ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The Jessica Dorrell Arkansas wreck has prompted silence by Bobby Petrino’s wife. Becky Petrino, Bobby Petrino’s wife, was next to the Arkansas coach after he crashed with Jessica Dorrell on his bike, officials told news this week. But in a news statement issued after that accident by the Petrino family, there is no reference to passenger volleyball player Jessica Dorrell of Arkansas (photos below). In a subsequent news statement by Petrino following release from the hospital, there was still no mention of Dorrell. But last night, athletic director Jeff Long told news Petrino will be taking a break from Arkansas’s football program following his inappropriate non-disclosure about Dorrell.
Jessica Dorrell of Arkansas was engaged to Josh Morgan, the director of swimming and diving operations at Arkansas, when she took a ride on the back seat of Bobby Petrino’s bike. The married Bobby Petrino wasn’t just Dorrell’s co-worker. Petrino hired Dorrell just days before his crash. On March 28, Petrino proclaimed Dorrell was a much needed asset to the Arkansas community.
Four days after bragging to news that he had proudly hired Jessica Dorrell, Bobby Petrino hid from news that he was taking Dorrell on the backseat of his bike for a late night right down an Arkansas highway. After announcing his hiring of Dorrell on March 28, on Sunday April 1, Petrino turned on his Harley. With Dorrell, he headed down the Arkansas road.
Jessica Dorrell first made news as an Arkansas all-SEC volleyball player. After graduating in the Class of 2008, she got her degree in business two years later. Petrino picked her to help his program, having witnessed her work with the Razorback Foundation.
On March 28, Dorrell’s new position was Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. Her job would align her with Petrino’s recruiting process and assist with player eligibility upon arrival on campus. She would also handle recruiting visits by players. “As a former student-athlete she has an enthusiasm for the Razorbacks and is familiar with what the University of Arkansas can offer” he told news.
But just days after her appointment, Dorrell and her boss had their own visit. The two hit the Arkansas State Highway. From there, the story gets peculiar. Petrino has since admitted to an improper “relationship” with someone, but he doesn’t state who.
Next, there is still no clarification as to why the Petrino bike crashed. Arkansas State Highway officials confirmed that “After traveling off the north side of the roadway, the rear of Petrino’s motorcycle began rotating counterclockwise”.
The bike went off the road. No mechanical failure nor driver error has been blamed. Dorrell and Petrino when interviewed by state police both claim they have no idea why the bike crashed.
Also unclear is why Dorrell and Petrino didn’t go to the hospital together. Petrino’s bike suffered “extensive damage” but unconfirmed reports claim that Dorrell suffered no injuries. The two, however, landed in trees, dirt, and a ditch, according to the police report. Rather than both being transported to a local hospital via ambulance, the two were transported from the scene by Benjamin Adam Williams and Jody Diane Stewart. Dorrell then went on in her own car, while Petrino went to the hospital.
Then, in the hospital, Petrino’s web of deception began. Becky Petrino, Bobby Petrino’s wife, was alongside him bedside on Monday, athletic director Jeff Long told news. Shortly after the crash, Long issued a statement from the family refusing comment about the situation. “Until then, there will be no further information or comment on the accident per the Petrinos’ request.”
Arkansas then issued their infamous erroneous statement to news. In it, they claim that only one person was involved in the Petrino wreck, when in fact two people, both Arkansas employees, were involved.
Then Petrino issued more news statements during a Tuesday press conference. Those too were false. “When I came out of a ditch, there was a lady there that had flagged down a car. And the guy that was in the passenger seat said get in we’ll just take you right to the hospital.” In truth, he makes no mention of Dorrell, yet again.
By Thursday morning, the story seemed complete. Petrino had been in a wreck and recovered; no one else was involved, so it seemed. Suddenly, the State police report was issued to news yesterday, as broke on LALATE at the time. Petrino and Dorrell clearly knew the report would be released; they were interviewed for it.
Suddenly, the cover-up was revealed. By evening, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long told news that he nor the program deceived the press this week. Rather, Petrino mislead Arkansas and Long about what had happened. And yet, we still don’t really know what had happened, that Sunday between Petrino and Dorrell.
“I am disappointed that coach Petrino did not share with me, when he had the opportunity to, the full extent of the accident and who was involved,” Long said. He added “I don’t know what I’m going to find.” Long simply admits that he and Arkansas didn’t know what happened, and still doesn’t.
Petrino since told news that “My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public”. He added “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.”
“I hope to have a resolution soon,” Long said. “I certainly don’t have all the answers here tonight, as we meet. But again, I have an obligation and responsibility to obtain the information and then act appropriately on that information.”
Bobby Petrino, Jessica Dorrell