University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Tuesday that he terminated Bobby Petrino's contract with cause. As such, the school is likely off the hook with regards to the rest of the money owed on Petrino's contract. Although the coach paid football staff member Jessica Dorrell $20,000, the scandal will cost him much more than that.
Petrino had more than $21 million remaining on his contract, which lasted through the 2017 season. This past season Petrino earned $3.65 million, the seventh-most among college coaches, in addition to money for media appearances.
The school was able to terminate the contract -- rather than offer a buyout -- due to Petrino's failure to disclose his relationship with Dorrell. As Darren Rovell noted, the school likely couldn't have terminated his contract due to a mere morality clause -- which is fairly common in contracts -- without a lengthy court battle.
But as Little Rock CBS affiliate KHTV points out, Petrino's downfall was Arkansas' March 28 hiring of Dorrell as a student-athlete development coordinator. Since Petrino and Dorrell were involved in an "inappropriate relationship," as Petrino admitted, when she was hired, there was a personal conflict of interest, which gives the school more grounds to fire the coach. Again, we turn to Rovell here:
While Petrino screwed up morally with his relationship, the fact that she worked at Arkansas & he promoted her did him in.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 10, 2012
Petrino could still take the school to court over the firing, but if the facts are as cut and dry as Long made them sound Tuesday, his case will be difficult, to say the least.