Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

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Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

Postby admin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:23 pm

Table For One: A Day of Infamy
by Grady Jim Robinson
February 21, 2007

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I've received some hate mail in my time. We columnists sometimes ask for it with our smart-aleck opinions. You get used to it. But I've never received hate mail like the e-mail one Teresa Prewett of Little Rock sent to 18-year-old Razorback quarterback Mitch Mustain on Dec. 7, a day that will live in infamy. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese torpedoed the USS Arizona, putting her at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 2006, Teresa Prewett torpedoed the good ship Arkansas, and Razorbacks began to abandon ship almost immediately. Damian Williams fled to USC, Gus Malzahn decided to seek safer waters in Tulsa, and Mitch Mustain asked for and received his release from the team. Who can blame them? If I had received such a letter as a freshman basketball player at the old Fort Smith Junior College, I would have joined the Army and gone to Vietnam where I felt safe.

After this bombshell was published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last Thursday, the rumor instantly surfaced that the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees would demand Frank Broyles step down after almost 50 years of superior service. (Trustees argue that there was no connection between the published letter and the board's frantic phone calls on the morning of Feb. 15; riiiight.) Broyles announced his retirement Saturday to a vast array of accolades from admirers all over America. You can bet that letter from Teresa Prewett will be laminated and in the briefcase of every recruiter representing Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma for years to come. The leakage may be worse than the Exxon Valdez. But my question is this: What on earth was that woman thinking? That's just about the meanest, nastiest hate mail I have ever seen or heard short of an actual death threat. Why the hell did you come to Arkansas??? I hope you will transfer?? Did I mention I hope you will transfer?? That is mean! As disappointed as many of us were in the passing game, I don't know of ANYONE who would write such a letter to a kid. Maybe she doesn't get it. Allow me to assist with an experiment in what we shall mirror-parody. (I just invented that word.) I am sure I can't do it justice, but allow me take many of her actual sentences and parody them back at Mrs. Prewett, like looking into a mirror at your on meanness. Let's see how it might feel to get a letter of this type late at night while sitting alone in your dorm room.

Hello, Mrs. Interference Queen, Are you having a good morning? I'm sure you are since your nasty letter was published statewide and your name has been in the paper every day. Why the hell did you write such a letter to an Arkansas football player? Who do you think you are writing a letter that has virtually destroyed the Razorback football program? Do you really think that because you got sideline passes from Danny Nutt, because you are his physical therapist and have season tickets and became friends with Diana Nutt, that you are ordained as the No. 1 hate-mail writer to any 18-year-olds on the team? You have to earn that role, (expletive). Competition scares the (expletive) out of you, doesn't it, girlie-girl? This is the SEC for goodness sakes, and reading your sophomoric and asinine e-mail to an 18-year-old makes it very evident that you are not mature enough to be the hate mail spokesperson for fans. Your vile-rant-tomature-fact ratio is a joke. You couldn't write your way out of a remedial writing course filled with freshman linemen from Pine Bluff. This isn't a junior high girlie-girl cat fight, and you need to take off your junior high cheerleading sweater and realize it. This is the real world and you, little girl, aren't good enough for it.

So, I hope you will move out of Arkansas. Yes, you did write a letter that almost destroyed the program, but you just remember one thing: Your vitriolic, misinformed, childish, mean-spirited diatribe was published only because a far superior hate-monger like Rush Limbaugh was sidelined with a brain cramp. Every once in a blue moon you had a point, but usually that was followed by three emotional puke-ups. I'm sure you have the talent to someday write a good, hate-filled e-mail to other 18-year-olds, but we all hope it's not in Arkansas. You can win the Pulitzer Prize for all I care, but please, not in Arkansas. Mrs. Prewett, would you please move from this state... please, pretty please. Do you think Charlie Weis at Notre Dame would be putting up with your (expletive)? God, I wish you had gone to Notre Dame. Did I mention I wish you would move out of Arkansas? Forever.

Well, I've wasted enough time on the likes of you today. Did I mention I want you to move out of Arkansas?

Your pal, Grady

Ouch! I'm sorry! That is mean! But, incredibly, for those of you who may have missed it, the original e-mail sent to Mustain was three times as long and the expletives were spelled out for full effect. I wonder how Mrs. Prewett will feel if she reads this? Do you think it might be similar to the way Mitch Mustain felt? I'm just wondering.

