Tie settles nothing in crosstown showdown

Anchorage Daily NewsApril 10, 2012 

The East and West boys soccer teams share an ongoing rivalry, so both sides were looking forward to Tuesday's Cook Inlet Conference match in The Dome.

"Since freshman year, everyone has been talking smack to each other," East junior Ryan Kressly said.

Neither team secured bragging rights this time around, however. They played to a scoreless draw in a match that included physical play and spirited ball movement but minimal realistic opportunities to score.

"It was a good match," first-year East coach Craig Naylor said. "Even though it's 0-0, I'm pleased with the result, pleased with our effort."

For East (2-2-1), the best opportunity to defeat the Eagles (2-1-2) came on a long-range shot from Kressly early in the second half. The defenseman let loose with a booming free kick from about 40 yards, up the right sideline.

"I saw the goalie come out off his line," Kressly said. "Why not go for it when the goalie comes out?"

The ball glided over West goalie Roberto Heredia. Kressly said he thought he might notch his first goal of the season until the ball hit the crossbar and bounded over.

"I was so mad," he said.

Kressly's frustrastion reached a new level when the match finished and he realized his shot was a potential match-winner, but he wasn't the only player to miss a great opportunity.

West junior Max Osgood misfired from close range with less than five minutes remaining. He ran down a ball in the middle of the East penalty box, his momentum flowing to his right, and crossed the ball back toward an open left side of the net only to watch it roll wide by a couple of feet.

"It was just a bad finish," Osgood said. "I didn't hit it the way I wanted to."

West kept the ball in the East zone throughout the final minutes, but the closest the Eagles came to a score was when senior Conor Stearns overshot the goal by several feet on a shot from about 30 yards out.

"There was more of a sense of urgency in the last couple minutes," Osgood said. "We should have been able to beat this team. It's a big setback."

West has played to two scoreless draws this season, the other coming against South. They are part of what has been a season of underachievement for the Eagles, Osgood said, mostly because the team tends to begin matches slowly and without focus.

"We have 15 seniors," he said. "We have enough experience that we should be able to get right into it and get going."

East and West meet again April 28, and Naylor said he expects both teams will be hovering around the top half of the CIC standings by then.

"It's tight all around the middle of the pack," he said.

Dimond 5, Service 0

Freshman Jack Sedor scored two goals and assisted on another Monday to spark Dimond's 5-0 blanking of Service in a CIC match at The Dome.

Brock Crowe score the match's only unassisted goal and added an assist. Other goals came from Michael Sedor and Travis Merritt.

Matt Froelich led the Dimond defense and goalkeeper Arturo Oberto notched his fourth shutout of the season.

Girls prep soccer

South 9, Bartlett 0

Bartlett held South to a pair of first-half goals but couldn't contain the Wolverines for an entire match, falling 9-0 in a girls CIC match Monday at The Dome.

Kayla Sims scored the match's first goal and minutes later set up Morgan Hooe for a 2-0 halftime lead. In the second half, South got seven goals from seven players, including one from Hooe on a free kick.

Katelynn Zanders finished with a goal and two assists, Callie Orizotti with one goal and one assist and Madison Jungwirth with two assists. Goalkeepers Sarah Johnson and Michelle Cole combined for the shutout.

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Bobby Petrino believed he could win a national championship at Arkansas. He won't get the chance.

Athletic director Jeff Long fired Petrino on Tuesday night and laid out a stunning laundry list of misdeeds against the man he hired away from the Atlanta Falcons four years ago.

He scathingly dressed down Petrino for hiring his mistress and intentionally misleading him about the secret relationship that was laid bare following their April 1 motorcycle ride together that ended in an accident. He said Petrino missed multiple chances over the past 10 days to come clean about an affair that had crossed the line from infidelity into workplace favoritism.

"He made the decision, a conscious decision, to mislead the public on Tuesday, and in doing so negatively and adversely affected the reputation of the University of Arkansas and our football program," Long said, choking up at one point as he discussed telling players that their coach was gone. "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."

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 gave her $20,000, Long said.

Long would not disclose details of the payment.

, or when the money changed hands, but said both parties confirmed the "gift." Kevin Trainor, a spokesman for Long, said the money came from Petrino, not university funds.

Petrino issued a lengthy apology and said he was focused on trying to heal his family.

"All I have been able to think about is the number of people I've let down by making selfish decisions," he said. "I chose to engage in an improper relationship. 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."

Dorrell, a former Razorbacks volleyball player, worked for the Razorbacks Foundation before she was hired by Petrino on March 28, four days before their accident on a winding rural road. Long said she was one of three finalists out of 159 applicants and got the job after a time frame he said was shorter than usual.

Petrino never disclosed his conflict of interest in hiring Dorrell or the payment and she had an unfair advantage over the other candidates, Long said.

