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Should Kentucky value way Petrino wins or worry about baggage that comes with him

By LARRY VAUGHT

How much should Kentucky value winning as it searches for a new football coach?

If winning is the priority, should a coach with a 75-26 overall record, including a 4-3 bowl record with appearances in the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl, be at the top of the list? What if he had 11-win seasons at two different schools? Even better, what if he has already made it clear he has interest in the UK job even though the Wildcats have not won a Southeastern Conference title since 1977 or have just a 1-9 record this year?

Obviously, that coach is Bobby Petrino, the former head coach at Louisville and Arkansas.

His father told Adam Himmelsbach of the CourierJournal.com in Louisville that his son wants a job after being fired at Arkansas in the spring for not disclosing an “inappropriate relationship” with a 25-year-old female employee that he hired, gave money to and was involved in a motorcycle accident with that he did not immediately disclose.

Still, many Kentucky fans upset with the way Joker Phillips’ team has played the last three years have made it clear they would like to see athletics director Mitch Barnhart reach out to Petrino even if sources close to Barnhart have indicated that’s not going to happen.

“I just know this, that he’s interested in Kentucky,” Bob Petrino Sr. told Himmelsbach. “He wants to stay in the SEC. That was his life’s goal was to go to the SEC.”

Petrino would come with plenty of baggage.

He took over as head coach at Louisville in 2003, but he secretly interviewed with Auburn even though Tommy Tuberville was still the head coach before staying at Louisville. He won 11 games in 2004 and 12 in 2006 and singed a 10-year, $25-million contract on July 13, 2006. Six months later he left the Cardinals to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Of course, that turned ugly, too, and with three games left in the season he abandoned the Falcons without telling his players and took over as head coach at Arkansas. The Razorbacks went 10-2 in 2010 and lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas won the 2012 Cotton Bowl and went 11-2 with losses only to Alabama and LSU.

This year Arkansas was expected to have a top 10 team that has bottomed out under interim coach John L. Smith — of course, the Razorbacks did still beat UK 49-7 in a storm-shortened game — without Petrino.

Several other SEC schools could have coaching vacancies — Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas. Obviously, Arkansas is not going to contact Petrino. But Auburn could. So could Tennessee. And certainly Petrino would have as much, if not more, interest in those jobs than the one at Kentucky because both teams traditionally win more, pay the coach more and put more resources into football.

Will Kentucky make a move on Petrino? Probably not. Just don’t see Barnhart doing that.

Should Kentucky make a move on Petrino? Maybe. Depends on how much the UK administration wants to win more than anything else.

So what will happen? My guess is nothing with Petrino as Barnhart looks for other coaches he thinks can win and have the “integrity” Barnhart values. But if the UK administration doesn’t want to make a stronger overall commitment to football, will it really matter whether the coach is Petrino, a rising star like Sonny Dykes, a moderately successful coach like Duke’s David Cutcliffe or perhaps a rising college or NFL coordinator.

But remember this is not a guaranteed home run for UK. Money alone won’t buy a big-name coach who values winning unless other changes are made to the Kentucky football culture and that could be more difficult to do than having UK even take a run at Petrino.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/should-kentucky-value-way-petrino-wins-or-worry-about-baggage-that-comes-with-him/

95 comments

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  1. Teresa Cann

    Hire him I’m tired of losing. If his wife can forgive the whole blonde on the motorcycle I’m good with it.

    1. larryvaught

      Teresa, like your short, concise comment. Similar to how I feel. And I would like to see UK win while I am still at an age I can enjoy it

      1. Anonymous

        I’m with you, Larry. I’ve been watching since the thin thirty days. I want to win some, too.

  2. David Hopewell

    I’d be shocked if even an interview happened. And if I were the President of the University I’d be hurt that my AD would bring the name to me.

    1. larryvaught

      Get ready Hope. It could happen. After all, you are the one who always wants a coach who can win a national title and will talk about doing it. Petrino could be that guy

  3. Chuck

    That culture has to be forced into change and you do that by winning. Back when Mumme 1st came to UK, the fans flocked to the stadium and even forced a renovation. The fans want winning football, and the more fans that come to games means more money coming into the University. If we are having sellouts every week, then the powers that be would have justification to invest more into the football program.

