Up In The Air

FAYETTEVILLE -- Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham was fired after failing to revive the Fighting Irish's program in three seasons.

So was Florida's Ron Zook, East Carolina's John Thompson, Stanford's Buddy Teevens and San Jose State's Fitz Hill. The college football regular season has barely ended, but the annual coaching carousel already has shifted into high gear.

Arkansas' coaching staff could be affected in the near future after coach Houston Nutt declined to talk about potential changes during Sunday's season-ending press conference. And defensive coordinator Dave Wommack admitted Tuesday he's not sure what his future holds.

"I don't know what my status is right now," Wommack said. "I've had two or three people call asking about it. Right now there's no reason to comment.

"I've talked to Houston. I'm not ready to comment on that yet. Negative or positive it was a good conversation and one we needed to have."

The fourth-year coach met with Nutt after the Hogs' 43-14 loss to No. 14 LSU in last Friday's season finale. Wommack, who was in his office Tuesday, has continued working even though "everything is up in the air."

That uncertainty has stretched to some of the Hogs, who said they have heard rumblings about the coaching staff.

"I don't think anybody should be penalized," said cornerback Michael Coe, who missed three games with a thigh injury. "I don't know what's going on with all that. I leave that to the coaches and let them make the right decisions.

"I know coach Wommack has taken some heat, but it's not all one man's fault and it isn't on the football field. If one guy doesn't get in his gap, everybody looks bad."

Nutt didn't want to discuss the coaching staff until his annual, season-ending evaluation with athletic director Frank Broyles. The 79-year-old Broyles checked out of the hospital Monday and returned to work Tuesday.

Broyles and Nutt talked for 45 minutes, discussing the season in which the Hogs failed to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1997. Broyles assured Nutt he was the "best person in America" for the Arkansas job and told fans to "just stick around. We'll be back and stronger than ever."

But when asked about the status of Arkansas' assistant coaches, Broyles said, "that's completely (Nutt's) call."

"If Houston's going to make a change, I don't think he would do it without giving serious thought to who and see who's available to take that person's place," Broyles said Tuesday afternoon. "That's what I would do if I were in his shoes. I wouldn't make the decision within three or four days. But I think within a week.

"I would want to think about it and see what's available and talk to some people I might want to hire before I decide anything. I imagine he's doing the same thing."

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