Grady Jim Robinson lives in Fayetteville. His column appears on Wednesdays.
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Re: Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

Postby admin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:26 pm

Text of Prewett letters released
by Arkansas Online
November 8, 2007

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Text of Email from Teresa Prewett sent to Mitch Mustain Dec. 7, 2006

From: "Teresa Prewett" [tppt@swbell.net]

Date: December 7, 2006 11:28:09 AM CST

To: [sherri.darby@dfa.state.ar.us], [ddunn@fwdunnins.com], [dprewett@3wco.com], [sherry.hamilton@nuvell.com], [Hdnx6@aol.com], [lisaherring@cox.net], [kathy.r.phillips@saic.com], [anuttycrew@cox.net], [cathynutt@cox.net], [jfinton@onr/inc.com], [wendy.l.johnson@usdoj.gov], [dprewett@3wco.com], [karen.johnson@acxiom.com], [sextonkkcc@sbcglobal.net], [whall@arkansasonline.com]

Subject: FW:

From: Teresa Prewett [mailto:tppt@swbell.net]

Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:09 AM

To: 'mmustain@uark.edu'

Subject:

Hello Mr. Interception King:

Are you having a good morning? I'm sure you are since your precious name is in the paper again. Why in the hell did you come to Arkansas? I've been a Hog fan since birth, and a season ticket holder since 1985, and my parents were before that. Who in the hell do you think you are? Do you really think because you just walked onto campus that you need to be the starting QB? Competition scares the shit out of you doesn't it little boy? This is the SEC for goodness sakes, and by watching you attempting to read defenses in the SEC, it is beyond evident that you were nowhere ready. Your completion to interception ratio was a joke, and you have zero leadership abilities. This isn't Springdale High School anymore, and you need to take your letter jacket off and realize that. This is the real world. Yes, you did win 8 games as a starter, but you were only starting at that point because Casey Dick was hurt. In winning those 8 games, you need to go back to the film room and see that the main reason those games were won was because of McFadden, Jones, the offensive line, and the play of the defense. You did hand the ball off pretty well. You also need to buy Marcus Monk some lunch for saving you another interception against Auburn since the ball was so underthrown. Every once in a blue moon you would throw a touchdown pass, but usually after 3 interceptions. I'm sure you have the talent to become an outstanding QB on the collegiate level, but I hope that it's not at Arkansas. You can win the Heisman for all I care, but please not as a Hog. Please transfer. All you've been since you walked onto campus is a cancer, and your mother is no exception.

You called Coach Nutt a "dork" in your article. Amazing. You know, I was sitting with a large group of people watching your interview that was aired on Game Day before the Tennessee game, you know, the interview where you had on those glasses that made you look like a fag? I'm sure you remember. Anyhow, everyone in that room started laughing, calling you the dork. Why is it that you came to Arkansas again? Was it so your mommie could be close by to change your diaper, or was it because you thought having your lover Gus on the sideline would make playing in the SEC easier? What a joke! Gus can't even adjust to the speed of the game in the SEC. Do you think Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame would be putting up with your bull shit? God, do I ever wish you would have gone to Notre Dame. Too bad I'm not Coach Nutt today. If so, I'd be having Tim Cheney sew lace around your jock straps, but that would be after I let you hang out face to face in a private meeting with the offensive and defensive lineman I think I'd even throw Butu in for the meeting. Did I mention that I want you to transfer? Helen Keller could read defenses in the SEC better than you.

Well, I've wasted enough time on you today. I'm sure it's time for your breast feeding. Did I mention that I want you to transfer. The next time you think you and your girls are bigger than any one program you better think again. I would love for you to be able to have a lengthy conversation with Chris Simms, former QB with the Texas Longhorns. He arrived on campus his freshman year in a limo thinking he was the next All Everything, was a smart ass to his coaches, was selfish, pouty, and the prime example of what a "team" player is not. His teammates couldn't stand him, the fans grew to hate him, and he never won a championship. He was finally benched for a QB that had won the Big 12 player of the year award the year before. You see, he walked onto campus thinking the starting position should be handed to him without competition, and it was. He didn't bring it to practice everyday, he was quoted in newspapers showing his lack of character, he blamed everyone else when HE had a bad game:.Sound familiar? He never EARNED the respect of his teammates, coaches, fans, etc:He too was a spoiled brat. He was nicknamed by everyone "The Golden Child" because that's what HE thought he was. Funny how the smaller, more competitive QB named Major Applewhite, with less credentials, came to lead them to a Big 12 Championship. Funny how that works isn't it?

Grow up little boy. Oh, by the way, did I mention that I want you to transfer?