    In my opinion this hire is all about changing the future of the program and someone that can excite the fan base with an exciting brand that puts fannies in the seats. I understand those that arent fond of Petrino and his past, but he is the best that is that is a proven winner and is available to us right now. Sure we can take a chance on an up and coming young Coordinator, but that is a risky hire as well. Back when we hired Brooks, the hot young Coordinator was Chizick and look at how well things turned out for him. My point is, for every Chip Kelly, there is a Gene Chizick. The hire is going to be risky either way unless UK can convince a proven winner to take the job, which is not very likely.

    1. larryvaught

      You are right Chuck. Mumme forced a culture change. Those who think he did not help UK football are very wrong. He got the stadium renovated, made high school football come to life.

      1. Chuck

        Football is a business and its all about return on investment. The powers that be wont invest in the program till they have evidence that they arent throwing their money away for no reason, especially in this economy. If we show that we can pack the stadium, the renovations will come and will come quickly.

        Thanks Larry love reading your site all the way down in Huntsville Alabama.

  4. David Hopewell

    And one more thing, if this guy does end up coaching another SEC team I am sure he will want to take his revenge on all those “he” felt should have hired him. Whether it was UK AU or UT. But again that’s a whole new problem he has we can talk about another time.

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      He’s took his anger out on UK anyway, so what’s the difference.

  5. JD

    We will know if Mitch really wants to win 8, 9 or even more games a year or if he is just all talk and really has set the goal at hoping to trip and fall into 6 wins and some crappy Bowl in Nashville or Memphanis
    Should have just kept Joker, kept losing and saved the $3m buyout. With Mitch holding the purse strings nothing will change.

  6. Chuck

    Hey if he came to UK, I would have no problem with him wanting to beat someone badly, this is football where you play to win the game, not badminton.

  7. Chuck

    ALso if Petrino is hired or another name that impresses me enough, I will be buying back my 4 season tickets that I let go back and have other friends that are in the same boat.

  8. Larry Pup

    David my friend, if Petrino is hired by another SEC school his job will be to win fb games by as many points as his offense can score. And he will. Revenge?

  9. Mike Flannery

    Mitch Barnhart has said he is a Christian. Being a Christian is all about forgiveness. This is an opportunity for UK to get a proven Coach, he pulled the plug on Joker, we were about the first team to start a Coaching search. It is obvious that many, many UK fans would love to see Petrino come in here. Is Barhart the dictator in the Athletic department…..doesn’t anyone else have a say in who we get as a Coach? He obviously could not pick a Basketball Coach ( Gillespie ) and we may not have Calipari if Mike Pratt did not get involved. There is only a very limited time frame to close a deal on Petrino. There a a few unforgiving souls who don’t want Petrino. He is a Coach that would bring excitement to the program and finally take a lot of heat off of Barnhart…..I think the risk of it not working is very low….but, it is worth the risk!!

    1. Ben

      Being a Christian is all about God’s justice and faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross! Forgiveness is just a small part of it. If Petrino is truly sorry, then Mitch will be able to tell and give him a chance. Only Mitch can make that call and fans need to respect his judgement! He must do what is best for the program in the long run.

      As fans we would like to make all the calls, but that is not possible. I pray that God gives Mitch the wisdom to make the right hire. That is all any of us fans can really do that is constructive.

      1. larryvaught

        Thanks Ben for a great post we should all read and re-read

  10. Larry Pup

    I would like to see Petrino at the UK helm and turn loose all that “revenge,” “passion,” and “bad character”on the likes of UT, Florida, Louisville, South Carolina, etc. etc. Throw in the entire SEC. Lord know we owe those guys some lumps if you want to use the word revenge.

    1. Ira

      Larry

      I love your thinking. Payback is a #itch and BP could bring it to alot of teams we owe in the SEC. I think he has the mentality to do it here at UK and that is the type of mentality I want in a coach. Someone who brings the pain to other team.

  11. Derek

    Mitch picked Gillespie, and look where that got him. I don’t know if he wants to hire another coach who’s coming in with baggage of inappropriate behavior at a previous position.

    This isn’t an issue of “forgiveness,” because Petrino didn’t wrong anyone at UK. However, it is an issue of trust, because UK would be putting itself in a position of having possibly to offer forgiveness. Can UK trust him to act appropriately? Therein lies the real question, not whether or not we forgive him.

