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Media not responsible for Razorbacks’ mess

Tiger in Spain

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Like it is : Media not responsible for Razorbacks’ mess

So, it was not Houston Nutt’s fault that his latest recruiting class ranked No. 9 in the SEC.

According to him, it was the media’s fault.

Well, no one in the media was continuously rude to Gus Malzahn.

No one in the media promised Malzahn and every Razorbacks fan that there would be a passing game.

No one in the media overruled Malzahn’s play calling.

No one in the media tried to hire David Lee as co-offensive coordinator behind Malzahn’s back (after a 10-victory season ).

No one in the media had anything to do with Malzahn’s decision to quietly leave the UA, take a cut in pay and go to a smaller school.

No one in the media said we only want kids who want to be Razorbacks. We know that is not recruiting.

No one in the media told Damian Williams last August he would be the first freshman to ever start the first game as a receiver for the Razorbacks.

No one in the media held Williams out for the very first play and then inserted him into the game and made him a starter thereafter.

No one in the media played Williams an incredible four games with a separated shoulder.

No one in the media told Williams that if he would change his commitment from Florida that the Razorbacks would run some hurry up no huddle (which, incidentally, was used only once and went for 80 yards and a touchdown in 1: 18 ).

No one in the media suggested Williams transfer.

No one in the media insinuated Williams was a quitter for leaving, and no one in the media transferred to Oklahoma State.

No one in the media arranged for two defensive seniors to call a players-only meeting and demand that Mitch Mustain apologize to Nutt for comments Mustain made a year earlier that were published in a book.

No one in the media had earlier met with Mustain and Malzahn and accepted an apology for the comments in the book and then kept that meeting a secret.

No one in the media benched Mustain so hard that he would get only three snaps in the next five games.

Also, no one in the media ignored a two-minute offense and called four Miracle on Markham bombs in hopes of an upset over LSU.

No one in the media played a single down in the loss to Wisconsin, when the defense owned the Badgers but the offense was boring and predictable.

No one in the media ran an injured Darren McFadden 19 times against Wisconsin.

No one in the media forced a player after his second and career-ending surgery to drive himself home from the hospital.

No one in the media had anything to do with Casey Dick’s back injury not healing until his dad insisted that he see a physical therapist in Little Rock, who had him throwing in three weeks.

No one in the media had anything to do with the Razorbacks ranking No. 27 last season in recruiting coming off a four-victory season.

No one in the media had anything to do with the Razorbacks’ Rivals ranking of No. 29 (Scout had them at 35 ) in recruiting this season after a 10-victory season.

No one in the media convinced Kodi Burns to choose Auburn long before all the turmoil in the football program came to light.

No one in the media made Auburn a top-10 recruiting class, which was helped tremendously by Burns and Lee Ziemba inking with the Tigers.

No one in the media had anything to do with the Razorbacks signing zero of the top 250 players ranked by Rivals.

No one in the media claimed they were going to build a fence around Arkansas and keep all the good players at home.

Some of the media, certainly not all, did what real reporters do. They reported.

So whose fault was it that Arkansas was ranked No. 9 in the SEC ?

Apparently no one’s.

NW Arkansas News

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Guest Tigrinum Major

The follow-up:

Wallace Hall writes again!

After the fireworks

Friday, started when Houston Nutt called in to The Show With No Name to take exception with my column that morning, I began to receive an incredible amount of e-mail.

Scrolling through them, I know they came from all over the country and one (positive ) from a soldier in Iraq.

I tried to read a sampling, and while the vast majority were kind, I will tell you one guy suggested I was not tall enough to be a sportswriter, and for him, I’d like to say, rest assured sir, I have been praying for 50 years to be taller and will continue to do so. Your prayers would be appreciated.

So, short of taking an unscheduled vacation this week, there is no way I can keep my personal rule and answer every e-mail.

In fact, not all have been read because by Sunday the number of e-mails received was at 913, and some are very long. They have been placed in a folder.

So let me cut and paste a response here:

Please let me say thank you for taking the time to write. Most of you are passionate and loyal about the Razorbacks, and they are very lucky to have you as a fan.

That message is for the majority, certainly not all.

And for those who didn’t like the column and are slamming me now for obeying my mom and not interrupting Tommy Smith or Nutt on the radio show  although some feel it was an ambush  let me say this: If Nutt wants to come on for a prearranged 30-minute exchange of questions, I feel confident Tommy and David Bazzel would welcome it.

My thought Friday was to let Nutt have his say, which he did, and I said I stood behind what I had written. Still do.

That said, I want to make something absolutely clear.

I did not intend for every paragraph of that column to lay blame on Nutt. My intention was to point out several things that I believe hurt recruiting, and none of them were the media.

I know Damian Williams played the last four games with a separated shoulder, but I don’t know if Nutt personally knew that. He said on the radio he had been told it was just a sprained shoulder.

As far as I know, Nutt did not personally know about the player who drove himself home from the hospital after career-ending surgery, but it happened.

