Bobby Petrino fools them again

The next year, Petrino interviewed for the Notre Dame job, and then, just five days after accepting a contract extension from Louisville, interviewed with LSU. In 2005, it was the NFL's Oakland Raiders.

Finally, after signing a 10-year deal with Louisville that would have paid him about $25 million, Petrino left to coach the NFL's Atlanta Falcons in January 2007. The fallout at Louisville was dramatic. Petrino's successor, former Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe, went 15-21 in three seasons. Jurich told Louisville-based reporter Eric Crawford that the Cardinals had to dismiss 21 players for disciplinary reasons after Petrino left.

Of course, Petrino didn't last a full season in the pros, resigning as the Falcons' coach with three games left in the 2007 season to become Arkansas' new coach. Petrino announced his departure by having a typed statement taped to each of the Falcons players' lockers after he bolted out of town.

Arkansas fans were blinded by Petrino's success, too. It took him only two seasons to produce a winner at Arkansas, guiding the Hogs to a 10-3 record and the Sugar Bowl in 2010, followed by an 11-2 record the next season. Then came that fateful spring day on a rural Arkansas highway when Petrino crashed his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and tried to cover up the fact that his mistress was riding with him. The 25-year-old woman, a former Arkansas volleyball player, was engaged to one of the school's strength and conditioning coaches. Petrino, who is married, even circumvented the state's employment laws by hiring his mistress as an assistant in the football office.

Petrino and the woman exchanged more than 7,000 text messages on his university-issued cell phone -- some of them on game days -- and he gave her $20,000 as a Christmas gift.

After spending the 2012 season in hiding, Petrino re-emerged at Western Kentucky this past season, where he led the Hilltoppers to an 8-4 record. WKU got Petrino on the cheap, hiring him to a four-year contract that paid him about $850,000 annually. The school even included a $1.2 million penalty that Petrino would have to pay if he left before the end of the deal. At the time, WKU athletics director Todd Stewart said, "I'm confident he'll be here awhile. I hope he's here for a long time."

Somehow, Petrino fooled them again, just like he hoodwinked Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long.

Now, Jurich has been blinded by the glorious possibilities of victories and championships again.

What's even harder to believe? That Petrino is actually a changed man.

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