    1. Love SEC F-Ball

      Great comment!

    2. Larry T Clemons

      I saw No One in BBN asking Mitch to go after BG…

    3. RJ

      I don’t care if the guy has five girlfriends. That’s his family’s business. But, professionally he has proven himself to be untrustworthy. A contract is only as good as the man you have it with. The piece of paper is worth something to only the lawyers when the men start arguing in court over who owes who. It would be financially incompetitent to enter into an agreement with guy.

  12. Jim

    My observation, as a long time Kentucky fan, is that nobody will know how to react if UK ever builds a winning program that competes with the big boys of the SEC. Why should Kentucky hire Petrino and change that long standing losing tradition? Isn’t it better to be like Cubs fans and show up to games and almost win or get blown out? UK, its players, and fans don’t deserve to have a program with a winning tradition. Maybe Mitch should hire an unproven assistant coach who will get fired in three years, that way they could get by with paying a low salary and not have to worry about all those congestion issues when fooball games sell out.

  13. PHILLIP BARKER

    Extremely well said Derek! Integrity and character still count for more than the number of wins, just ask the critics of Penn State. There are enough other good coaches out there that can provide us with a winning program…we’ll find one!

    1. RJ

      You’re absolutely correct!

  14. Tom

    Larry, I’m amazed how well MB keeps info hushed concerning his hirings and firings. As for a coaching choice, I’m retired and realize after the election, I’m not in a mainstream category anymore. Therefore, I won’t debate the majority on Petrino, maybe they are right, and MB may not find another candidate in a timely manner that he thinks will be successful on the field at UK. Enjoy your football coverage, particularly!

  15. W. C. Thunder

    Having suffered through terrible years, then seeing UK rise to mediocrity with good coaches….let me say that THE biggest change…THE biggest cultural change is to eradicate the snake-bitten attitude that tanks UK teams when they make a bad play…or two. You can see the atmosphere change to a “here we go again,” downtrodden defeatist attitude. Petrino is not a good choice. He’s not as bad as Gillispie, but he does have some issues with the moral compass. Getting a big name is not always the cure. Being a package that can recruit, call good plays, etc…that’s the ticket. And recruiting is tough when you have teams in a state that can pull from within – like Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama…they do not have to leave the state, the good climates, etc. We end up getting the best we can – mix in the downtrodden image, and it’s tough – but a good recruiting team can let top notch players know they have a chance to come in immediately at a place like UK – play against some of THE elite teams in the NCAA and be instrumental in pulling UK into a better football team. I didn’t want Gillispie before they ever hired him – and I don’t see Petrino as anything but a potential quick-fix. Continuity and ingenuity with moral integrity – that’s the ticket.

  16. Mike

    Mitch should not even bother talking with Bobby Petrino. He should talk to his wife Becky Petrino because wherever Becky wants him to go is where he will go. He really doesn’t have a choice in the matter anymore. We need a good football coach. He is a VERY good football coach. If his wife and family are working things out with him, it is their business, not ours. He deserves another chance as do all that are reading this at one time or another. We need a good football coach.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Exactly…Don’t lose this Man, MB…

  17. RJ

    “Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” Patrino’s a scumbag. He is unreliable at best as was proven with the Atlanta Falcons debacle and he would throw is mother under the bus if it meant a win. Yes he can win football games but at what cost.

    Would he or the wins he promises bring me back to being a season ticket holder? No. I don’t want to be associated with him or the univeristy that hires him. There are other coaches out there that can win football games. Get the checkbook out and hire one.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      RJ, those Same Exact Words, were used when we were looking at Coach Cal….

    2. Bobby Stringer

      We can git along with out you friend.

  18. Larry T Clemons

    Just remember when we courted Coach Calipari…All the Nay-sayers were talking about Baggage…” No, Not Calipari, UK’s done, slease program, yadda,yadda, BS “…Well I said it 3 weeks ago and I’ll tell you Now, ” Get coach Petrino, he will compete and Win, in the SEC. Remember, The Man, Bobby Petrino, has something to Fight For, He is a Good Man…He’s made mistakes, like us all, can you imagine, If Your Mistakes were Nationwide News…This Man, Coach Petrino, deserves this opportunity and if another SEC team (Auburn), or others Sign Him ( And, someone will ), UK will regret it…And be Beaten By Him…Forget his past, look what Coaching Kentucky Basketball has done to Polish, renew, expose and highlight the Great Guy John Calipari is…MB, Get’r Done…

    1. Derek

      Calipari’s baggage was not directly of his own making. Justifying Petrino because of the false equivalence to Coach Cal just doesn’t work.

