‘Reckless behavior’ costs Petrino his job at Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas fired coach Bobby Petrino on Tuesday and scathingly dressed him down for hiring his mistress and intentionally misleading his boss about their secret relationship that was laid bare by her presence at a motorcycle accident that ultimately cost him his job.
Athletic director Jeff Long announced his decision at an evening news conference and laid out a laundry list of misdeeds and “reckless behavior” by the man he hired away from the Atlanta Falcons four years ago.
They included ignoring multiple chances over the past 10 days to come clean to Long about the relationship that had crossed the line from infidelity into workplace favoritism.
“In short, coach Petrino engaged in a pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior designed to deceive me and members of the athletic staff, both before and after the motorcycle accident,” Long said.
The 51-year-old Petrino, a married father of four, maintained an inappropriate relationship with 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell for a “significant” amount of time and at one point had given her $20,000, Long said.
Petrino issued a lengthy apology and said he was focused on trying to heal his family.
“I chose to engage in an improper relationship,” he said inthe statement.”I also made several poor decisions following the end of that relationship and in the aftermath of the accident. I accept full responsibility for what has happened.”
Petrino finishes his tenure at Arkansas with a 34-17 record in four seasons.
Bulls’ Deng to play on Britain’s Olympic team
LONDON – Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is one of three NBA players who have agreed to play on Britain’s Olympic team.
British basketball says Deng, Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon and Charlotte Bobcats center Byron Mullens have “confirmed their availability and commitment” to play at the Olympics.
They are part of a 21-man preliminary squad.
While Deng has played on the British team since 2007, Gordon and Mullens are available for the first time.
The international basketball federation allowed Britain’s men’s and women’s teams to compete at the 2012 London Olympics without qualifying.
Most Development League players ever called up
NEW YORK – The NBA Development League had 50 players called up to NBA teams this season, 10 more than its previous high.
The NBA D-League also had 64 players assigned from NBA clubs, surpassing its record of 56 set last season. The previous high of 40 call-ups was set during the 2009-10 season.
Every NBA team has at least one former D-Leaguer, with the New York Knicks turning their season around in February behind point guard Jeremy Lin, who had been sent down to Erie and recalled earlier in the season. Twenty-five percent of NBA rosters are comprised of NBA D-League alums.
The NBA D-League wrapped up its 11th season by surpassing 1 million in attendance for the third consecutive year.
The eight-team playoffs begin today.
Nadal, Djokovic to play soccer stadium exhibition
MADRID – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will play an exhibition match at Real Madrid’s soccer stadium, hoping for a crowd of 80,000 to watch tennis’ top two players.
Madrid said on its website that the top-ranked Djokovic and local favorite Nadal will meet July 14 at the Santiago Bernabeu, with proceeds going to the club’s and Nadal’s charity foundations.
Tuesday’s statement did not say what surface the match will be played on.
Nadal and Djokovic have won a combined 10 majors and have one of sports’ top rivalries.