Last month, University of Louisville Athletic Association board member Tim Meeker told the Louisville Courier-Journalit would be too expensive for the school to freight the cost of Bobby Petrino's $14.5 million buyout.
“The university is not in a position to buy him out,” Meeker said.
At some point, though, the cost of retaining Petrino became more expensive than the buyout the school couldn't afford, and Louisville crossed that threshold on Sunday when this broke from Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports.
Forde adds that Petrino was let go this morning and will not coach the team the rest of the season.
UPDATE >> The school has now made the news official, adding that "a national search for the next coach at Louisville will begin immediately."
AD Vince Tyra stated the school plans to pay Petrino's buyout which is approximately $14 million.
The news comes after Louisville fell to No. 13 Syracuse 54-23 on Friday, dropping the Cardinals to 2-8 on the season. Louisville has lost nine consecutive games to Power 5 opponents; seven of those losses were by 18 points or more and five of them saw Louisville surrender at least 51 points, including the Cardinals' three most recent games that saw Petrino's team fall 56-35 to Wake Forest, 77-16 to No. 2 Clemson and 54-23 to Syracuse on Friday.
Petrino, of course, was in his second stint at Louisville's head coach. He was 41-9 as U of L's head coach from 2003-06, posting two conference championships (one in Conference USA and one in the Big East) with two AP top-6 finishes before parlaying that success into the Atlanta Falcons job. Petrino left Atlanta in the middle of his first season to take the Arkansas job where, after four years on the job and two 10-win seasons, he was fired after an off-season motorcycle crash led to the revelation that he hired his mistress onto the Arkansas football staff.
After a year out of football, Petrino resurfaced at Western Kentucky and then returned to Louisville a year later as Charlie Strong's replacement. He won eight or nine games in each of his first four seasons in his Louisville return, posting two AP top-25 finishes and guiding Lamar Jackson to the school's first Heisman Trophy season.
But the bottom fell out in 2018, which combined with a season of sweeping change across the athletics department. Separate scandals have seen U of L fire or disassociate itself from mega-booster "Papa" John Schnatter, AD Tom Jurich and head basketball coach Rick Pitino.
The school named Vince Tyra its athletics director on March 26. Chris Mack was hired away from Xavier as Louisville's basketball coach a day after that. And now the school will be in the hunt for a new football coach, a search many expect to begin and end with Louisville football legend and current Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.