      Marcus Camby – Calipari’s responsibility as head coach, but not his fault. Derrick Rose – Calipari’s responsibility, but not his fault.

      Jessica Dorrell – Petrino’s responsibility and his own fault. He did it himself.

      He might, in fact, prove to be a great coach for Kentucky. Then, again, who might the next Jessica Dorrell be?

  19. Lori Metcalf

    Petrino has demonstrated time and again that he is untrustworthy both professionally and personally. It is not Mitch’s place — as a Christian or not — to forgive Petrino because neither he nor UK is the offended party. I’m thrilled if Mrs. Petrino has forgiven him. I’ve got $5 that says she still doesn’t trust him. I’ll bet the Falcons and Cardinals haven’t forgiven him. I think the win-at-all-costs mentality will be the further downfall of the program if it is not balanced with an emphasis on the demonstrated character of the administration, coaches and players. I did not give up my season tickets and I was one of the 18,000+ in the stands last week supporting the Cats. If UK hires a proven liar and cheat such as Petrino, that’s when I will not renew my tickets.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      And there are Fans that will be willing to by those tickets, If Petrino, repents and WINS…or Wins and repents, whatever makes you feel better.

    2. UKFMLY

      AMEN LORI

    3. Love SEC F-Ball

      I agree Lori.

    4. JD

      And I will renew after being gone for 2 years. Hire another retread or nobody hack and the closest I get to CWS will continue to be the Orange lot, enjoying the jebest part of a UK Football Saturday, the tailgate, and watching D1 football on TV.

    5. Jim

      You will not be missed if you give up your tickets. The program will always be bigger than a coach, player, booster, or fan.

      If Petrino gets hired, games will sell out and booster money will flow. When UK wins 8 to 9 games a year and has that special season every 4 or years, the only fan complaining will be those bitching about the price of buying scalped tickets.

  20. Old Cat

    I understand the concerns, but they are not with wining, they are in matters of keeping his word. I firmly believe that a contract could be constructed in such a way that there would be no pay out in situations like meeting with other schools without MB’s knowledge or other actions that would go against the intentions of his contract with UK.
    Imagine what life would be like with Petrino coaching Max and Patrick along with some of our young receivers? Put another digit on the scoreboard.
    UK is not the “Home of The Innocents” but we are “The Home of The Doormats” and Petrino could change that. Instead of removing seats at Commonwealth we might have to expand it. Wouldn’t that be nice?
    UL has survided quite well by ignoring Pitino’s actions and you know why they did it? Because he was the best they could find who would WIN.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      The Man does deserve a Chance to Coach Football, why not UK, be the one to Step Up…and like Old Cat says, ” With The right Contract “…with Petrino, Day One UK Football will change for the better and Offense is Needed in The SEC…

    2. Anonymous

      With that thinking and contract, what difference does it make to him, that coaching at UK for one year and rolling out, will bother him? If another school offered him more money, what keeps him at UK? He’s shown that he is as unreliable as a HUGO in the winter. UK needs a coach that’s going to stick around.

      Would Petrino actually stay at UK, stay true to his contract (I couldn’t care less about what he does on his own time) and turn UK around? We don’t know (yet), but why waste a year or two on a guy that has his track record?

      There are a lot of “if’s” out there and can UK afford to not to hire him? Can UK afford to hire him?

      1. JD

        Read my contract requirements and you will see exactly why he won’t go anywhere else. Petrino is jot in the position to negotiate and anyone that actually does pursue him will hold all the cards.

  21. UKFMLY

    There will be opportunities aplenty for Petrino. It does not have to be HEAR! ! ! He would only stay until a Bigger Better deal came along. He is a coach that has left a PROVEN VISABLE TRAIL OF SLIME every where he has been. He is nothing like hiring Cal. And it is offensive to Cal to mention them in the same sentence. He slimed out of Louisville, Atlanta and Arkansas. That’s not speculation, that’s not haters looking for something to write about those are FACTS and thats a huge difference between him and Cal.

