27 PM

You Arkansas fans are a bunch of morons. Petrino is a quitter, a lier and the wrong type of person to coach and set an example for young men. Here's hoping Sylvester Croom kicks y'alls a** every year. Petrino and Saban will make quite a pair in the SEC West. Fortunately for y'all Petrino won't stay long. Only long enough to lie to you and the Arkansas AD when the next job comes around.

Posted by: virtueandvice | December 11, 2007 8:50 PM

No matter how you look at it he is is still a quitter leaving in the middle of a season .I always made my kids finish whatever they started and we were on many losing teams but my son played on and never deserted his team.He stayed with a team when he was in Pop Warner that lost every game one year turned around won city champs the next .To me it shows lack of character to quit in the middle of a season.

Posted by: DE | December 11, 2007 8:52 PM

Man, he really stuck it to Blank and the Falcons. If I had a son that played football I'd sure want to have Petrino teach him a thing or two about loyalty and commitment. HAH

Posted by: thinker | December 11, 2007 9:01 PM

I agree 100% with the last two posts only to add that I hope Arkansas loses to Mississippi and Houston Nutt every year as well. Pigs live in S*** and now have a big one for a coach. What a bunch of losers!

Posted by: Joe D | December 11, 2007 9:01 PM

I can't fault him for leaving. He signed on to coach a team with prospects for the future and now he's got to rebuild a franchise. These events aren't his doing and as can be seen from some of the comments above, he's already being expected to hold the bag.

Posted by: perk | December 11, 2007 9:13 PM

This is THE END for the newly coined ATLANTIS FALCONS. Bobby Petrino probably wanted to do the right thing, but the situation was not a good one for him and his family. How many people have walked off their 9 to 5 job? His circumstances is no different than anyone elses. It's his decision. I can only surmise that his decision was based on getting out of the circus atmosphere in the ATL. I was told Authur Blank asked Petrino did he want to return to the college ranks. That may have prompted Petrino to look at all of his options. Arkansas is not a bad choice for him at all. Good luck Bobby!

Posted by: Atlantis | December 11, 2007 10:00 PM

So, Mr. Maske, What sayeth you about all this?

Posted by: auburnfan | December 11, 2007 10:01 PM

folks let me explain something to all of you guys about this situation what iam saying is that all the blame for Petrino leaving the falcons falls on Blank and Mckay and no one else simply if you think about it Blank is a hands on owner who likes to be involved in every decision that the team makes as far as the teams needs and the direction of the team that is not the owner's job that is the GM's job the owner's job is to make sure the GM has everything in his disposal to do his job and do it effectively.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2007 10:44 PM

Well, Darren McFadden, have a nice career ahead of you. It's been nice watching you, young man. Now hope the Niners suck the wind out of their sails and end up 2nd so you can go collect a handful of rings with the Patriots.

You deserve it, son. Godspeed!

Posted by: go_terps | December 11, 2007 10:46 PM

Fine, he got handed a bad deal in Atlanta, but if he only signed to coach a perfect team he was bound to be sadly disappointed with the NFL. Blank wasn't even blaming him for the lost season since he realized a lot of the stuff was beyond Petrino's control.

He quit before the season was over. I've read other places he never met with the players and only todl his assistants "I'm outta here" before walking out the door. That makes him a poor choice to be a head coach anywhere. Players see their college coach as a second dad. Hey, guess what, Daddy quits when the going gets tough, so go ahead and dog that losing game. It's okay.

Posted by: ep | December 11, 2007 10:56 PM

That was very coward move Petrino did! Not only did he let his team down, but he let Atlanta down as a whole! And most of all, he lied to Arthur Blank when he stated that he was going to return to the Atlanta Falcons for the 2008 season. What a fraud!

Posted by: Chandra | December 11, 2007 11:50 PM

Well Hogs fan you've got him. You have a lying, classless, greedy, self-centered egotistical, ball-less, lets quit when the going gets tough, loser for a coach!!! When he left here (Louisville) he didn't have enough class to even tell our A.D. Tom Jurich that he was leaving. Mr. Jurich found out through the press. Petrino even told our assistant S.I.D. (Rocco Gasparro) 5 minutes before anouncing his resignation that he was not going anywhere.He had just signed a 7yr 25M contract 6 days before saying how much he and his family LOVED Louisville and he planned on being here for a long time.
Remember this too Hog Fans: You are his SECOND CHOICE. He was going to take the LSU job when Les Miles took the Michigan job which never happened. He is a great offensive mind but he has his troubles there too. In our game against Rutgers he COULD NOT figure out Rutgers defensive schemes especially in the 2nd half.
I hope your players enjoy coaches in their faces spitting on them, cursing them and belittling them. He is nothing but a BIG PRICK who is only concerned about himself. He does not even have a genuine concern for his players.There is no discipline when a player repeatedly misses class or gets in trouble with the law. This is one major reason our program was down this year- to many player suspensions and dismissals.
I would have hoped that your University President and Athletic Director were a little more intelligent then to hire this piss poor example of a coach/man. Did they not look at his track record?
Just don't get to close to him, believe anything he says or look for any SEC or National Titles. I'm Out!!!!

Posted by: Chris Bowman, Louisville | December 12, 2007 12:34 AM

Whatever else one can say about Petrino, there is no doubt that he did a good job coaching at Louisville in terms of wins and loses. Despite his faults, many Louisville fans would welcome him back. He will never win a loyalty award or a Mr. Personality contest, but he will win many games as a college coach wherever he lands.

Posted by: ALF | December 12, 2007 8:37 AM

On Monday Night Petrino coached a team whos players shouted "free Michael Vick" along with some fans in the stadium...and the world watching. What a nightmare. Petrino shouldn't feel obligated to show loyalty to a team who openly supports a disgraceful human being!
Good luck in Fayettevile Bobby! Go HAWGS!!!

Posted by: Teresh | December 12, 2007 8:46 AM

Nobody here in Louisville wants him or would have him back.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2007 8:19 PM

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