There will be fierce debate about WKU's decision to hire Bobby Petrino.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) – Snow is spitting from a leaden sky around the Western Kentucky University campus. A knot of Hilltopper football players are working out on the ground floor football complex, lifting weights, pounding the treadmill trying to say in game shape.
And TV personnel are laying cable everywhere.
The University of Kentucky had no interest in hiring Bobby Petrino as its next football coach, even though a substantial group of UK fans were fine with the move. WKU had no similar hesitation.
Less than two days after Willie Taggart left for South Florida, WKU is primed to introduce Petrino here during a press conference in the Jim and Jackie Harbaugh Lounge.
WKU will take some hits for this. Petrino comes carrying a vast offensive playbook – and a massive stack of baggage.
Arkansas fired him last April after he lied about an affair he had with a younger woman that Petrino had hired for a job in the football program. He walked out on the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of his first season. He chased multiple jobs after signing contract extensions at the University of Louisville.
This one will be debated nationally with vigor – as it should be.
Western athletic director Todd Stewart and president Dr. Gary Ransdell know that and obviously decided they were willing to forgive Petrino because A) he can win football games; B) he can sell tickets and C) he will get people talking about WKU football.
As we await, Petrino's opening press conference, this discussion has just begun.