July 15, 2024

Greg Sankey Shares Thoughts On Bobby Petrino Back In Fayetteville

Photo Credits - Wes Pruett - 4SSM

Today, on the SEC Football Championship media call, our own, Wes Pruett,  had the unique opportunity to speak with Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey about the recent rehiring of Bobby Petrino by the University of Arkansas. His insights were candid, reflective, and ultimately optimistic about the future of Arkansas football.

JIMMY JONES / JONES SPORTS MEDIA

Bobby Petrino, a name and man synonymous with success and controversy in Arkansas Razorbacks’ history, is back on “The Hill” in Fayetteville. Petrino coached the Razorbacks from 2008 to 2011, leading them to impressive 10- and 11-win seasons in his last two years. However, a scandal involving a motorcycle accident and an affair with a staffer coupled with lying to, then athletic director, Jeff Long, led to his dismissal from the program.

Following this departure, Petrino would make another familiar stop, at Louisville, from 2014-18, with former Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson. From 2020-2022, Petrino would be the next coach at Missouri State. This would include a trip back to Fayetteville in a close loss, 38-27, to the Razorbacks before a nervous home crowd.

After years away, from the SEC, Petrino returned as Texas A&M‘s offensive coordinator this past season. Now, he’s been rehired by Arkansas in the same position, aiming to recreate the success he had during his initial tenure.

When asked about this turn of events, Sankey shared his perspective. He noted that Petrino’s return, as mentioned above, to the SEC had begun with his stint at Texas A&M, and that he was surprised nobody sought his opinion then.

Photo Credits – Wes Pruett – 4SSM

In response to the question, Sankey said, “You know, it was interesting, no one asked me my opinion last year when he was announced as the new offensive coordinator at Texas A&M. So he’s been back in the league. There’s history. But I consider that to be history.”

Sankey, who had the opportunity to work with Petrino during his head coaching days at Arkansas, seems to be looking at the current situation through a forward-thinking lens. His comments suggest that he believes in second chances and is focused more on Petrino’s potential future contributions rather than dwelling on his past mistakes.

Sankey ended his response on a positive note, stating, “He’s been back for a year, by all accounts did well in his work at Texas A&M, and I look forward to saying hello to him next time I’m in Fayetteville.”

Photo Credits – JIMMY JONES / JONES SPORTS MEDIA

In a world where past mistakes often overshadow current achievements, it’s refreshing to see an authoritative figure acknowledging the capacity for change and growth. Only time will tell if Petrino will once again become a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. Regardless, it’s clear that at least Sankey, one of the most influential voices in college football is ready to give him another shot.

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