Unless you're a pretty hardcore college football fan, you probably hadn't heard of Matt Colburn until a couple of days ago. Colburn was named Mr. Football in the state of South Carolina this past year, and was a three-star recruit that had committed to play for coach Bobby Petrino at the University of Louisville. Colburn actually committed to Louisville eight months ago, prior to his senior season at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, South Carolina, and pretty much stopped making recruiting visits at that point. After all, he thought he was all set to go as far as his college ball is concerned.
Well, Petrino had other ideas.
With less than 48 hours to go before National Signing Day, the deadline for college recruits to declare their intentions, Petrino thought it would be wise to pull Colburn's scholarship offer. As a result, Dutch Fork head football coach Tom Knotts declared that Petrino and his staff were no longer welcome at the school.
This seems like something of a bush league move on the surface, but it's really just par for the course for Bobby Petrino. After starting his head coaching career at Louisville, he was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for almost a full season before resigning to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas. He left his job at Arkansas in a storm of controversy that we won't get into here (but that you should really look up for yourself) in 2012 when the Razorbacks fired him.
Petrino wasn't out of work long, as he was hired as the head coach at Western Kentucky. . .a job that he held for a year before returning to Louisville after then-coach Charlie Strong took the job at the University of Texas.
It's his time with the Falcons I'd like to draw your attention to, though. With a Falcons' team embroiled in the midst of the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal, Petrino guided the Falcons to a 3-10 record through their first 13 games. Petrino decided that was the time to take the job at Arkansas. But he didn't bother telling his players. Oh, no, he didn't speak to his players about it at all.
Each of his players got a four-line note in their lockers, and then, in the words of latter-day American philosopher Robert Ellis Orrall. . .Boom, it was over, just like that.
(And here I thought I'd never be able to apply my time working at a country music station to anything.)
Mike Zimmer was Petrino's defensive coordinator at the time. Zimmer finished out the season in Atlanta, and moved on to become the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator in 2008. When asked about Petrino, his answer was. . .well, it was Zimmer.
"He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.
"He's a gutless bastard. Quote that. I don't give a s**t."
Zimmer was then told that the newspaper might not be able to use the word "bastard" in their newspaper. So, Zimmer attempted to help the reporter out a bit.
"How about this, gutless MF. You can use that."
MF, in this case, does not stand for "Mutual Fund" or "Minister of Finance." The rest of his response is at Mike McFeely's story linked above.
I know we've gotten a pretty significant influx of Louisville fans in here recently, thanks to the Minnesota Vikings drafting Teddy Bridgewater. This isn't anything against Louisville Cardinals fans or Louisville Cardinals players or anything like that, because the folks that have come over here have been great.
But, honestly. . .man, I wish that guy wasn't the coach there. I wish that guy wasn't the coach anywhere. And what he did to Matt Colburn, without even bothering to contact the young man about it to give him a heads-up, outright sucks. Honestly, he committed eight months ago and he wasn't even worthy of a phone call? That's pretty awful.