Courtesy: Wesley Hitt, Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- It has been a tough two weeks Razorback football players say. First, they learned of their head coach's motorcycle accident, next his affair with their team's student-athlete development coordinator and finally Tuesday his firing.
Friday, for the first time, the team spoke to the media about the turmoil and where they go from here.
"A lot of hard work went down the drain in twenty four hours and that was really the feel of the team," says Knile Davis.
"Our goals haven't changed here and through this a team can get stronger," says Tyler Wilson.
It is a challenging transition the Arkansas Razorback Football team is facing, moving on without former head coach Bobby Petrino on the sidelines.
Athletic Director Jeff Long's letter of termination to Bobby Petrino was also released Friday laying out Long's specific reasons for Petrino's termination. Long says quote:
"You deliberately failed to tell me that you had engaged in an extra-marital affair with Ms. Dorrell over a period of several months leading up to your recommendation to hire her."
He went on to say,
"I believe you were deceitful with our fans and the citizens of the State of Arkansas in order to conceal the true nature of your relationship..."
Representatives for Bobby Petrino told the university Friday in writing that he would not seek an appeal to Long's decision.
His brother, Offensive Coordinator Paul Petrino, says he has no intention of leaving the team despite Bobby's termination.
"I had no idea. I did not know anything about it. Bobby is my brother. I love him. I will always love him. He made a mistake. He's paying deeply for it and I'm putting all my focus right now into doing the very best I can in coaching Tyler Wilson, in coaching this whole football team and helping my family get through it too," says Paul Petrino.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson says after speaking to his teammates, there is no doubt the razorbacks will be focused for the 2012 season.
"I felt it was important that I sit down and talk with the guys a bit. It wasn't a pep talk. It was, 'The spotlight is on us and it's how we respond to it. We use it as an opportunity rather than an excuse," says Wilson.
As for a new head coach, Knile Davis says he would like to see Assistant Coach Tim Horton take the position. Both coaches and players said today they are keeping their focus on the field, not on the media.
The University of Arkansas placed Jessica Dorrell on paid administrative leave today. They also disclosed Dorrell had used a 20-thousand dollar cash gift from Petrino to buy a black Acura sedan her first week on the job.