Broyles Back To Work

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles was greeted by piles of cards, e-mails and letters when he returned to work Monday morning.

The 79-year-old said they stacked up during his three-week absence, most of which was spent at wife Barbara's bedside during the final days of her lengthy bout with Alzheimer's. He hoped to start looking through them after she died on Oct. 13, but Broyles checked into the hospital last Tuesday for a five-night stay because of an irregular heartbeat.

There's no doubt it has been a difficult month for Broyles. But he flashed a familiar smile behind his desk Monday.

"I feel great," Broyles said. "I'm really feeling good. It's a challenge getting back to work and I like a challenge. I really found that since I've come back, the heavy heart that I had when I was at home, I haven't felt it here at work."

In fact, his assistant, Donita Richie, told Broyles it was the first time she heard a ring in his voice in six months.

Broyles offered some reflection on the final days of Barbara's life, explaining that his wife continued to fight the disease almost three weeks after doctors expected her to die. Broyles said most of the family was at her bedside when they were told she likely had 24 hours to live and stayed the entire time until she died 19 days later.

"Three weeks before Barbara left us, the diagnosis was she wouldn't last a day," Broyles said. "Her heart was so strong even though her vitals weren't working."

Broyles said the stress from the ordeal caught up to him and likely caused his irregular heartbeat.

He checked into the hospital last Tuesday and rested comfortably while doctors monitored his heartbeat. The problem is nothing new to Broyles, who has been on medication to regulate his heartbeat the past 10 years. He had been in the hospital two other times in the past 13 months with an irregular heartbeat.

But Broyles said he didn't feel like he needed to spend five days in the hospital.

"I felt like running a 100-yard dash and playing golf," Broyles said. Broyles was overwhelmed by the support he has received since his wife died and is sifting through more than 1,000 cards and letters in support. He and his family are working through the stacks as quickly as possible and have been thankful for "all those wonderful, thoughtful letters and gifts."

"I'm staying very busy," Broyles said. "I've got all this mail to catch up on and so forth. I'm glad to be out and glad to be back to work."

Huckeba Left Out
Defensive end Jeb Huckeba turned in a career performance against the Bulldogs, collecting a team-high 12 tackles, 4 for losses, 3 sacks and a forced fumble that freshman Marcus Harrison's picked up and returned 18 yards for a touchdown.

But the senior's dazzling night wasn't enough to claim one of the Southeastern Conference's weekly honors.

Georgia defensive end David Pollack was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the Bulldogs' win. The senior had 8 tackles, 3 for losses, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against the Hogs. He also broke the Georgia career record for sacks and has 29 1/2 in his career.

Tennessee sophomore Turk McBride was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. The sophomore recorded 7 tackles, 2 for losses, 1 sack and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage during the Volunteers' 17-13 win against Alabama.

TV Time
The Arkansas-South Carolina game on Nov. 6 was picked up by Jefferson-Pilot Sports on Monday and was slated for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff. It will mark the Hogs' first appearance on Jefferson-Pilot this season.

Arkansas also will make its fifth consecutive appearance on television and sixth overall this season. ESPN (Texas), CBS (Alabama, Florida, Auburn) and ESPN2 (Georgia) have all televised Razorbacks games in 2004.

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