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Hogs put Petrino on leave after female passenger revealed

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas put coach Bobby Petrino on paid leave Thursday after he failed to disclose he was riding with a female school employee more than half his age when he crashed his motorcycle Sunday — an accident that has prompted him to apologize for a "previous inappropriate relationship."

Athletic director Jeff Long said there is no timetable for determining Petrino's future.

A police report released Thursday said Petrino, 51, was riding with Jessica Dorrell, 25, a former Arkansas volleyball player.

Petrino, married with four children, didn't mention her during a news conference Tuesday, and a school statement that day quoted Petrino's family as saying "no other individuals" were involved.

Petrino, who sustained four broken ribs and a cracked neck vertebra, also said Tuesday that he spent Sunday with his wife at a lake before going riding.

"My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public," he said. "I will fully cooperate with the university throughout this process, and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks."

Dorrell, who did not return a call seeking comment, was not taken to a hospital, according to the report. She was hired March 28 by Petrino. She is in charge of organizing the recruiting process for the football team, including initial eligibility for each incoming player.

Long said he had not decided whether to suspend Dorrell.

In December 2010, Petrino signed a seven-year extension worth an average of $3.53 million per year. The contract includes a clause allowing Arkansas to dismiss Petrino for "engaging in conduct … contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of head football coach or which negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the (university's) athletics programs in any way."

Hogs put Petrino on leave after female passenger revealed 04/06/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:27am]
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