One puzzle about a rumor making the rounds is why Gus Malzahn would consider leaving Auburn for Arkansas. I know he’s from there, so there’s a little momma factor in play, but Arkansas is a much tougher job than Auburn is. Sure, Alabama is Alabama, but as this year proved again, when Malzahn has a quarterback who fits his system, he can go toe-to-toe with Saban.
So what’s the deal, then? Stupid me… when in doubt, what’s always the deal?
And, yes, all those are just backdrop issues to the larger anvil lingering over what should be a sun-kissed weekend for Auburn – a contract showdown. Arkansas is so eager to throw money at Auburn coach Gus Malzahn that they are holding up their entire search just for the opportunity. One source with knowledge of Arkansas’ thinking said the school is “ready to back up the Brinks truck” to lure Malzahn away from Auburn. Arkansas athletics has financial backing of the families around Tyson Foods and Walmart who’d like nothing better for their native son to return home.
Malzahn’s contract hasn’t been significantly adjusted – other than a year added on – since the eve of the SEC championship in 2013.
Days after Tennessee threw truly stupid money at Mike Gundy, it would be foolish to assume Arkansas, with those resources, couldn’t behave similarly. Add to that a rudderless athletic department at Auburn with Jacobs’ imminent departure as well as the school’s well-earned “what have you done for us lately?” reputation which is something Malzahn recognizes from his own hiring and I can’t entirely discount the possibility.
I don’t know that any uncertainty over their future will have an impact Saturday night, but it won’t bother me if it does.
The game might have been over for 60 seconds before the announcement came. Quick and cold.
The deck is cleared for the triumphant return of Gus, right?
Jeebus. Jeff Long, Arkansas’ former athletic director who’s got the school on the hook for something like a $15 million buyout for a football coach whose won-loss record is significantly underwater, has himself got a $4.625 million buyout. $4.625 million!
I’m in the wrong profession.
Keep in mind, too, that there’s a decent chance the folks who ousted Long after giving him that deal will dump Bert and look for a replacement without hiring a new AD first. Christ, every agent in America’s got to be lining up for some of that sweet action. As the old joke goes, I’d call them morons, except that would be an insult to morons everywhere.
Too bad there’s no money for student-athletes’ compensation, although we should consider that Jeff Long’s name doesn’t appear on the back of a jersey.
Say goodbye to Bert’s boss.
Jeff Long will not return as the Arkansas athletics director, sources told FootballScoop Wednesday. Sources told FootballScoop the announcement is set for today. Tyler Thomason of KARK-TV in Little Rock first reported the news.
Long’s contract was set to expire on June 30. The Arkansas board of directors held a lengthy meeting last week in which no action was taken on Long or Bret Bielema’s respective employment statuses.
I doubt that’s good news for Bielema. If so, this has the potential of being a real shit show in terms of find a new head coach.
And here I thought Jeff Long was a genius.
University of Arkansas trustees have met in executive session but taken no action against Athletic Director Jeff Long or Head Football Coach Bret Bielema.
The UA trustees had gone into a closed-door executive session starting at 8:45 a.m. Thursday and came out shortly after noon having taken no action.
We had been told before the meeting that some of the trustees have not been happy with the direction of the athletic program, especially the football team. Many fans and supporters have been restless over the disappointing football season and the team’s lack of success with a 4-5 record so far this season.
Another place where the natives appear to be getting restless, which can only be good news for Jimmy Sexton.
UPDATE: A hero for our time emerges.
Tuberville, who joined me on The Opening Kickoff on WNSP-FM 105.5 on Thursday, was asked if he would be interested in the Auburn’s athletic director position.
“I would love to help Auburn’s athletic program,” Tuberville said. “I don’t think there’s anyone more qualified than me. I know it. I know the people. I know the boosters, the alumni. I know the city, the community. I would love to talk to the president, whether I am a candidate or whether I can help.”
On the bright side, if he got the gig, at least we wouldn’t have to listen to him mail it in any more on ESPN.
You know the old joke about a guy leaving two Falcons tickets on his windshield at the mall for anyone to take, only to come back and find four?
It’s no joke at Arkansas.
Just send the damned check in, okay?