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Tom Jones' Two Cents

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Bobby Petrino is a bully



petrino.Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino is now on my list of Guys I Don't Like. Actually, he was already on that list. But here's the latest reason why:

Last Saturday, an Arkansas radio reporter named Renee Gork (who is a Gators alum, by the way) wore a Florida Gators hat to cover an Arkansas practice. Gork, who was working for a station called -- and I'm not making this up -- KAKS Hogs Sports Radio, claims it was raining and she just grabbed a hat in her car and she didn't realize that it happened to be from the school she attended and a school that is a conference rival of Arkansas. Now Gork doesn't totally get off the hook here. I find it hard to believe she didn't know what she was putting on her own head and she has to know that she's going to catch grief for wearing a Gators hat to an Arkansas practice. I'll even go as far to say that she knew exactly what she was doing. So, yes, she deserved grief and maybe a stern "talking-to'' from the boss. But did she deserve to lose her job? Absolutely not.

But she did. 

The rest of the story: Gork asked Petrino a question in the news conference, Petrino answered the question and then closed by saying, "And that will be the last question I answer with that hat on.'' Gork laughed at Petrino's line, thinking he was joking. He was not. Petrino was clearly annoyed by Gork's hat. A hat, for goodness sakes! What if Gork had been wearing a hat from Harvard or East Carolina? Would Petrino had made a wisecrack then?

Gork then went on Dan Patrick's radio show and said she had sent a letter of apology to Petrino and admitted that she would've removed her hat had she known that Petrino was serious. She and the station had planned to release a joint public apology, but she was fired before that happened. Her former boss at KAKS claims the hat wasn't the only reason she was let go, adding that it was about sending out Twitter comments from practice or some such nonsense.

But what rankles me is Petrino calling her out in a news conference over a hat. Frankly, I'm shocked Petrino knew which hat to wear to his own news conference. This is a guy who once signed a long-term extension with Louisville, in which he insisted included a million-dollar buyout just to show how serious he was about staying at Louisville. Yeah, so serious that six months later, he left to join the Falcons for a five-year contract. Five years turned out to be 13 games as he quit before Atlanta's season was over to go to Arkansas. So excuse me for feeling as if Petrino is not exactly the guy who should be preaching about what's appropriate and professional in the workplace.

And for a guy who is making millions to call out someone who is probably making less than $20,000 working at some crummy, homer radio station is reprehensible. Oh yeah, the radio station released a statement saying, "This radio station is Hog Sports Radio. We are very biased. We support the Razorbacks 100 percent.'' How pathetic.

In the end, there really aren't any good guys. Gork made a mistake wearing the hat. The radio station comes off as a weasel for rolling over and firing Gork. Petrino is slime ball for calling out Gork. And, of course, a bunch of Arkansas fans lined up to rip into Gork because she doesn't sleep in Razorbacks pajamas or have an Arkansas tattoo. She even claims to have received death threats. (Not that moronic behavior like that is exclusive to Arkansas because you can see this story happening around any college team in the country.)

So there are no good guys, only a bunch of bad guys in this scenario. Some are just badder than others. Like Petrino. None of this would've happened and Gork would still have a job if he didn't act like a baby over a hat.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:58am]


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