Petrino ‘Not Happy' With Latest Arrests

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino enjoys talking about football, but for a few minutes Monday afternoon he had to discuss crime and punishment.

Specifically, Petrino addressed how he intended to punish quarterback Ryan Mallett and linebacker Ryan Powers after the two players were arrested in separate incidents over the past two months.

In his first news conference since National Signing Day on Feb. 4, Petrino said Mallett has already started taking part in early morning workouts and adhering to a strict curfew. He added that Powers will be joining the star quarterback in the weight room before sunrise.

Neither player is expected to be suspended and both will participate when the Razorbacks open spring practice at 4 p.m. today. Practice is open to the public.

"They will both practice. They will both be competing for (starting) jobs, but obviously (the off-field trouble) concerns me," Petrino said during a 35-minute news conference inside Arkansas' Raymond Miller Room.

"It's something I'm not very happy with, anytime we have to deal with situations outside of football. It is a distraction and it is something you're not happy with."

Mallett, a former five-star recruit and Michigan transfer, is considered the favorite to emerge from a three-man race and take over as Arkansas' starting quarterback in the fall.

But his arrest for public intoxication on March 1 created national headlines and went against the type of leadership that Petrino had hoped to see from the 6-foot-7, 248-pound quarterback with the strong arm.

According to a Fayetteville police report, Mallett slurred his words, lost his balance and had a "faint odor of burnt marijuana" as he tried to enter the Dickson Street Theater.

Mallett denied smoking marijuana when a police officer asked, but the sophomore admitted to being around people who had used the drug.

"We all know about Ryan Mallett and his arrest, and we've been dealing with that," Petrino said. "Ryan's working hard at doing things right, and he's getting up awfully early and he's making sure he's in bed late at night.

"And he is in much better condition."

Mallett and redshirt freshman Tyler Wilson are both listed as Arkansas' first-team quarterbacks heading into the start of spring practice. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Jim Youngblood is hoping for the opportunity to push them for the starting job.

Despite Mallett's arrest, Petrino indicated that the sophomore will likely take the first snap today when the Razorbacks step onto the practice field for the first time this spring.

"A lot of times what you do with the quarterback position, you kind of sit back and see who's going to jump in there first," Petrino said. "We all probably know who that's going to be because (Mallett's) got that type of personality."

Powers, meanwhile, will be competing for playing time at linebacker over the next three weeks. After recording 15 tackles in nine games last season, the junior was left off Arkansas' two-deep depth chart released last week.

Powers was arrested for shoplifting on March 23 after a Fayetteville police officer said the linebacker tried leaving a local Walmart store with sleep medication, shaving cream, body wash and a package of ginseng supplement stuffed in his pockets.

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