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Bobby Petrino Suspended: Arkansas Fans On Bad PR And Broken Trust

Arkansas Razorbacks fans have a particular reputation. I'm not the one who invented it; I'm just here to chronicle. Hogs fans are known to be especially protective of their program, even more so than the average sports fan. That's certainly not to say that all Arkansas people are blind to reality. Far from it.

We have one fine example, on the subject of Bobby Petrino. Doc Harper of Arkansas Expats writes that Petrino's lack of public relations skills has surfaced over and over throughout his career, but that it's never really bothered his team's fans because he wins so much. In fact, his loyalists have been turned even more in his favor by a national media that sees Petrino as a job-skippin' weasel. Again, just chronicling.

Here's Harper on Petrino letting down even those who've spent the past two or three years defending him:

Not only did Arkansas administrators and fans defend Petrino through each of these incidents, but they also legitimately believed the best in him. They believed that all of the national people were wrong. That people were seeing what they wanted to see, which is whatever would generate the most web traffic - truth be damned. But now, that trust is fractured. Petrino lied to the same administrators, fans, and media who defended him while he was being roasted everywhere else.

There will be several fans that will want Petrino to remain head coach and will continue to defend him no matter what happens. But for the first time in Petrino's tenure at Arkansas, he's likely lost a significant amount of support. There may be some casual fans who have a harder time justifying spending a few hundred dollars to come to Fayetteville for a game weekend, or just to pay $55 for tickets to the Louisiana-Monroe game.