As far as I know, Nutt did not personally treat Gus Malzahn rudely, but it happened.

Friday morning, Nutt said he never blamed the media, yet, the evening of signing date he said: “You go [for home visits ] and they have the articles [about the departures at Arkansas ] laminated on the coffee table. That’s a tough living room. ’

Blaming the media has become a common thread among powerful people, especially politicians, and to be honest, I’m sick of it.

Maybe the days are dead and will never return when a head coach will stand up at a news conference and say, “ Put the blame on me.â€Â

I don’t have any personal problems with Houston Nutt.

I think he is an excellent father, husband and son.

I think he is a better football coach than most, but I will admit he is, has been and always will be more one-dimensional than anyone realized when he came to Arkansas nine years ago.

In my opinion, if the Razorbacks don’t develop a consistent passing attack, Darren McFadden has about as much chance of winning the Heisman Trophy next year as I do (my chances go up if my previously mentioned prayer is answered ).

If there was one thing I could retract from that column last week, it was the shot about transferring to Oklahoma State. It was a fact, too, but it didn’t have to be written.

Everyone already knew Nutt transferred.

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Guest Tigrinum Major

Yet another view:

Rich Polikoff

UA Football Is Perfect In Every Possible Way

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:39 AM CST

There is no person in the world more qualified to cover Arkansas football than I.

Every morning, I wake up, take off my extra-itchy Razorback pajamas (I’ll never complain) and head for the shower, where I shave using an official Arkansas razor. Some users claim it doesn’t work as well as the ones with Florida and LSU logos, but those people should just wipe up their blood and support our razors without whining.

After breakfast, I briefly admire my bronze Hooten Nutt bust before heading off to work, where I chronicle everything there is to report about the Razorbacks, both good and very good.

There are some weird Internet creatures out there who have given me an unflattering nickname simply because the first thing I do upon arriving at practice is give coach Nutt a big hug. Still, I know how to retain my objectivity. Unless Nutt says it’s all right, I won’t sit on the former Oklahoma State (by way of Fayetteville) quarterback’s lap while he lectures about the evil of transferring schools.

He’s right, you know. Players who leave Arkansas are traitorous dogs who ought to be sent straight back to Russia. Besides, they wouldn’t have helped the program anyhow, no matter how highly they were rated coming out of high school.

But that’s not what the critics want to hear. They get mad when I point out that Arkansas went a perfect 10-0 last year, if you just ignore the opener against USC and the three games to close the season.

The haters want confirmation that the Hogs’ recruiting class was a disappointment, just because it was ranked among the bottom of the SEC. They ignore the fact that there’s no point in rating recruiting classes until a few years later, once the players have actually gotten into games.

Yes, I’m aware that a year ago I proclaimed our recruiting class to be “the greatest in the history of mankind,” and we could “clear space for multiple Heismans and national-championship trophies.” But you can make anyone look bad if you focus on what they’ve said in the past. (Technically, I once said former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was “more brilliant than Bill Walsh,” but now that he’s left for Tulsa, I know for certain that his gimmicky Spread offense wouldn’t have worked in the SEC, and there was no point in even trying it.)

See, the thing about the haters is that they don’t want to hear the truth: That everything is wonderful up in Fayetteville, and that Nutt is the greatest football coach who ever lived. Anyone who dares to say otherwise is not a true fan.

Instead of celebrating the fact that Arkansas has won fully 60 percent of its games under Nutt — that’s three in five, folks! — the haters want to focus on things like the program not winning a New Year’s Day bowl in seven years. And they always talk about how our first SEC loss of each season is immediately followed by a second loss, instead of realizing that in order to have a losing streak, you have to have won a game beforehand.

The haters want to know why Nutt can have so much job security with a 67-44 (.604) record, when the Hogs’ performance under Ken Hatfield (32-13-1, .753) and Lou Holtz (60-21-2, .735) was deemed unsatisfactory. I’m so tired of hearing that question asked, I’m not going to answer it.

Instead, every night I stare at the painting of Frank AD for life above my mantle and pray for the critics. I pray they have the wisdom to realize that Arkansas is this close to winning more SEC games than it has lost under Nutt. I pray they realize that going 2-12 against Florida, Georgia and Tennessee is just part of Nutt’s 10-year plan, luring them into a false sense of security.

I brush my teeth with Razorback-brand toothpaste — which I remain loyal to, even though it doesn’t contain fluoride — and crawl under my Arkansas sheets, which I’ll never replace, even though they give me a rash. Then, just before I put my head on my lumpy Razorbacks pillow — which is actually quite comfortable, if you ignore the neck pain — I resolve to go easy on the haters the next day.

They’ve just been spoiled by all our near-success, and don’t realize how lucky we are to have it so good.

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Let's just hope Arkansas keeps Nutt around for a very long time. One less team we have to worry about in the SEC West. :big:

Didn't they go to Atlanta over you?

Yes, I know that you beat them on the field and I agree that Nutt is a poor coach. But, still...

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