One year into a ten-year, $25 million deal with Louisville, beacon of fidelity Bobby Petrino stuns the sporting world by accepting a five-year, $24 million offer to replace Jim "Don't Call Me Junior" Mora in Atlanta.
Before the season, Petrino signed a 10-year, $25 million contract with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich. Petrino had previously interviewed with Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and the Oakland Raiders for other jobs, but announced in August that he would be at Louisville for the long haul.
"I can't tell you how happy I am with the commitment and the confidence that Tom Jurich has in me and the university has in me," Petrino said after signing the contract [with Louisville]. "I also wanted to make sure that everyone understood, I know I've said it, that this is where my family wants to be. This is where I want to be. I want everyone to really believe it."
Art Carmody cannot believe this is happening.
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Card Chronicle feels "betrayed" and "like a fool."
Level-jumping in Petrino's case was inevitable, but it didn't have to be. Rich Rodriguez and Greg Schiano eschewed big dough to build on success in their respective home states and raise the reputation of the Big East, and Jim Leavitt has spurned all comers for the program he's built from scratch at South Florida, but every indication is Petrino - though he was usually pegged as chomping for the SEC, whose schools only act like their jobs rival the pros' - was never in it for anything but a cupcake-trouncing ride to the next floor; the same was probably true of John L. Smith, whose departure to Michigan State broke during halftime of a Cardinal bowl game when UL was still shedding the skin of second-rate C-USA fodder. Steve Kragthorpe's unwieldy name is the first to surface as the leading candidate to move into the Big East's stepping-stone job par excellence.
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