Developing Trust in Sports the Bobby Petrino Way
Bobby Petrino will soon be named the head football coach at Louisville, once again jumping ship and prematurely terminating a contract he signed (this time with Western Kentucky). This latest jetting for a better job is yet another disturbing chapter in this guy’s career portfolio, as if his infidelity antics with an employee that lead to his dismissal at Arkansas weren’t enough. But Petrino is a winner, at least measured by his success on the field, and in today’s lucrative college sports world nothing else matters if you win, and earn the college money.
What’s especially intriguing about Petrino is how incredibly transparent this guy is — his track record of signing contracts and verbalizing his commitment to build programs is indisputable, yet he has consistently broken his promises at every turn. Don’t get me wrong, I think most sports fans understand coaches will, for the most part, always keep an eye out for the next better opportunity – but in the case of Petrino wouldn’t it be easier for him to simply put it out there at each new job singing that “I’ll be gone the second something better comes along”?
So what are the future Louisville recruits to think when Petrino comes in and attempts to sell them on all those wonderful buzz words like loyalty, commitment, and trust? I mean if Petrino hasn’t made a mockery of those words, who in the history of time has?! Similarly, how does an institution (in this case, Louisville) take anything this guy says seriously?
In this day of immediate communication through social media, I wonder how many kids are following Petrino’s travels and wondering to themselves just how meaningless and hollow “commitment” really is in sports? As these kids are preached to by their own coaches about loyalty, will they wonder whether they should trust their coach — similar to how future Louisville recruits will think as Petrino sits down and sells them a bill of goods? Does character matter at all any more?? Does anything count other than winning?