I'd made several queries to Kevin Trainor,
the associate athletic director at the University of Arkansas,
relative to the spate of rumors today about Razorback coach Bret Bielema
, whose rebuilding of Arkansas reportedly has Nebraska
interested in him for its head coaching job.
Bielema has since been quoted as saying he's "all Hog"
and committed to Arkansas.
I asked if Nebraska had asked the UA athletic department for permission to speak with Bielema.
I asked if there was anything to the report of interest in Bielema.
I asked about changes in contracts for Bielema's UA assistants, a topic the mentioned during a conference call with reporters today .He said he'd had discussion with Athletic Director Jeff Long
about this, to protect assistants from poaching.
I asked for any documents that would reflect a potential agreement to change Bielema's own contract terms. Rumors are rampant that Bielema is staying, but that the Nebraska interest could have produced an improvement in his own contract,
perhaps an extension of the deal, now finishing the second of six years. He's paid about $3.2 million. He is now 9-15 as Hog head coach, with a 6-6 season this year and some close losses widely viewed as signs he's turned football fortunes around.
Trainor got back to me in early evening, while I was out. I pass along his response verbatim:
Unfortunately, some previously scheduled meetings is to blame for my slightly delayed response. In response to your questions on assistants, here is what he said regarding that on the conference:
(on his assistant coaches)
“I have not received one inquiry from anybody from the outside world coming in. I had some conversations with Jeff (Long) and administration a couple of weeks ago before the season was over and they have given me some great support; made some adjustments with coaches and what they are going to be receiving here at Arkansas. Again, I think proactive is so much better than reactive. That’s the part that excites me a lot here.”
(on if his assistant coaches will get raises)
“Well I think that and there are some other things too. Coaches like stability; some multi-year contracts, simple things such as number of tickets for their family to go to a football game or a basketball game. Sometimes those little things mean a lot to a wife and a family. We just have to make some adjustments that haven’t been done before here but are more of the norm in college football.”
While there have been discussions, as cited by Coach Bielema, there have been no adjustments to assistant coaching contracts since the 2014 season began.
Also, Coach Bielema’s contract has not been changed since his original contract.
Have a good evening,
I asked a followup: Has there been a discussion or any agreement in principle to alter Bielema's contract. If I get an answer, I'll pass it along.