UA Chancellor Shows Support For Nutt

FAYETTEVILLE — Houston Nutt has received another show of support from the University of Arkansas, this time from Chancellor John White.

In a statement released Thursday through the university, White stressed that he supports Nutt despite a tumultuous two-month stretch that has many frustrated fans calling for Nutt to be fired as Arkansas' football coach.

"I want to be abundantly clear, the University of Arkansas is committed to head football coach Houston Nutt's leadership of the Razorback football program," White said.

"It's unfortunate that the days and weeks following a remarkable football season — which featured 10 straight wins and an SEC West championship — has been burdened by rampant speculation and sensationalist remarks over the future of the program."

White's statement comes less than a week after Nutt confirmed that he and Arkansas have agreed to a pay raise that will boost his total annual salary of $1,049,644. Nutt also received a one-year contract extension that pushes his deal through the 2012 season.

The paperwork on the contract extension has not been finalized, and terms of the pay raise have not been disclosed. But both are indications that Arkansas supports Nutt during a particularly trying time.

Over the past few weeks, Nutt has gone on several local sports-talk radio shows to defend himself and address the negative publicity that has engulfed Arkansas' football program since the season ended on Jan. 1.

"The University administration and athletic department support the progress demonstrated by Coach Nutt over the past 12 months, and we look forward to more successes in the coming year," White said in the statement.

"I am confident in his leadership of the young men who carry the future of the Razorback football program on their shoulders."

According to the statement, White approved Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles' recommendation to give Nutt a contract extension after he went 10-4 and was named the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year this past season.

Broyles, who announced last week that he will retire as Arkansas' athletic director at the end of this year, also released a statement supporting Nutt.

"The University and athletic department administration stand firmly behind the leadership of Houston Nutt as the head coach of the Razorback football team," Broyles said.

"... Houston Nutt has been and remains the right man to lead the Razorback football program."

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