LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Former coach Bobby Petrino is apologizing to fans and players in Arkansas seven years after he was fired for misleading officials about his extramarital affair with an athletic department employee that was exposed after the two were involved in a motorcycle crash.

Petrino returned to Arkansas on Monday for the first time since 2012, addressing a packed room for a Little Rock Touchdown Club luncheon. Petrino told the audience he was nervous about the speaking engagement, comparing it to game day.

Then-athletic director Jeff Long fired Petrino in 2012 after the accident during which it was later discovered Petrino was riding with his mistress. That led to revelations that Petrino had hired the woman to a position in the athletic department, and that he had given her $20,000 to buy a new car.

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