Arkansas Shows Support, Gives Nutt Pay Raise

Arkansas has shown its support for embattled football coach Houston Nutt by giving him a pay raise.

Nutt said Friday that he has agreed to a raise, which athletic director Frank Broyles had mentioned when he announced a one-year contract extension for Nutt in December.

The paperwork for the extension has not been finalized, but Nutt was expected to sign the new deal soon. Terms of the raise have not been disclosed, but it will boost Nutt's annual salary of $1,049,644.

"(Broyles) said it would happen, and he has always followed through," Nutt said, referring to the pay raise. "It just got lost in the recruiting."

Broyles said on Jan. 26 that he still planned to give Nutt a raise despite much displeasure from fans regarding the direction of Arkansas' football program.

At the time, Broyles said he hoped to get Nutt's raise finalized by early February when the coach could take a break from recruiting. The only sticking point was that Nutt had not yet decided on whether he wanted the additional money now or when he retires.

Broyles, a longtime supporter of Nutt, is expected to announce this morning at Arkansas' Board of Trustees meeting that he plans to retire.

Nutt, who was named the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year after going 10-4 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.

Nutt said he saw the raise as a show of support from Arkansas after a rough two-month stretch that has included plenty of negative publicity and some fans calling for the coach to be fired.

The raise also dispels the notion that the school intends to buy out the remainder of Nutt's contract. His new deal extends his contract through the 2012 season.

"My father made $30,000 a year. I think the most my mother made was $30,000 a year as a teacher. So I have a respect for teachers and salaries," Nutt said Friday. "... I don't worry about money."

In the six weeks since the Razorbacks ended their season with a 17-14 loss to Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, Nutt has had to deal with a series of high-profile situations.

Former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn announced Jan. 15 that he was leaving to become an assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator at the University of Tulsa. Malzahn's decision to leave came after he was told by Nutt that there was a plan to bring in David Lee to be Arkansas' co-offensive coordinator.

A day after Malzahn's departure, former Springdale High star quarterback Mitch Mustain asked Nutt for a release from his scholarship. The freshman is still attending classes at Arkansas while he considers his transfer options.

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