    This guy is moraly bankrupt. He has the ability to look the people who trust him in the eye and LIE. Ask his wife and the Ad at Arkansas. Ask the players he abandoned in Louisville and Atlanta. He puts himself infront of ALL THOSE AROUND HIM. I am sure I am the minority but if we hire that guy I will never attend a UK fb game again nor would I watch them on TV.

    We can hire a coach who can win at UK and win big without picking up somebody elses GARBAGE from the curb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GO BLUE AND SHOW SOME INTEGRITY

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Mentioning Coach Cal’s is exactly the ” Perception ” (important word UKFMLY), that was painted, shouted, written and verbalized by Many, HEC, it’s still happening. And your right UKFMLY, it is unfair….But, it is also unfair to not give a Man a Chance to prove You Wrong…And, of course, I could be wrong….. ” I would rather be Wrong and do the right thing, as apposed to being Right and doing the wrong thing “…(if that didn’t confuse you all, than nothing will), I guess, I’m just willing to give this Man a Chance…he was stolen from Louisville and ALOT of Money was in Play, AKA, Pitino to Boston…Now look at Coach Pitino’s results at Louisville, couple of Final Fours, top 5 Team…I’m just saying, until you walk in someone’s shoes, it’s easy to Cast stones from the sidelines…Now is Petrino’s Time…Timing and Instinct are the keys to Success, The Timing is here, Now, does the University Of Kentucky, have the Instinct to react to this Opportunity… No one they Hire, will please everyone.

      1. UKFMLY

        You are absolutely correct Larry. I have not walked in his shoes. I have been with the same woman fpr 31 years. I have not walked out on those who look up to me nor have I been in a position to hire my 25 year old girl friend to work for me and then lie to my boss, family and friends about it. Only to wreck my $15,000 Harley with her on the back and have all the lies blow up in my face. LOL

        And he truely deserves a second chance but I hope it’s not at UK.

        1. Larry T Clemons

          I respect your opinion, but you truly, have undressed a Man, brought him to his lowest levels and have not even considered, if there is a quality Human Being, that has done much good for many and/or has learned from his mistakes…If you believe he deserves a second chance, then, by all means, it would be gracious and humble of you and the rest of us, to Welcome, a broken Man on the mend, to The Great University Of Kentucky, were we will all support and share in his fight to overcome his Demons. This is The Kentucky I grew up in.

          1. UKFMLY

            larry I truely respect you opinion and position on this issue. But UK has a history with hires with questionable decisions in their personal lives and the history is bad. ES and BG(booth were known to like to drink before UK hired them) both made poor choices in their personal lives and end the end they made poor choices for UK. I am always wary of that.

            It’s hard for me to view his interest in UK as more than an application for a bigger better deal. If he did for UK what he did at UL and Arkansas he would only be auditioning for a job somewhere else.

            The passion from both sides of this issue proves we all want the same thing but how to get there is going to be tough. Glad I don’t have to make this decision.

          2. Ira

            Larry I wonder at times if some of these fans would even allow Bobby Petrino in their churches? They pick at his skeleton unmerciful. They never stop and think what it would feel like, if they were in his place being picked apart by the self righteous.

    2. Love SEC F-Ball

      Good Points UKFMLY – I agree.

    3. JD

      And if another retread/nobody “up and comer” comes to.the coaching graveyard know as Commonwealth Stadium lots more of us won’t be back. Mitch isnt getting another dime from us until he COMMITS to SEC caliber FB. We got Joke fired, that only the first small step in fixing a much bigger problem.

  22. grant

    i heard on the radio today that possibly lane kiffin might get ran out of the usc job, i know petrino likes the sec, but wow what a job that would be for him , everyone he needs as far as players are probably within that state. also and this does not include myself, this is for the season tix holders that quit showing up, more power to you . you’re voices were heard and mitch saw that he can no longer take advantage of you and i applaud you. my hope is that this administration gives you a coach that brings some excitement to uk football. some people say you can’t have it all, but how will we ever know unless we try. get a real coach.

  23. Chuck

    With everyone hammering on Petrino’s character, what do you think about General Petreaus, the mastermind of the Gulf War, who just retired because he was caught in an extra marital affair? Is this man never allowed to work again? Did this make him less capable of leading our troops in a time of battle? Would America turn away from him if we were facing another war and needed help in devising a successful plan?

    I think not, what happens in ones own personal life is their personal business, just like with Pitino at UL. He is still a great coach but made a bad mistake, really 2 bad mistakes when you take that he paid for a certain procedure to be performed. Man CBS really hammered him on this during the Final 4 didnt they?

    1. Lori Metcalf

      Why do people consistently overlook the other infidelities Petrino committeed? If you want to keep the argument to his professiional qualifications, how can you just write off the way he conducted himself on that front? Like someone said above, I don’t care if he has 5 girlfriends. Professionally, he cannot be trusted to 1) stay long enough to lead the program to success (because it’s not going to happen overnight, no matter who is coaching), 2) lead and shape young men of character or 3) honor any sort of agreement or contract. If you have to hog tie him with contractual penalties to stay, what’s the point?

  24. JD

    The offer I would present to Petrino. 8 years at $4m per. UK has options on years 5-8. Huge bonus for each win of 8 or more in a season. Bonus for beating ranked teams. Bonus for winning SEC East, SEC, etc.

    Scared he will leave? $50m cash buyout due the day he resigns. No coaching, consulting or TV/radio work if not employeed by UK for the life of the contract, even if fired.

    Morals clause? Make it bulletproof with a 50% return of ready delivered salaries and bonuses if removed for breaking the clause.

    Everyone feel better now? Write it up Mitch and let’s go win some football games. The rest of the corpses everyone keeps mentioning will be right in Jokers host in 3 years.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      And J.D. has it …Get the right Guy for the Job, every Contract is specific to the Hire, make it binding and qualified and get this Coach…Why Not ?

    2. UKFAN197TONE

      GOOD ONE! That’s hilarious. UK won’t offer half of that.

  25. grant

    i like it j.d.- if he don’t want the job i’ll be right down!

  26. Mike

    My My! How do all you little angels fly around in such a small area w/o bumping into one another? We should not judge this man but for what he is. A great football coach.
    OBTW…Ricky P is one of the biggest jerks and cheaters in the business but we all worshipped the ground that he walked on when he was here didn’t we? For that matter, I don’t trust Calipari but he wins ball games. There’s not a bigger BSer out there but he wins ball games. Petrino is probably an A hole but he will win ball games!

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      Small wings?

  27. Larry T Clemons

    Larry Vaught, ” We Want Your VIEW, on Petrino “…I understand you have to look at both sides for your readers, and, you did a great job with that, while we were discussing Joker…Jump on in Larry V., does Petrino fit the bill and can you believe in him..?

    1. larryvaught

      I’ve made it clear. IF winning is priority, have to call Petrino. If winning is not top priority, then stay away. No guarantees about anyone staying. Remember Guy Morriss, everyone thought he would be at UK for years. He left. Tubby wanted to stay, he basically wasn’t allowed. I have learned to take things one year at a time. If petrino came, righted the ship, won eight or nine games and left, not sure I would call that a setback after this season

      1. john4uk

        Amen Larry.Here’s hoping Mitch at least talks to Petrino.
        I can’t believe some of these hypocrits being so concerned sbout Petrinos indescretions.He has paid for them by losing his job,and i’m sure he is ready to move on with his life,and will make some University an outstanding coach.Here’s hoping it’s UK.

  28. Larry Pup

    Well boys and girls we have gummed this Petrino thing to death so bear with me this will be my last remarks on the subject. Do I hear someone saying, GOOD!? I don’t think the ICONS at UK will ask us anyway. It would be good if Mitch B. would sign on to this conversation, maybe we could convince him to hire BP. Think about this……
    1. If you were a 4 or 5 star football prospect out there and had aspirations of punching your ticket to the NFLwho would you want to play for… Brown, Cutcliffe, Dykes, Fulmer, Pease, or Petrino?

    2. When Kentucky lines up against Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and that ugly ass Orange UT who do you want preparing the gameplan and donning the headset…Brown, Cutcliffe, Dykes, Fulmer, Pease or Petrino?

    And lastly, don’t knock our AD, he has a tough job. Leave that to that rag of a newspaper called the Courier-Journal. They are good at that. Mitch was more than a boss to Joker, He was a dear friend. I for one appreciate his loyalty. Fans that knock our AD are in MHO 2 donuts short of a dozen. He’ll make a good decision. And when he does I will be yelling “GO CATS!”

