Ozzie Guillen is in Hot Water….Bobby Petrino lost his job for lying


It was only a matter of time. It was only a matter of time for Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. He’s never been a stranger to controversial comments. Sometimes it’s almost as if his mouth goes into motion before his brain gets in gear. It was only a matter of time before Guillen would say something he couldn’t outrun. In an interview with Time magazine released last week Guillen expressed his admiration and respect for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The issue is no hotter a button anywhere in the United States than in Miami, where the Marlins new ball park borders on “Little Havana”, the largest Cuban-American community in the nation, where many citizens suffered greatly to escape Castro’s regime and many have relatives who didn’t survive the treacherous trip on makeshift rafts. For older Cubans in Miami who made the journey themselves and lost loved ones along the way any admiration of Castro is misplaced and Guillen spent yesterday trying to heal his relationship with them. For many of those older Cubans the effort was not successful and they continue to call for his firing. Guillen has been suspended for five games and the worst may be yet to come for him. It was only a matter of time. It was only a matter of time before the bulletproof world in which Bobby Petrino exists could no longer protect him. In a culture that values winning over everything else college football coaches with winning pedigrees can survive just about any indiscretion and they spend much of their lives and their careers testing the boundaries, living existences that sometimes even put them above the law. Such was the case with Petrino, who was fired yesterday as head football coach at Arkansas in the wake of an April 1st motorcycle accident that turned up the seamier side of his life. He may have actually violated the law by lying to authorities about certain details of the accident, primarily by telling them, and school officials, he was alone, when in fact he had a passenger, a 25 year old former Arkansas women’s volley ball player he’d recently hired, over more than 150 other candidates, to a position on his office staff. Immediately after hiring her he gifted her with $20,000. After trying to cover it up in the immediate aftermath of the accident the 51 year old Petrino, married with four children, eventually admitted to carrying on an improper relationship with the young woman. Lying to the authorities was not his undoing, nor was the extramarital affair, it was for misleading his athletic director, Jeff Long, who’d shown little integrity himself when he hired Petrino away from the Atlanta Falcons with three games left to the 2007 NFL season, that Petrino was eventually fired, and still there were protests and signed petitions calling for him to keep his job. Afterall, he won eleven games last season and took the Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl two years ago. His Teflon world hadn’t completely collapsed, no matter how despicable he was as a human being. Petrino issued a statement yesterday saying he was sorry for his actions. A more accurate statement would have been, “It was only a matter of time.” With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.