Players React To Nutt Criticism

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas offensive tackle Robert Felton took the news personally.

For Felton and the rest of Arkansas' football players, there was no other choice when they were bombarded by news, radio and internet message board reports concerning their coach, Houston Nutt, on Friday. Numerous outlets using unnamed sources were reporting Nutt would not return next season.

"A lot of fans are just trying to divide us right now, and I can't believe that," Felton said following Arkansas' 45-31 victory over Mississippi State in War Memorial Stadium. "To the fans who are not behind us, get out of our way and don't say anything."

That was the sentiment of several Arkansas players, who said Saturday they're tired of the rumors and reports about Nutt. Arkansas linebacker Weston Dacus, who had four tackles against the Bulldogs, said the recent rumors have been easy motivation for the Razorbacks.

"Stuff like this has been happening for a solid year now," Dacus said. "So we've just kind of learned to shuck it off and not pay attention to it. (Nutt) always lets us know that he would tell us first if anything was about to go down."

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick said he feels like fans don't know the whole story and feel like they're making up rumors just to keep Nutt on the hot seat.

"Most people don't even know what's going on with the situation," Dick said. "They just want to start rumors because they don't agree with what's going on and that's fine.

"We have to tuck that behind us and use that as a little motivation."

Arkansas offensive coordinator David Lee couldn't believe the recent news of Nutt's future, saying people just don't understand how tough it is to coach college football.

"This isn't an easy time for coaches here at Arkansas," Lee said. "This controversy never stops, somebody keeps stirring everything up. Houston Nutt won 10 games last year, we're 7-4 right now -- what are we going through?

"That's the thing that concerns you as a staff."

The Razorbacks now have one Southeastern Conference game left against LSU next Friday at Baton Rouge.

"We stick together, we're one family, one unit," senior receiver Marcus Monk said. "Once somebody comes at our family, it brings us even closer.

"We're here, (Nutt) is here, the coaches are here and we've still got a few more games left."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories