FAYETTEVILLE — Bobby Petrino has informed Arkansas he will not contest his firing.
Petrino notified Arkansas with a letter he would not request a review of athletic director Jeff Long’s decision, according to his attorney Russ Campbell. Petrino was notified of his termination at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday and had five days under the terms of his Arkansas contract to ask for his firing to be reviewed.
Petrino’s decision means the coach waives any claim to the $18 million buyout that was part of his Arkansas contract after being fired for cause. They buyout was part of a lucrative contract, which paid Petrino an average of $3.56 million through 2017.
Long said he fired Petrino on Tuesday night after the coach did not disclose a previous inappropriate relationship with athletic department employee Jessica Dorrell, who Petrino hired on May 28. Petrino also admitted to giving Dorrell $20,000 in cash. She was among 159 applicants for the student-athlete development coordinator position.
Petrino’s cell phone records, which were released by Arkansas through a Freedom of Information request earlier this week, showed the coach and Dorrell had been in frequent contact since at least last September. The two exchanged nearly 300 phone calls and more than 4,300 text messages during that timespan.
Arkansas also released documents pertaining to Dorrell’s hiring as part of a Freedom on Information request late Thursday night.
One of them was a note from Long to university officials on March 19. It was a request to waive the usual 30-day wait period for hires so the position could be filled.
“A variance to the affirmative action hiring process is being requested so that an individual can be identified and hired as soon as possible,” Long wrote. “Timeliness during the process will be essential since any delay could result in missing a critical recruiting period when prospects are identified and plans are made to invite them to our campus for a recruiting visit.”
The documents also included a note from Petrino stating why Dorrell was his choice, after being one of three finalists, for the position.
“I would like to offer to this candidate,” Petrino wrote. “Out of the candidates, she had the best experience and we felt like she would be the best fit for this position.
“Great candidate but not as much relevant experience as other candidates for this particular position,” he continued. “Great candidate but not as much fulltime experience as other candidates for this particular position.”