If Petrino is dismissed, here's a list of candidates at Arkansas
Posted by: Pete Roussel on April 6, 2012
At this point, Bobby Petrino's future as the Arkansas head coach remains in doubt.
Late Thursday evening, athletic director Jeff Long announced that Petrino had been placed on paid administrative leave after failing to disclose that a 25-year-old female employee had been riding with Petrino during his motorcycle crash over the weekend.
Petrino stated that he wanted to protect his family and avoid the "inappropriate relationship from becoming public."
Jeff Long stated on Thursday night, "I hope to have a resolution soon. I certainly don't have all the answers here tonight, as we meet. But again, I have an obligation and responsibility to obtain the information and then act appropriately on that information."
Linebackers / assistant head coach Taver Johnson will lead the team during Petrino's absence, which comes at a time when Arkansas appears to be primed for a legitimate national championship run.
Even offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Paul Petrino recently said, "We want to win it all."
In case Petrino is eventually dismissed, I believe Jeff Long would opt to stay the course through the 2012 season.
At this point, it's not for me to say whether I think he should be dismissed. As Will Muschamp pointed out this week, only the person that has all the information can make decisions like these. There are different levels of consequence and sometimes the media doesn't know the entire situation. In this case, Jeff Long will gather information and make a decision.
EITHER WAY, HERE IS A LIST OF CANDIDATES THAT ARKANSAS COULD TARGET:
Skip Holtz (South Florida) - It would be hard to imagine Holtz passing on the opportunity to coach in the SEC over some of the newly created pitfalls that come with the new realigned Big East. He attended Fayetteville HS. His father, Lou, served as the head coach of the Razorbacks from 1977-83.
David Shaw (Stanford) - Stanford head coach David Shaw (39) finished 11-2 in his first year as a head coach. His NFL experience includes stints with the Eagles, Raiders, and Ravens. Shaw has proven that he can recruit, coach, win the big game, and handle the national spotlight. Stanford really likes Shaw, but the athletic department doesn't typically pay their coaches anywhere near what Arkansas could pay.
Paul Rhoads (Iowa State) - Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is familiar with Rhoads, who served as the Pitt defensive coordinator from 2000-07. Long previously served as the AD at Pitt before coming to Arkansas in 2008. Rhoads did, however, agree to a new mega contract this off-season.
Chris Petersen (Boise State) - I was shocked that Petersen chose to stay at Boise State after the 2011 season. Maybe it's because the right job didn't open up. Petersen lost several assistant coaches in the off-season, something he may not have expected. Kellen Moore isn't around, either.
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) - In six seasons at Northwestern, Fitzgerald is 40-36. He passed on the opportunity to talk with Michigan before Brady Hoke was hired. It would surprise me if Fitzgerald (37) remains at Northwestern for the remainder of his career. For some reason, I feel the need to point out that Fitzgerald has served as part of the AFCA Ethics Committee and is highly respected as a person and coach.
Others: Butch Davis, Jim Leavitt (San Francisco 49ers - linebackers), Butch Jones (Cincinnati), Charlie Strong (Louisville)
I don't see Tommy Tuberville or Gus Malzahn as candidates for the job.
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