I get this call about 2:30 from a relative. "Have you heard?" they said.
"What?" I asked.
"Houston Nutt has resigned."
"No way. He isn't going to resign," I said. "Let me call you back."
So, I dial up the Arkansas sports information office, and Mary Lynn, Kevin Trainor's longtime able secretary in the office, answered "hello" in a beleaguered tone that told me either (1) that rumor was true, or (2) Mary Lynn had been answering the telephone nonstop to say what she would momentarily repeat to me. "There is no press conference scheduled today." No, there would be no announcement of Nutt resigning, being fired, or adding basketball coach to his duties.
But, did that stop the rumors? Heck no. Throughout the afternoon, I either received direct questioning "Is this true what I hear," or an indirect call about someone telling the caller that indeed Nutt was gone, would be announcing it at 4 p.m., at 4:30 p.m., at 6 p.m. Pick a time, whatever you like. The message boards burned with the rumor. Drive Time Sports addressed it for at least its first hour.
I thought Arkansas was looking for a basketball coach, not firing its football coach.
Arkansans, and in particular the Hogaholics as John Brummett likes to call thm, have gone rumor-mongering nuts (no pun intended). Somebody is sitting back enjoying it all, starting it and watching it explode, and just chortling, kinda like I figure some of those computer virus-creators must feel when their latest bug shuts down AOL or an entire country for a few hours.
By the way, the rumor was so rampant that the Little Rock TV stations all sent trucks and cameras to the UA Board of Trustees meeting in Helena expecting something to break Nothing did. Meanwhile, the Northwest Arkansas TV news outlets sent trucks and reporters out to the Broyles Complex, a easier drive for those bureaus based right there in Fayetteville. According to Mike Irwin, the sports director of Channel 5, one of his station's reporters encountered Houston Nutt on campus. "I'm not resigning and I haven't been fired. Spread the word," Nutt said to the reporter.