NCAA's Seamy Side Months Before Kickoff

NCAA's Seamy Side Months Before Kickoff

A secret affair. Hidden payoffs. A bungled cover-up.

The John Edwards trial?

Not exactly. More like the worst week in the life of Arkansas football this spring. In fact, I can't remember an early college offseason that was less about football and more about a martini mix of scandal, NCAA penalties, legend replacement and the BCS pregnancy test results (It's a playoff!).

Start with the sad, sordid stuff:

Out at Arkansas -- Bobby Petrino, sweetheart employment deals for the woman with whom he was having an affair, the woman herself, The Petrino Motorcycle Driving School.

In at Arkansas -- John L. Smith, transparency, national championship aspirations/expectations.

The Razorbacks were the biggest losers of the spring, but it could have been worse. Just think if Petrino had waited to crash his Harley -- with 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell on the back of it -- this coming fall instead of this past April 1? How do you think it would have gone against defending national champion Alabama on Sept. 15?

At least this way, Smith and the remaining coaching staff have about 4½ months to prepare for the big game against the Crimson Tide in Fayetteville. Wait -- what a coincidence! Four-and-a-half months is how long Smith stayed at Weber State before ditching Ogden for his one-season, big-money gig at Arkansas.

So it's a win-win for everybody, not counting Weber State.

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