"Coach Petrino abused his authority when over the past few weeks he made a staff decision and personal choices that benefited himself and jeopardized the integrity of the football program," Long said.

Petrino has built Arkansas into a Southeastern Conference and national power over four seasons, including a 21-5 record the past two years. Long made it clear that Petrino's success on the field was overshadowed by repeated deceptive acts and that no one was more important than the program itself.

Petrino was in the middle of a seven-year contract under which his salary averaged $3.53 million per year. A clause gave Long the right to suspend or fire the coach for conduct that "negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the (university's) athletics programs in any way."

Long said Petrino was fired "with cause" -- meaning he will not receive the $18 million buyout detailed in the contract -- and there were no discussions about ways to keep Petrino at Arkansas.

Long met with Petrino on Tuesday morning to inform him there were grounds for termination and that the coach was "concerned" about that. Long sent Petrino a letter Tuesday afternoon to formally notify him he had been fired.

"I chose to do it in writing because that's the terms of his contract," he said.

Dorrell was hired as the student-athlete development coordinator for Arkansas football, paid $55,735 annually to organize on-campus recruiting visits for the team and assist with initial eligibility for each incoming player

Long declined comment when asked about Dorrell's job status.

She was "at one point" engaged to Josh Morgan, the athletic department's director of swimming and diving operations, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the details have not been disclosed. The person said Morgan was still employed at the university.

Petrino finishes his tenure at Arkansas with a 34-17 record in four seasons, leading the Razorbacks to a No. 5 final ranking last season and a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State. With quarterback Tyler Wilson, running back Knile Davis and others coming back, there is talk of Arkansas challenging the two powerhouses in the SEC West, national champion Alabama and national runner-up LSU.

And maybe the Hogs will. But they won't do it with Petrino.

The beginning of the end came on April 1, which Petrino at first described as a Sunday spent with his wife at an area lake.

Instead, he and Dorrell went for an evening ride and skidded off the road in an accident left him with four broken ribs, a cracked vertebra in his neck and numerous abrasions on his face. The avid motorcycle rider said the sun and wind caused him to lose control on the two-lane highway about 20 miles southeast of Fayetteville.

What he failed to mention, both at a news conference two days later and to Long for two more days, was the presence of Dorrell other than a vague reference to "a lady" who had flagged down a passing motorist.

That changed when the state police released the accident report. Petrino, tipped off by the state trooper who usually provides security for him during the season, informed Long 20 minutes before the report was released, and he admitted to what he called a previous inappropriate relationship with Dorrell.

Long placed Petrino on paid leave that night, saying he was disappointed and promising to review the coach's conduct.

As the review continued, state police released audio of the 911 call reporting Petrino's accident. It revealed Petrino didn't want to call police following the crash, and a subsequent police report showed he asked if he was required to give the name of the passenger during the accident.

Petrino was forthcoming about Dorrell's name and presence with police, but only after misleading both Long and the public during his news conference. The school even released a statement from Petrino's family the day after the accident that said "no other individuals" were involved.

That wasn't true and the broken trust, along with questions about Dorrell's hiring to be the school's student-athlete development coordinator, proved to be too much for Petrino to overcome.

"Our expectations of character and integrity in our employees can be no less than what we expect of our students," Long said. "No single individual is bigger than the team, the Razorback football program of the University of Arkansas."

Petrino took the school to its first BCS bowl game following the 2010 season, losing in the Sugar Bowl to Ohio State, and improved his win total in every year. Arkansas was 5-7 his first season in 2008, 8-5 the second before finishing 10-3 and 11-2 during his last two seasons.

The coach's tenure with the Razorbacks began under a cloud of national second-guessing following his abrupt departure from Atlanta 13 games into the 2007 season.

Petrino left farewell notes in the lockers of the Atlanta players rather than telling them of his resignation in person. He was introduced later that night as the new coach of the Razorbacks, carrying with him a vagabond image after holding 15 jobs for 11 different programs/organizations in 24 seasons. He infamously met with Auburn officials in 2003 to talk about taking the Tigers' head coaching job while Tommy Tuberville still had it.

In his statement, Petrino said he and his staff had left Arkansas in better shape and wished for its success.

"As a result of my personal mistakes, we will not get to finish our goal of building a championship program," he said. "My sole focus at this point is trying to repair the damage I've done to my family. They did not ask for any of this and deserve better. I am committed to being a better husband, father and human being as a result of this and will work each and every day to prove that to my family, friends and others.

"I love football. I love coaching. I of course hope I can find my way back to the profession I love. In the meantime, I will do everything I can to heal the wounds I have created." Assistant head coach Taver Johnson will continue to lead the program through spring practice, which ends with the school's spring game on April 21. Long said he has asked the rest of the staff, including offensive coordinator and Petrino's brother, Paul Petrino, to remain at least through then.

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