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All Eyes On Arkansas, Pelphrey

Will Arkansas keep John Pelphrey or fire him?  That’s the question folks are asking from Memphis to St. Louis (where there’s concern UA might make a run at Missouri’s Mike Anderson).

But no news came immediately after last night’s SEC Tournament loss to Tennessee.  And no news has come this morning.  Having just gotten off the phone with one source in The Natural State, it seems that insiders remain split as to what athletic director Jeff Long — and the Board of Trustees — will do with their unpopular, fourth-year head coach.

According to Robbie Neiswanger of ArkansasNews.com, Long declined to comment on Pelphrey’s status last night.  He has remained rather quiet for weeks, in fact, refusing to give his man a strong vote of confidence… as he did a couple of times in 2009-2010.

Forward Marshawn Powell admitted last night that Pelphrey’s job status has been “a little bit” of a distraction this season.  He was also asked if his coach should return next year.

“It’s going to be tough for us to make a coaching change.  If they keep him and we get our recruits coming in next year, we’re going to be pretty tough to deal with in the SEC.  So, I mean, why not?”

A rousing endorsement.

Guard Mardracus Wade was also asked about a potential change and he said “it’s hard to think about” because “he worked so hard just to deal with so many personalities on this team.”  But… “Either way it goes, if we get a new coach, we’re still going to have to work, we’re still going to have to win games.  We’re still going to have to play together as a team and believe in his system if coach is here or not.  We’ve still got to believe.”

Meanwhile, as some Hog fans attempt to a) blame the media and b) spin the charges, (really, you’ve got to read that link) UA’s AD has admitted that if the facts surrounding CBSSports.com’s photo of Pelphrey and two recruits are correct, “it would appear to be a secondary violation.”

Repeat: a secondary violation.

Pelphrey doesn’t need any more headaches right now.  But this would be a non-story if not for cell phone cameras and the power of the internet.  As grizzled newspaper reporters used to say in the old movies, “We’ve got art.”  So a secondary violation is now a major deal.  A major deal that Pelphrey doesn’t need to worry about right now.

He’s got much, much bigger worries to deal with.

 




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