    1. Larry T Clemons

      NICE….and very Pro-Petrino….for good reason !

    2. john4uk

      Absolutely one of the best responses yet.Thanks for such an intelligent response.

  29. CM34

    Kind of sad that at university the only thing that seems to matter is “he wins ball games”. Here is the deal – he did not just have an affair. He put his girlfriend on the pay roll at the university and turned down other qualified applicants for the job – exposing the university to a law suit. He cooerced a state trooper to falisfy the accident report as well. It seems people focus on the fact that he had an extra marital affair – which misses the point. Really – that is between he and his wife. The bigger point is that he bends or breaks the rules when it suits him even if it is illegal.

    Frankly, I think everyone who has commented here loves the Cats and wants the best for the players. I don’t believe that people are saying we should do whatever it takes. We are all sick of our team’s inablilty to compete. I can see the idea of hiring a proven winner. But, I just don’t see this as the right thing to do.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      I think we believe in giving a Good Football Coach and a Man who’s made mistakes, another chance…This System, Big Money and Win at all cost, created the negative’s in Coach Petrino’s Past…I’ll take a Man that has Learned from those let downs, rather than someone who’s new to big time SEC Football…This League is for The Big Boys…someone who has went through hell and made it back to reality, could teach some incredible Lessons to Young Men, who do not truly understand the Temptations of Fame and Money…What you have to ask yourself is, ” does Coach P etrino deserve another chance, and if your answer is, Yes, then let it be at Kentucky.

      1. viper

        And the proof, or even indication, that he has “learned” is what exactly?

  30. Chuck

    Petrino has a chance to correct his legacy as one of the great coaches in the SEC. If he could build UK up to the levels to compete for SEC championships, he would be considered one of the best competing in the best conference in America at a school where it has never been done.

    He knew at UL that he wasnt ever truly going to get a shot at winning a National Title being in the Big East, in his best season at UL he wasnt going to be playing for a national title even if his team went undefeated. To win championships he knew he had to get to the SEC.

    He goes to the Falcons under false pretenses in that he thought he was taking over a team that was ready to win now, but then Vick gets arrested and he has Chris Redmond as his starting QB. Im sure he felt like he screwed up royally and wanted out. We have all been in a situation where it just felt wrong Im sure. The way he left was not ideal.

    I really believe that he would be here for the long haul as long as the University made the commitment to the program that Rich Brooks asked for and never received. He would be thought of as one of the greats if he could build a championship team at UK.

  31. Old Cat

    Petrino is the only coach that we could negotiate with from a position of strength.

    1. JD

      THIS!!! UK can dictate the terms (see my recommendations above). Tennessee and Auburn do not have to settle for baggage to get a Top Shelf coach. Kentucky does. No coach actually capable of winning at UK is taking the job if he has any other viable option
      He knows he is on his last leg and will be stuck in the Arena League of Canada if he dicks up this last chance at D1 football (the NFL won’t touch him). The opportunity for q coach of this caliber is a RARE chance for UK but I have NO DOUBT that Mitch will drop the ball and we will end upwith another hack who’s career goal will be 6 wins and Mitch will smile ear for a job well done. In case Mitch didn’t notice this fanbase is DONE supporting chitty football and in return his pet project irrelevant non-rev sports will suffer to .

  32. Love SEC F-Ball

    Good article Larry – 59 comments so far – should hit 100!

  33. RJ

    I think it is safe to say there is no middle ground on BP. I haven’t hear anyone say they that he would be a great representative of the University. Bottom line is this: if you want to win quick, he’s probably the best candidate. If you’re looking for a long term coach, he’s not going to be your guy.

    1. larryvaught

      RJ and Ira, well said on both fronts

  34. viper

    I’m glad you appreciate conciseness Larry. I shall try to be so. If UK hires Petrino they will be recieving back a total of 8 season tickets from within my family and while they will certainly appear on television…it will not me mine!

    1. Ira

      Well when they hire him they’ll get 2 renews just from me and I know from alot of other fans of the 27 percenters that didn’t renew would reup immediately as well. I’ve also talked with other fans and have said they would get their first season tickets as well with a coach like BP because it would show that UK has finally got serious about winning in the SEC.

