Thursday, December 13, 2007

College Coaches Cannot Be Trusted.

On Tuesday, just one day after the Atlanta Falcons organization lost to the Saints 34-14 and saw their former star Michael Vick get sentenced in his dogfighting charges, the Falcons took yet another hit. Bobby Petrino, into his first year of his five year-24 million dollar contract, resigned and went back to the college ranks by becoming the new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. His stint with the Falcons is the shortest lived NFL coaching career with one team since Pete McCulley was fired after starting out 1-8 with San Francisco in 1978. What makes this situation sickening is that this seems to be common theme with coaches who leave the college ranks to pursue NFL success, only to see them go back to college when the going gets tough.

Petrino didn't just screw over the Falcons.

Bobby Petrino was the man at the University of Louisville last year. He led the Cardinals to an Orange Bowl victory over Wake Forest. Petrino seemed to have a team poised to make a run for the National Championship this season, until he decided to make the jump to the NFL and be the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. This put a lot of pressure on Louisville's talented juniors to choose whether to go pro or go back and play for a new head coach. One of those juniors was Brian Brohm, Louisville's quarterback, who was projected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2007 draft. Brohm ultimately decided to come back to school under new head coach Steve Kragthorpe, who came over from Tulsa. Louisville went from a top ten team to not even getting a bowl invite this season.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, just before Michael Vick got indicted on dog fighting charges, Petrino and the Falcons trade away prized back up quarterback Matt Schaub to the Texans for a draft pick. At the time, they didn't know Vick wouldn't be playing this season. When they got that news, the Falcon's season went by the wayside. The Falcons went 3-10 under Petrino before he waved the white flag and resigning. The Falcons have every reason to be mad, but if I am a Louisville fan, I am also disgusted by Petrino's move. I'm not even a Cardinal or Falcon fan and I am upset with Petrino's decision. He stabbed the back of all the Falcon personnel and the Falcon fans. He flat out gave up on his team, plain and simple. At the very least, Petrino should have the decency to coach the last few games for the Falcons. Instead, he left them high and dry and the Falcon's have to try and play the rest of the season without a full-time head coach. As far as Cardinal fans are concerned, Louisville might be playing in another BCS bowl game, or maybe even the National Championship right now if Petrino wouldn't have left. Unfortunately for Cardinal fans, we will never know.
Word of advice, Petrino; next time try sticking around for a full season before jumping ship. Another thing I would suggest is don't lie about taking a job, it makes you even more slimy than you already are when you lie to your boss. Also be a man, and actually go stand in front of your players and tell them you are leaving. Don't write a letter telling them you are leaving and wishing them well, because they don't wish the same for you. Oh, and one more thing, if you ever do play Louisville while you are at Arkansas don't expect a warm welcome because I can assure you that you won't get one. Finally, to all the Arkansas fans out there in the world. I really do hope Petrino gives you what you want in the next two seasons, because once a bigger and better job opens up, you can bet Bobby Petrino will be interested and won't hesitate to take it. In fact, I am so confident that he will screw over Razorbacks, I am interested to see when Petrino decides to stick the knife in Arkansas's back. It's what Petrino does, and he is very good at it.

There needs to be some sort of punishment.

Petrino isn't the first college coach to jump the the NFL only to go back to school. Lou Holtz did almost the exact same thing to the New York Jets back in the 1970's. He left NC State to go coach the Jets, and after going 3-10, he resigned and went on to go coach the Arkansas Razorbacks. Steve Spurrier left the University of Florida to coach the Washington Redskins, only to resign two years later and go coach Florida's rival South Carolina. I first realized that this was becoming a real problem last year. Last year when Nick Saban, the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and former LSU coach, decided to go back to school and signed to be the next head coach at SEC rival Alabama. This came after countless times denying that he was interested in the Alabama job. LSU fans still are angry at Saban for the move, and you can expect Saban to hear about it when the Tide travel to Baton Rouge next year. While Saban is at Alabama, Miami is having the worst season in franchise history, losing their first 13 games and is on the brink of becoming the first team to go 0-16 in NFL history. This just goes to show that college coaches can't be trusted. I think there must be a rule in place for all head coaches in the NFL to be punished for leaving your team before your contract is up. If I had the power, I would ban the coach and never let them coach another NFL team. It's like coaches can come and go as they please right now and that just isn't fair. The Falcon's expected Petrino to guide them through the black cloud over them and he left them. He lied to Arthur Blank about being here for the Falcons. So what if it is a better college coaching job then the one you previously had? It doesn't justify you screwing your current team over. The Falcons have had enough to deal with. They were expecting Petrino to lead them to better days, and now he just put another dent in the Falcon's already beaten-up ship. Justice needs to be served in some way or college coaches will keep taking NFL jobs and leaving when they realize that it's just a tad bit difficult. It needs to start now.

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