A local reporter says he had a heated confrontation with Idaho head coach Paul Petrino during which Petrino had to be restrained by an assistant coach.
Michael-Shawn Dugar, the sports editor of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, says Petrino approached he and another reporter after Wednesday’s practice and made a reference to Dugar’s story in Wednesday’s newspaper about the Vandals’ deep passing game.
Eventually Petrino raised his voice and yelled, “If all you're going to write is negative [expletive] then none of you need to be here!”
Dugar says Petrino then berated the reporters for their criticisms of Vandals quarterback Matt Linehan and said the writers weren’t knowledgeable about football.
“You don't even know what the [expletive] you're talking about!” Petrino said. “Do your [expletive] job!”
Dugar said he did not respond to Petrino and the coach began to walk away, but soon turned back around “still angrily shouting expletives about my writing and my professionalism while being physically restrained by one of his assistants, approaching me as if he had plans to do something other than verbally express his concerns.”
Petrino addressed the media later Thursday, making a statement but not taking questions. In his statement, Petrino refuted Dugar’s version of the events, saying it was “not an accurate account of what happened.”
“After yesterday’s practice I did not approach the reporter, nor did I at any time threaten the reporter physically or verbally,” Petrino continued. “I was never physically restrained from him. In fact, I was never within seven yards of him.”
Petrino said he “reacted poorly” and “used an unprofessional tone.”
Petrino, the younger brother of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, is entering his third season as Idaho’s head coach. He has a combined record of 2–21 in his two seasons. The Vandals’ lone win last season came against New Mexico State at home.
Idaho opens the 2015 season at home against Ohio on Sept. 3.
- Dan Gartland