The Arkansas Coaching Search

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.

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3 Responses to The Arkansas Coaching Search

  1. Howard says:

    Go for it Davis. It wouldn’t bother me one bit to have a money-grabber leave the Tar Heel family. Then, Baddour can lower his salary offer and try to find someone who cares for the players and UNC, rather than the money. Not saying Davis cares more for the money, but he sure as heck didn’t turn it down.
    I’ve never been real sure why everyone seems to think Davis is a great coach for UNC? Obviously, this year’s record didn’t show that. Oh, I know, he needs several years go get things rolling, and then …. on and on. During those “several years” I’m sure we’ll have more money-games, and soon they’ll have to double tuition just to keep the coach.
    Let him go!!! Let’s get back to sanity!!!

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    One misconception people have about coaching salaries it that it somehow comes out of the state and school coffers of money they also use for paying academic salaries. My understanding is that is not the case and they would not raise tuition to pay the coach more. The salary for his job from the state of NC is around $260,000 according to the first contract. Everything on top of that comes from Nike, Leerfield Sports and the Rams Club and as I understand it is not guaranteed money(this is different for Roy who asked that the Rams Club money be guaranteed which is how he had it done at Kansas)

    As for why people think Davis is a great coach, he was 51-20 at Miami and left a team that won the title the next season. Also, while the record was 4-8, UNC was competitive in six other games. The program and culture surrounding it are definitely better and the recruiting has taken a step up.

    And I am not going to fault anyone for not turning down a raise if it is offered. Nature of the beast and as unpleasant as it seems to be, it was a preemptive move on the part of UNC to keep him and avoid further damage to the program.

    Look on the bright side, at least he did not pull a full million dollar raise out of UNC like Bowden did to Clemson.

  3. Dan Schwind says:

    Who, in their right mind, would say, ‘No,’ to a $291,000 raise. (Crickets chirping) That’s what I thought. The fact is, if Butch wanted to be a ‘money-grabber,’ he probably could have demanded a lot more, and he EASILY could have turned us down and taken whatever money the Razorbacks would have offered (which you know is a lot).

    The fact is, if this team were coached by He Who Shall Not Be Named, a) we wouldn’t have gotten three big-time recruits (Austin, Little, Sturdivant) and I guarantee you we would have only won 2 games, and gotten blown out by 40+ in all but two or three games. Butch gave us instant credibility in the recruiting game, and was the ONLY reason we got Marvin Austin.

    I sincerely doubt you’ll see him demand more money in coming years unless he does something completely unexpected like win a national title in the next three years (it ain’t happening). And were he to leave, I don’t know that we have the gravitas yet to be able to attract a top-shelf assistant or coach, save Paul Johnson, who will likely be in Atlanta at this time next year and won’t leave after one year. And personally, I think Butch is a much better coach to have than Paul Johnson.

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