by Max Brantley
Petrino, a student at the University of Arkansas, has been an undergraduate assistant since the fall. He’s currently the only undergraduate assistant, but there have been others before, said Kevin Trainor, associate athletic director for public relations.
Undergrad assistants aren’t paid and they don’t count against the NCAA limit on coaching positions, but as staff members can accompany the team.
In the fall, if still an assistant, young Petrino will be the third family member on the sideline. His uncle, Paul Petrino, was hired recently as the Hogs' new offensive coordinator at $425,000 a year. Bobby Petrino receives about $3.6 million a year.
I inquired because a reader noticed the young Petrino on the sideline and inquired about the status of a legal case against him that made news last summer.
In July, Head Coach Petrino said he wouldn't talk about his son's arrest in Indiana on drug and driving while intoxicated charges because he was not a part of the team. I asked for a comment again in light of the team affiliation and the pending case, set for trial in April. Trainor released this statement from Bobby Petrino:
"We have been transparent with the University throughout the process. Our family has appreciated the approach Jeff [athletic director Long] and the administration have taken. We will continue to help Nick address the situation through the established channels and are comfortable with the progress he has made."
The young Petrino, a star high school quarterback in Louisville, Ky., was on the Razorback squad in 2009 after earlier college stints at Georgetown, Ky., Arkansas Tech and Montana State-Northern. He seems to be taking to the family’s vocational calling. After the Cotton Bowl win, a post on his Twitter page said: “As my first season coaching is at an end...i must say my future looks very bright!!!” That Twitter page also says beneath his name, “Only God can Judge me. Go Hogs!”
He faces a legal judgment in the spring. He was arrested shortly after midnight the morning of July 18 in Huntingburg, Ind., a town of 7,500 about 85 miles west of Louisville. A city police officer said he stopped a car driving erratically on a state highway west of town. Petrino was charged with DWI and drug-related charges and released on a $1,000 bond.
A spokesman for the Dubois County, Ind., prosecutor’s office in Jasper said his lawyers appeared in court Oct. 26 and a trial was set in Dubois Circuit Court April 10, with a pre-trial hearing March 8. Petrino faces six charges, according to the prosecutor's office and court docket — a Class D felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (oxymorphone pills, according to police) and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts related to his driving — operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a person in operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and operating with a controlled substance in the body. A blood test indicated presence of opiates, THC and oxycodone, Huntingburg Police Chief Ron Drew said.
Petrino's attorneys did not respond to calls for comment on the case.