This thing simply will not die.
With a second public rejection of Arkansas, the Razorback coaching search has turned into a full blown national drama. Here is the one worry I have. Given the nature of these public rejections and the fact the desperation meter will go through the roof I am concerned one of two things will happen.
The first is Arkansas will settle for whoever they can get just to close this deal out and essentially end up hiring Matt Doherty who will be toast within 2-4 years opening up this job again. If that happens, no manner of raise or contract extension is going to keep Butch Davis from hopping a plane to Fayetteville and taking the Razorback job.
Secondly and slightly less of a concern but something that still bothers me is that with Arkansas being publicly humiliated by these rejections, the Razorbacks might decided to take a serious run at Davis and because Davis is an alum and is friends with people close to the school, he might feel like he should at least hear them out or worst case for UNC ride to their rescue much the same way Roy Williams did in 2003 for UNC.
Now, let me be clear that I think Davis is staying put and these two lines of thought are more or less minor concerns of things that could happen. One little caveat I found interesting is that in both the wooing of Tommy Bowden and Jim Grobe, Arkansas was willing to put only $2.2 million annually on the table. This is far less from the $3+ million deal allegedly waiting for Davis and could be a true indicator as to what Arkansas is willing to pay in reality versus the “sky is the limit” speculation we have heard since the UNC bye week. If this is the case, then Dick Baddour might be a freaking genius for basically matching the Arkansas salary with the $291,000 raise for Davis. This leads me to believe Baddour either should be playing blackjack in Vegas on a regular basis or he had an inkling as to what the Razorbacks might offer despite what the scuttlebutt was saying at the time.
At any rate, the Arkansas job is still hanging out there and as long as it does, Davis’ name will keep getting tossed around unless he issues a forceful statement to the contrary which will be take at less than face value by everyone.