      1. viper

        You can have a coach that wins and has class. There are many more winning coaches besides this loser. Loser, in this case, has nothing to do with football gamesI am also not referring to his affair…that is between him, his wife and God. But this man doen’t know how to keep his word or his commitments and should not be teaching young men or representing our school and our state. Are you really so deperate that these things don’t matter? If so, that is very sad. Jumping at the first shiny resume that comes to mind is how we got Billy Gillispie. This would turn out the same way. The difference is Kentucky Basketball has what it takes to recover quickly. Kentucky Football does not.

  35. SoCalUKfan

    Larry: In every person’s life there comes a time when you hit rock bottom; when you are emotionally or physically (or both) spent. It might be because of divorce, alcohol or drugs, or financial problems. It might even be spiritually related. Whichever way, such an experience can sometimes have a profound effect on the individual and cause him/her to have an epiphany that promotes a permanent change in attitude and character. I don’t say it always happens that way, but Petrino had to have been profoundly embarrassed by getting caught doodling his young lover and having the scandal plastered all over the media. if he has any character at all, and if he can feel any shame at all, he will likely be anxious to prove himself by flying the straight and narrow. Everyone deserves a second chance to prove themselves worthy of respect. I guess it’s more or less “There but for the grace of God go I” kind of thing.

    Anyway, I vote to hire Petrino and give him a chance to demonstrate whether he has any real character. if he’s learned from his mistakes he will recognize his weaknesses, appreciate a position at a major SEC university, and not be constantly looking for greener pastures. And, if the blonde is what wants, then let him divorce his wife and bring her along for the ride. He just needs to be honest with everyone about his adulterous relationship and keep it on top of the table and not underneath the table.

    Hire him.

    hire him and keep him on a relatively short leash.

  36. Jim

    Seriously. UK would greatly benefit from having Petrino for only three years. He is an offensive genious. Kentucky fans have been beaten down for so long and refuse to believe that the program can win. Petrino, realistically, can win 7 to 8 games, his first year and 8 to 9 his second. If he leaves after three years, the program will be in an elevated state and will be able to reach out and get another big name coach. If he stays, long term, UK will finally have wo great winning programs.

  37. Bobby Stringer

    If Coach Petrino only coached a couple of tears at uk he would prove you can win at uk with the right coach. Hire him

  38. Rob Gorley

    Petrino has proven himself as a coach time and again. If Kentucky has the opportunity to hire him, they better do it. The reality is, I don’t think a ton of big name coaches are knocking down Mitch Barnhart’s door to coach at UK. Didn’t we take a chance on Cal?

  39. RJ

    BP’s past inappropriate behavior, both professionally and personally, borders on congenital and is emblematic of the code that this guy lives by. Do I believe in giving second chances, yes. But if you think this guy has changed his spots you might want to reconsider having him as a coach. He wins because of who he is. If you change who he is, then you change what makes him win.

  40. Old Cat

    Better that Petrino is “fer” us than “agin” us.

  41. grant

    alls i can say is i am glad for 2nd and 3rd chances in life.

  42. grant

    Uk has a chance to be viable , put some asses back in seats and be a force on the recruiting front with petrino, and believe me , the ones who would be offended by the hire of him and did not come, guess what? someone will take your spot in those seats when there trotting out a winning team . there would be a return on a petrino investment. i believe his time for screwing schools over is done. do i have proof of that ? no. but the na-sayers cannot prove he will be a bad hire either.

  43. UKFAN197TONE

    After “sleepin’ on it”, I’ve come to this conclusion. Regardless of the next head coach, I’M STILL GOING to support UK. Plain and simple. End of story (for me). I wasn’t too keen on the hiring of Calipari and look where that got me. A huge smile on my face…

    1. Larry T Clemons

      So is that a YES, for Petrino ?

      1. larryvaught

        From me, yes

    2. larryvaught

      good thinking UKFAN197TONE

  44. Larry Pup

    Does anyone remember if David Cutcliffe turned down the UK job before Rich Brooks was hired?

  45. Larry Pup

    No offense to either coach, but I sure hope our hire is not Cutcliffe or Fulmer. I think both have lost their mojo.

  46. Larry T Clemons

    We saw yesterday, what it takes to beat Alabama…Air Assault, I rest my case, I Vote Petrino for UK Coach…

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