Arkansas hasn't had a whole lot of positive attention in the past couple weeks, but the Razorbacks are hoping that changes this weekend with the team's spring game. To increase attention on the event, the university added the hashtag (we love hashtags) #GOHOGS to the field to get the game trending on Twitter and put the Arkansas program back in a positive light.
Athletic director Jeff Long, who has been on an emotional rollercoaster from firing head coach Bobby Petrino to receiving million-dollar donations for having the courage to do so, has been using his Twitter account to drum up support for the Hogs and encourage people to support the team this weekend.
(Garreth Patterson/AP)Not only will the spring game serve as a chance for Arkansas fans to actually think about football instead of the events that have rocked the program off the field, but it will also bring fans one step closer to finding out the team's future coach. The Sporting News' Steve Greenberg reported earlier this week that a coaching announcement could come early next week and as soon as Monday. Long noted in a statement released Friday the search would continue beyond the conclusion of spring football.
Long told his fans on Twitter that they didn't need to campaign for anyone and that he was well aware of the credentials of the coaches already on the staff. He also told fans not to believe the rumors about Jon Gruden or Pete Carroll being the next Boss Hog. At the very least, Arkansas fans might get to see their next interim coach work his magic Sunday. Both assistant head coach Taver Johnson and defensive coordinator Paul Haynes have been mentioned as interim and perhaps permanent replacements for Petrino.
Meanwhile, more information continues to surface regarding the Petrino-Jessica Dorrell saga. Arkansas released documents pertaining to the investigation into the inappropriate relationship, including 25 handwritten notes between Long and Petrino that detailed the relationship.
According to Petrino, his relationship with Dorrell started in October and ended in February before Dorrell was hired to work in the football program. Petrino said the two agreed to be friends. However, Dorrell didn't have the same version of the affair and Long asked in one of the notes: "[w]hy would she say she expected the relationship to continue if the motorcrash didn't occur?"
Long mentioned in his press conference last week that one of the reasons he fired Petrino was because he felt like he willfully deceived him. This appears to be one of those instances.
So, no team in the country needs a day of football more than Arkansas right now. Here's hoping Long makes a smart coaching decision after its completion.