Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/14/14
It’s a day that will live in infamy for fans and supporters of the Arkansas Razorbacks football program. The program has suffered immensely in its aftermath, experiencing a complete reversal of its fortunes following the dismissal of recent head coach Bobby Petrino. Arkansas AD Jeff Long in April of last year was left with no choice except to fire Petrino in the wake of off-field transgressions which surfaced following a serious motorcycle accident. The very successful head coach of the Razorbacks expedited his departure by not being truthful and forthcoming to Long regarding the circumstances surrounding his accident. In actuality, Petrino was accompanied on his motorcycle by a female office assistant many years his junior. As more information about Petrino’s motorcycle companion surfaced, improper and dishonest hiring practices on the part of Petrino came to light. The aforementioned companion was hired by Petrino without progressing through a standard hiring procedure, a revelation which amplified the pressure to fire Petrino. And the Hogs program has declined dramatically from the heights that it enjoyed under the former boss. Upon coach Petrino’s exodus from Fayetteville, the Razorbacks program rapidly regressed from the lofty perch enjoyed under his watch. A team preordained last year as a legitimate threat for an SEC title and potential national title unraveled tremendously, stumbling to a 4-8 overall mark which included an embarrassing home overtime defeat suffered at the hands of the Sun Belt’s UL-Monroe Warhawks. Such an incredibly sharp and rapid decline in one season under interim coach John L Smith was made all the more painfully frustrating by the fact that the Razorbacks had flirted with the top ten national rankings in the two prior seasons under Petrino’s watch. Not only did Arkansas suffer a tremendous fall from grace on the field, but the Hogs program started to encounter a greatly deteriorating outside perception from fans and followers of college football. The program in the final two seasons of Petrino’s watch was widely viewed as a force to be reckoned with and one which was gradually ascending within the national landscape of the game. In year one under the guide of coach Bret Bielema this season, Arkansas has experienced a woefully painful winless conference season up to this point. An incredibly discouraging fluctuation has taken place for the Hogs program, one which its supporters are not hesitant whatsoever to attribute to one infamous motorcycle ride in April of last year in the Natural State. No views yet
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