Vick in Jail, Now Coach Will Bail

Petrino will break $24M contract, take Arkansas job
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2007 7:00 PM CST
Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino takes questions from reporters about quarterback Michael Vick, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007, in Flowery Branch. Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After 13 games as Atlanta Falcons' head coach, Bobby Petrino is done, sources tell ESPN. The former University of Louisville coach told his bosses today that he will return to college ball to be head coach at the University of Arkansas. Petrino signed a 5-year, $24 million contract prior to the 2007 season, when Michael Vick was still slated to be quarterback.

Breaking that deal, which had no buyout clause, means Petrino will take a huge pay cut to escape the Falcons' disastrous 3-10 season. At Arkansas, Petrino succeeds Houston Nutt, who resigned under pressure and became head coach at SEC rival Mississippi. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall was taken aback: "We felt like Petrino was going to be around for the long haul, like he had as much invested in this as we did."