At around 10pm tonight, University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long held a press conference at which he announced that he has placed Bobby Petrino on paid administrative leave.
Long announced that this afternoon Coach Petrino called him to alert him to the fact that he wasn't alone on the motorcycle at the time of the accident and that they subsequently met to discuss the situation. After that meeting, Long said he informed Coach Petrino that he was placing him on administration leave until such time as he can complete his review of this matter.
As the press conference was beginning, reporters there were handed a statement from Coach Petrino. The entirety of that statement is below.
“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publicly come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.
I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”
At the press conference, Long gave the impression that he would decide the path forward fairly quickly but did not give a definitive timetable. Long announced that assistant head coach / linebackers Taver Johnson would serve as interim head coach.
We'll keep you posted.