The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Walking a fine line

Holding athletes and coaches to higher standards than ourselves: is it fair?

In light of the recent events at Arkansas, many people are beginning to question the fairness of the standards that our society holds athletes and coaches to.

Is it truly fair?

Or does the intense scrutiny just come with the territory?

As many already know, the head football coach at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, was recently fired on grounds of “misleading and manipulative behavior.”

Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident on April 1 and failed to disclose on the police report that he had a passenger with him at the time.

The passenger turned out to be 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell, a former volleyball player for the Razorbacks, who had just been hired by Petrino for a position with the football team – a job that over 159 other candidates applied for.

She is also his mistress.

In addition to his lies regarding the accident, Petrino also paid Dorrell $20,000 in cash for reasons unknown to the public.

Despite the damning evidence against his character, there are still supporters for Petrino.

According to a report from USA Today, a group of Arkansas fans formed a group called “Team Save Coach Petrino” to try and convince Arkansas’ athletic director Jeff Long to save his job.

Several supporters carried signs with one that read “What’s wrong with scoring in the offseason?”

Support for Petrino is strong, but not limited to, the Razorback community.

“I think too drastic of measures have been taken,” SMU sophomore Katie Hamilton said. “They’re still human, and people make mistakes.”

A less considered factor that some have brought up is the backlash that Petrino’s firing will have on the team and university as a whole.

“Firing a coach affects more than just the coaching position,” Hamilton said. “You’re also affecting the players and they’re going to get upset. Then the school will get upset as well as the fans. It’s just almost causing more harm than good.”

Others don’t show as much sympathy for the now unemployed coach.

“I think Arkansas did the right thing,” said former SMU basketball player and current graduate student, Collin Mangrum. “In no world is that OK- cheating on your wife and lying to cover things up.”

For Mangrum, being a part of a collegiate-level program should be considered a privilege and every person needs to respect the rules that program has in place.

The increased scrutiny and expectations of higher moral standards just comes with the territory.

“Everybody has rules and whether you like it or not you need to adhere to them,” he said.

The fact that Petrino cheated on his wife, lied about his mistress and hired her under false pretenses over other qualified candidates is indisputable.

But to some, the question of the harshness of his penalty still remains. 

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