Dorrell Resigns From Razorback Football Job

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Jessica Dorrell, the 25-year-old blond former Razorback volleyball player whose relationship with football coach Bobby Petrino led to his being fired, resigned as the football program’s student-athlete development coordinator effective immediately, the University of Arkansas announced Tuesday.

Calls placed to two of Dorrell’s cellphone numbers Tuesday night were not returned.

The university will pay Dorrell $13,933.75 as part of a settlement, the agreement states. She will be paid within two weeks of Tuesday. She was employed from March 23 until Tuesday, earning an annual salary of $55,735. Dorrell had been on paid administrative leave at least since last week, officials said.

The Razorback Foundation is paying the settlement amount of $13,933.75, said Kevin Trainor, associate athletic director for public relations. That figure equals three months of Dorrell’s salary, he said. Trainor did not say why she was being paid for three months when she worked in the department for less than a month. He also declined to answer whether Dorrell is receiving any other compensation from the Razorback Foundation.

Dorrell was one of 159 applicants for the football job previously held by Dann Kabala, who had left for a similar position at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dorrell and two other applicants interviewed for the job after Petrino and Athletics Director Jeff Long sought to fast-track her application, according to documents 5NEWS obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Her resume was delivered to the Human Resources department on March 12, the day she interviewed, by Mark Robinson, football operations director, the documents show.

Dorrell received the job despite not meeting a minimum requirement that candidates have at least two years experience in a football program. One of the three finalists was a former All-America at LSU who played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals.

Long signed Dorrell’s job offer letter on March 20, saying he was “pleased” and “excited” to have her there.

The agreement Tuesday was released to the media just before 7 p.m. It is signed by Dorrell and Chancellor G. David Gearhart.

As part of her resignation, Dorrell has agreed she would not attempt to sell or profit from her affiliation with Razorback athletics, the agreement states. She also must not engage in any commercial activity that portrays her employment at the university in a negative manner.

Long said he and Dorrell agreed her resignation was in the best interest of all parties involved, according to a news release accompanying the agreement.

“While Ms. Dorrell had a legitimate right to apply for and accept a position within the football program, the circumstances surrounding the former coach’s decision to hire her compromised her ability to be effective in such a position,” Long said. “She and I believe she should have the opportunity to move on.”

The university has no immediate plans to re-open or advertise the job Dorrell held, the release states. Other athletic department staff members will take over the job duties she performed.

Dorrell was riding a Harley-Davidson Road King with Petrino at the time of his accident on April 1 in rural Madison County. Petrino, a 51-year-old married grandfather, was fired on April 10 after revealing to Long he and Dorrell were engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” at the time of her hiring.

In the accident, the coach suffered four broken ribs, a cracked vertebra and cuts and abrasions on his nose and face. He wore a neck brace to an Aug. 3 news conference at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, saying he expected to have it on for a week or two.

Immediately after the news conference, Petrino told 5NEWS he was alone on the motorcycle at the time of the accident. In his termination letter to Petrino, Long noted what the coach said about being alone on the bike. Long also noted that Petrino had given Dorrell a $20,000 gift, which she used to buy a black Acura.