JOHN PELPHREY NEEDS TO BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY AS I POST THESE WORDS FROM THE LOS ANGELES AREA,
FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011 10:35 AM WEST COAST TIME DO I HAVE TO SEND DONALD TRUMP FROM NEW YORK TO
FAYETTEVILLE TO SAY "YOUR FIRED",.
It appears the situation in Arkansas is becoming more precarious for Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey. Attendance is way down. The school is losing money on basketball. ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb said this week that the UA job was coming open. And just yesterday, someone placed a $3,200 ad in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette calling on Hogs fans to make their displeasure with the program known.
Pelphrey said yesterday that he’s focusing on Arkansas’ final regular-season game against Ole Miss and not newspaper ads. “I try to eliminate worry. No matter what it is, I’m going to stay focused on the task at hand. I will refuse to be distracted.”
That won’t be easy. Missouri’s Mike Anderson — who Gottlieb tabbed as UA’s top choice to replace Pelphrey — is already taking questions about the Arkansas job. He’s also dodging them rather than answering them:
“I’m here,” Anderson told The Kansas City Star when asked about UA’s gig. “We’re talking about Kansas. We’re getting ready for Kansas. We’ve got a big game coming up.”
The former Nolan Richardson assistant at Arkansas turned down a $2.1 million offer from Georgia two years ago to remain at Missouri. He currently makes about $1.55 million per year in a seven-year pact with the Tigers.
There are other distractions for Pelphrey as well. ArkansasNews.com acquired — via the Freedom of Information Act — a number of UA documents and emails dealing with the coach’s future. Robbie Neiswanger sums up those communications:
One particular fan e-mail, dated Feb. 11, was originally addressed to Board of Trustees member John Tyson.
The note read that “although Coach Pelphrey seems to be a nice man, our fans deserve a better approach on the court.” The fan added he had “never seen such apathy” as there is now.
According to documents, Tyson forwarded the note to Long with a message that read: “Starting to see a lot of these but I think this one reflects the love folks have for the Hogs and all programs not just football.”
Long responded with: “Thanks for sharing. I am getting quite a few as well but not overwhelming. That same group sends after each loss.”
Long “couldn’t be reached for comment” regarding the ad placed in The Democrat-Gazette. In general, Long has remained mostly silent on the Pelphrey front in recent weeks, which might not be a good sign for the coach. Last year, Long defended his coach as Joe Alleva and Eric Hyman have defended Trent Johnson and Darrin Horn this season.
As fans in the Natural State continue to debate Pelphrey’s future, we’ll close with the obvious — the coach needs a win at Ole Miss tomorrow and then a nice deep tourney run in Atlanta to help his cause.