Broyles To Review Heath's Plans For Program

FAYETTEVILLE -- As a Razorback fan, Frank Broyles said he was "extremely disappointed" in the way Arkansas ended its basketball season with lackluster losses by 13 and 19 points to Auburn and Tennessee.

As the Arkansas athletic director, Broyles said Tuesday he will evaluate third-year coach Stan Heath's plans for change in the program and if he sees a need will offer suggestions from his 63 years in collegiate sports.

"I'm going to let him tell me his plans," said Broyles, 81, who submitted a list of "very general" questions for Heath to answer in the coming weeks based on Heath's promised review of the program when he announced last Friday that Arkansas would not consider an NIT bid if offered.

"Then I'll evaluate those (plans). If there's things I've learned in my experience as a coach and as an athletic director and from observing some of the best coaches in the country and some not so good, I feel it's my responsibility and obligation to share with him anything I think may help him be successful."

Broyles would not express his satisfaction level with basketball in specific terms before meeting with Heath, but did say, "I don't think any Razorback fan or any coach or any athletic director feels that we're where we want to be. And so we've got to improve and we plan to."

Arkansas finished the season postseason-eligible for the first time since 2001 at 18-12, but the final month of the season was marked by five losses in six games -- four of those by double digits -- and a repeated inability to score against 2-3 zone defense.

Heath cited emotional and physical weariness as well as a lack of intensity and cohesion in his team and added it was "eating him up inside" that Arkansas did not make the NCAA Tournament.

"He's not as successful as he thought he was going to be, as I thought he would be," Broyles said. "Therefore he's going to evaluate and make changes where necessary.

"You can't remain the same. If you're not doing as well as you think and you don't change, you'll never get where you want to be."

Broyles did not say if Heath's job would depend on making the NCAA field next season.

"I haven't discussed that with him yet, but I think he'll be disappointed if we don't make it next year and everybody else will be, too," Broyles said. "A lot of things go into that (decision) and I wouldn't prejudge what my decision would be."

Razorback supporters who have contacted Broyles have demanded change in the program.

"They want him to make some changes," Broyles said. "They very much believe they want him to be the coach and they want him to be successful and they feel like he has to make changes to do it. That's the general thesis of all the calls and whatever."

After meeting with all the players individually on Monday and Tuesday, no roster moves appear imminent.

Staff changes may not occur unless assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro is selected to take the head coaching job at Eastern Michigan. Assistant Rob Flaska also sent in a resume Tuesday for the vacant job at Eastern Illinois.

Broyles said he planned to offer the written questions to Heath later, but after reading his comments decided to give them to him sooner.

"Since he already had some thoughts and ideas in his mind, I wanted to know what he's thinking," Broyles said. "I'll look at those and I hope I'm very pleased with them and everything is fine.

"If not, I'll suggest things he should consider. It will be his choice on what he wants to do. I feel it's my obligation, with the experience I have, to share it with him."

For the first time in 30 years, both the Razorback football teams and basketball teams won't participate in postseason play, a fact Broyles said he hadn't thought about.

"We've had tough years before," he said. "But with the fan support, the fan enthusiasm and fan passion, we'll be back."

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