Bobby Petrino's coaching career has been a series of escapes. Not even one year after signing a 10-year extension with Louisville, he jumped to the Atlanta Falcons; bailed on the NFL after 13 games; went to Arkansas, where got the boot after wrecking his motorcycle with his mistress on the back; hopped to Western Kentucky with a clause that contractually obligated him to pay the school if he left early, and left early anyway to return to Louisville. So, combining Petrino's history with the heartless nature of college football recruiting, this story of a screwed-over recruit is merely disgusting, but not surprising.
Three-star Dutch Fork HS running back Matt Colburn, South Carolina's Mr. Football, had been committed to the Cardinals since June. Two days before National Signing Day, Louisville inside linebackers coach Tony Grantham—not even Petrino himself—called Colburn to tell him they were rescinding his scholarship, citing a need for more defensive backs on the squad. Instead, they offered Colburn a grayshirt opportunity: Sit out this season, don't start school until next semester, and maybe get a shot next year. After eight months assuming he had a team, Colburn would have been left with a promise from a program that already broke one.
Dutch Fork athletic director and head football coach Tom Knotts was so incensed, he barred Louisville from recruiting any more of his school's players. He vented to GoUpstate.com:
I tell my players when you commit, you commit. That's what a commitment is. Matt's been committed for eight months. It's irritating that men can do this. He's just a boy, a young man. He doesn't know how to understand it. He's very upset. Some things have opened up but that's not the way it should be. It's not right. Louisville is only going to hurt themselves doing this. Everybody knows not just what a good player Matt is but what a good person he is.
That is not the way to do business and if that's the way to do business we don't want to deal with them. He (Petrino) won't be able to recruit my school anymore and I imagine there will be some other coaches that will say the same thing. Trust factor is just not there. They've known about these three DBs wanting to go to the NFL for weeks now. To use that as an excuse doesn't hold water with me.
Even though many of the bigger programs have already handed out their scholarships, Colburn is looking at other schools. According to the Courier-Journal, he's received offers in the past day from schools including Marshall, Kent State, and Wake Forest.
Back in August, ESPN published the classic "second-chance" column about Petrino, which talked about his reunion with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich after screwing him over in 2007. The recurring theme was how "the new Petrino" was different. Seems like the same old asshole.