This week's first anniversary of the motorcycle wreck that changed Arkansas sports history provides a case study in crisis communication. John Diamond, the University of Arkansas' associate vice chancellor for university relations, recently spoke to Arkansas Business about the process of crafting the 673-word speech that Athletic Director Jeff Long delivered when he announced that he’d fired the Razorbacks' popular and successful head football coach, Bobby Petrino.
A July story on how some Arkansans are ditching pay-television for online services like Netflix and Hulu is ArkansasBusiness.com’s most-read story of the year, according to traffic numbers from Jan. 1 to Dec. 17.
Bobby Petrino is no longer unemployed. Petrino, who was fired at Arkansas on April 10, will be announced as Western Kentucky's coach today at 4 p.m., according to multiple reports. Arkansas fired Petrino with cause following a review of the coach's relationship with staff employee Jessica Dorrell and his efforts to mislead the university about hiring her over 150-plus other applicants and paying her a $20,000 cash.
National recruiting guru Tom Lemming said this week that former Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain's transfer to Southern Cal was the "biggest mistake of his life." Meanwhile, basketball fans in Central Arkansas got some good news with an early schedule of speakers at the Tip Off Club. And if Arkansas is to conquer any of its remaining four football foes, the Hogs need to find more wide receiving weapons.
As I try to conjure the right words, and to say it all within the confines of the average reader’s attention span, the clock ticks ever so closer to this site’s final moments. I look at that clock like the condemned prisoner, knowing that they’ll flip the switch at 11:59 p.m. They’ll flip the switch off, cutting the current, however; and I’m only sweating getting this in by afternoon deadline, and knowing I’ll have another day, at maybe another website, to ply my trade. The last time I went through this, they (you know who “they” are) cut the power to the computers before we at the Arkansas Gazette had a chance to say any last words. It’s the winds of October and now early November that ever remind me of those strange days in 1991.
ArkansasSports360.com developed into a go-to source for breaking news and commentary since it launched in 2007. As we prepare for our Friday, 11:59 p.m. shutdown, let's look back at the posts that most interested you all, the readers. Today we look at items 10 through 1 on our most-read list:
ArkansasSports360.com launched in 2007 with Jim Harris as its lone voice for commentary and analysis. Though other writers were later added to the staff or featured as columnists during the site's five-year run, nobody was more of a must-read than Harris. Below we look at the 10 most-read columns of Harris' tenure:
Otis Kirk is the dean of Arkansas recruiting writers and has covered high school recruiting for more than 30 years. His "Recruiting 360" column appeared online at ArkansasSports360.com every Thursday, and his features and message board posts regularly can be found at the premium website Hawgs247.com, a member of the 247Sports Network. A look back at the Top 5 most-read Otis Kirk Columns:
ArkansasSports360.com has developed into a go-to source for breaking news and commentary since it launched in 2007. As we prepare for our Friday, 11:59 p.m. shutdown, let's look back at the posts that most interested you, the readers. Today we look at items 11 through 20 on our most-read list:
Maybe he just knew the crowd he was addressing, but Tom Lemming, who may be the country’s most influential national recruiting expert, evaluated Arkansas’ football program as two recruiting classes away from being right up with Alabama’s and said it was a “sleeping giant.” Like others before him, Lemming said Jeff Long had a huge job ahead in hiring the right guy as the Razorbacks next coach, but he rattled off a list of familiar names who are both top coaches and excellent recruiters that he felt could fill the bill and restore the Hogs to the lofty position Bobby Petrino had the program in 2010-11.
We welcome back a familiar face for a one-time guest appearance with the Pressbox Roundtable crew: former Arkansas Razorback All-American and local radio personality Bruce James. Since James is a native of Mississippi and has been back to the state regularly, we thought he'd be perfect to join in the week the Razorabcks meet the Rebels in Little Rock. Also back are our usual lineup of suspects: KTHV, Channel 11, sports anchor Mark Edwards and producer Jessica Duff, ArkansasExpats.com editor and regular ArkansasSports360.com contributor Doc Harper, and KABZ-FM 103.7 The Buzz's Justin Acri. ArkansasSports360.com editor Chris Bahn is on board again, and columnist Jim Harris moderates. Readers, join with the panel. Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the feature.
Arkansas has money to spend for a quality head coach. Jeff Long said as much during a recent chat with fans at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. How much money would the program need to invest to get its newest coach among the Top 10 highest paid? Let’s look below:
Jeff Long gave standard non-answer answers as much as possible when he visited the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Oct. 15. It’s a skill he prides himself on. But as we all know, often times when we are posed with questions, there are the answers we give, and the answers that stay inside our heads. Here's what we’re guessing Long was probably thinking when asked these questions last week. Think of this as Jeff Long if he had Charles Barkley's candor.
If Auburn winds up in the market for a coach, the Tigers will be competing for one alongside Arkansas. That could make things difficult for the Razorbacks. Unless Auburn is in a market for a coach that Athletic Director Jeff Long wouldn’t consider. A coach like, say, Bobby Petrino.
ArkansasSports360.com recently visited with four BCS conference athletic directors who were in charge of football coaching searches last season. Each had his own approach, but all of the administrators — Arizona’s Greg Byrne, Illinois’ Mike Thomas, North Carolina’s Bubba Cunningham and Washington State’s Bill Moos — agreed that a football coaching search is as consuming as it gets. There is no overstating the importance of the decision currently facing Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long.
Receiver Mekale McKay and many members of the 2012 recruiting class are making big contributions. In fact, McKay, a late signee, is off to a better start than one high-profile wide receiver the Razorbacks hoped to land.