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The Effect of Bobby Petrino’s “Morals” Clause

April 9th, 2012 at 8:30 AM
By Daniel Werly

The sports world has been following the unfortunate situation involving Arkansas' head football coach Bobby Petrino's motorcycle accident last week. A 25 year old female, who was an Arkansas football employee, was riding with Petrino at the time of the crash. Petrino is married with three kids. The extent of the passengers relationship is unknown at this time. Petrino's contract with Arkansas contains a morals clause which allows the University to terminate Petrino if they determine the clause has been violated. 

Our friends at Sports Law Blog recently posted an article analyzing the "Morals" Clause in Petrino's contract. The contract states that Arkansas can terminate him for "engaging in conduct, as solely determined by the university, which is clearly contrary to the character and responsibilities of a person occupying the position of head football coach or which adversely affects the reputation of the (university's) athletics programs in any way." Based on the facts currently available, it appears that if they choose to do so, Arkansas could invoke this clause and terminate Petrino's contract. The real question is whether Arkansas will take action. They are currently reviewing the matter and have not provided a timetable for a decision.

Tags: Arkansas, Law, morals, Petrino, Sports, Sports Law

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