A press conference was held Thursday afternoon in response to allegations that Idaho Vandals head coach Paul Petrino was restrained while confronting a reporter during practice on Wednesday.
University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear stood along side Petrino and issued a statement.
“I witnessed Coach Petrino’s verbal exchange with several reporters from a distance,” Spear said. ” I spoke with two UI athletic department officials who were in the immediate vicinity of the exchange between Coach and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reporter. I want to make it very clear that at no point was Coach Petrino restrained. We’re taking this opportunity to set the record straight.”
After the incident on Wednesday, Michael-Shawn Dugar, of the Moscow-Pullman Daily news, alleged that Petrino needed to be restrained while yelling at him for a recent story he had published critiquing the team’s vertical passing attack.
According to Dugar, the exchange was comprised of yelling, expletives and intent “to do something other than verbally express his concerns.”
Coach Petrino issued his own statement about the alleged incident.
“This is 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,” he said.
“Yesterday I reacted poorly to what I believed to be unfair criticism directed at our players and our program. I allowed my passion for the program and our players to spill over into a conversation with Mr. Dugar in which I used an unprofessional tone. I apologize for my language and, looking back, I wish that I had handled it differently.”
Dugar is standing firm in his memory of the incident, tweeting, “I will say this about those statements today: I stand by every word of my column. It’s 100 percent accurate. There will be no retraction/apology.”
Practice is schedule to be re-opened to the public today.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports