Broyles Still Seeks Pay Raise For Nutt

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles still intends to give coach Houston Nutt a pay raise, despite displeasure among some fans regarding the direction of the football program.

Broyles said Friday that he plans to have a raise finalized for Nutt sometime either later this month or in early February when Nutt can take a break from recruiting.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to him and to work it all out because he's been busy traveling, recruiting," Broyles said.

When Arkansas announced Dec. 18 that Nutt had received a one-year contract extension -- extending his deal through the 2012 season -- Broyles indicated that he planned to seek a pay raise for Nutt in January.

Nutt, who was named the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year this past season, ranks in the bottom half among the league's coaches in annual pay. He receives a salary of $329,644 and another $720,000 in other income for a total of $1,049,644.

Broyles said he has briefly spoken to Nutt about the pay raise, but there appears to be one sticking point: Nutt hasn't decided whether he wants to receive the additional money now or in the future.

"He can take the raise now or he can defer it until he retires," Broyles said.

It's uncertain how much of a raise Nutt will receive. But since the contract extension was announced, Nutt has had to deal with a slew of issues that has caused some disgruntled Razorback fans to call for the coach to be fired.

Former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn announced Jan. 15 that he was leaving to accept a position as assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator at the University of Tulsa. Malzahn made the decision after he learned that Nutt planned to bring in David Lee to be a co-offensive coordinator, likely meaning that Malzahn's role on the team would be reduced.

A day later, former Springdale High star quarterback Mitch Mustain asked Nutt for a release from his scholarship. The freshman, who is considered the most decorated recruit to ever sign with the Razorbacks, is still taking classes at Arkansas while he considers what school to transfer to.

Members of Arkansas' board of trustees have expressed support for Nutt, who just completed his ninth season with the Razorbacks.

Arkansas went 10-4 this past season and finished ranked No. 15 in the final Associated Press poll, the team's highest ranking since 1989.

The 10 wins are the most by an Arkansas team since 1989, but the season ended on a sour note with three straight losses to No. 3 LSU, top-ranked Florida in the SEC Championship Game and No. 7 Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.

Still, Broyles said he'll speak with Nutt sometime in the next few weeks about getting the coach a raise.

"I haven't gotten with him yet," Broyles said, "but I will soon as recruiting is over."

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