LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One day after Bobby Petrino pulled out of consideration for the LSU football coaching job, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said Sunday he would honor his coach's new contract.
But Jurich expressed disappointment with the timing of Petrino's
contacts with LSU, which fueled intense speculation about the
coach's future as Louisville prepared for its Liberty Bowl game
against Boise State. The Cardinals (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) defeated 10th-ranked Boise
State 44-40 on Friday, giving the Cardinals a best-ever 11-1 record.
"As of now, I will honor his contract. It will be up to him
whether he wants to honor it," Jurich told reporters before
Louisville's basketball game against Tennessee State.
Petrino, who finished his second year at Louisville, did not
attend the news conference at Freedom Hall.
Petrino met with LSU officials just days after the coach signed
a new deal with Louisville that gave him a raise from $550,000 to
$1 million a season, plus incentive clauses.
Jurich said he still considers Petrino the "right person for
the job, but I think he's going to have to make that decision."
Jurich said he would meet with Petrino soon to discuss what
transpired in recent days.
Jurich said he doesn't want Petrino to stay only because he
didn't land what he perceives as a better job.
"I want him to coach here because he thinks this is the
greatest football job in the country," Jurich said.
Jurich said he expected other high-profile schools to approach
Petrino, and that has happened several times in the past two years.
"He is going to get other people coming after him. That's the
nature of our business," Jurich said. "So we will all be prepared for that."
Jurich said he already had a "short list" of candidates for the head coaching job if Petrino leaves.