Teresa

***

Text of Email from Teresa Prewett sent To Athletic Director Frank Broyles Dec. 7, 2006

From: "Teresa Prewett" [tppt@swbell.net]

Date: December 7, 2006 1:14:39 PM CST

To: [ddunn@fwdunnins.com], [hdnx6@aol.com], [anuttycrew@cox.net], [cathynutt@cox.net], [dprewett@3wco.com], [wendy.l.johnson@usdoj.gov], [whall@arkansasonline.com], [jfinton@onr-inc.com]

Subject: FW: Coach Broyles

From: Teresa Prewett [mailto:tppt@swbell.net]

Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 1:13 PM

To: 'dhubbard@mail.uark.edu'

Subject: Coach Broyles

Coach Broyles:

I hope this finds you doing well. I'm writing to you today to express to you my deep disgust with what is transpiring at the University of Arkansas in the football department. As you know, I have been a season ticket holder since 1985 in football, I am a Wild Hog donor to the foundation since 2000, and I was a Tush Hog donor from 1998 to 2000. I became a donor to the foundation before I came to know of the Nutt family personally. I began contributing the year Houston was hired because I was so excited that the program was headed in such a wonderful direction. I then increased my donation in 2000. I am also a season ticket holder in basketball and baseball. If I could afford to give even more money to the program I would, and I'm not even an alumni. With all of that being said, I believe that I have some small "right" to voice my opinion to you.

You are a smart man, and you have done a great deal for the University of Arkansas. Our facilities are the best in the country by far, and I appreciate all you have done. You know that I have not always agreed with some of your decisions, and I have voiced those to you in the past. Today I come to you hoping that you will hear my plea. I have never seen such turmoil that has occurred over a group of athletes (Springdale kids), their parents, and Gus. The entire program is being affected because of this child-like behavior by all of them. Since when does a Division I program let a group of 18 year olds, their parents, and their former high school coach dictate what occurs on the field? I have never seen anything like this in my life, and it is so embarrassing. I'm sure that you brought in Gus partly due to the Springdale kids wavering on their commitments, but it wasn't worth it. If they didn't really want to be a Hog then they should have gone elsewhere. Why in the world would you want to run the hurry up no huddle offense when you have McFadden, Jones, and one powerful offensive line that dominated most games? I understand that you have to have some sort of passing game for everything to work, but my goodness, why try to change things so drastically? The few college teams that run the hurry up no huddle offense in Division I seem to run out of gas by the fourth quarter because their own defenses are on the field so much, exp:Texas Tech. They may score tons of points, and in a hurry, buy they cannot stop anyone else from scoring in the second half. Unless your defense is about 3 deep in all positions, good luck. The Hogs had two 1000 yd. rushers this year, the best tandem in the country, and we will be watching on national T.V. tonight as McFadden most likely accepts the Doak Walker Award, and again watching Sat. as the first Razorback is sitting on stage for the Heisman Trophy Award. What great national attention the Hogs will be getting, and what a plug for recruiting it could be. However, we are sitting here in Arkansas today reading an article in the state-wide newspaper about Mitch Mustain blasting Houston Nutt. That is awful! I wish with all that I have that none of the Springdale bunch would have ever stepped on campus. None of them, except Andrew Norman, wanted to be a Hog in the first place. I cannot believe any of this is being tolerated, and hopefully you must know that Gus has his hand in some of this mess. The Hogs just finished a 10-3 season, SEC Western Division Champion, currently ranked 12th in the nation, Houston named SEC Coach of the Year by the AP and his peers, Regional Coach of the Year, and is being mentioned as National Coach of the Year. He has been named SEC Coach of the year 3 times in 9 seasons, won 3 divisional championships, and taken us to 7 bowls in 9 years. Houston has assisted in raising millions and millions of dollars for the foundation, and it was Houston that brought back life to high school football in Arkansas. Danny Ford had managed to destroy relationships with all high school coaches in the state. It was so important that Houston was able to do this, my case in point being our entire defensive line, McFadden, etc: Houston has his Hog's graduating unless they leave early for the NFL, attendance is out of the roof, and he gathered this young group off of the turf after losing 50-15 at home to win 10 straight. Houston has done all of this occurring in the toughest conference in the country. All of this occurring with the Hogs being investigated and /or on probation for three of those years. Houston has accomplished this while being at one of the smallest schools in the SEC, where recruiting is a constant war, thanks in part to Nolan being a racist himself with his previous comments. While some of the bigger SEC schools such as Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, etc.. have enough depth at each position to afford injuries at key positions, Arkansas does not have the same pleasure. My case in point is losing Fairchild, Grant, and then Hewitt and Butu having significant injuries. This is the way it is at Arkansas, and the way it always has been, but with that being said, look at what Houston has done! Now, he is being crucified by not playing the Springdale punks as much as they and their parents seem warranted. Was I watching the same football season as they were? Houston is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. We are going to lose him over all of this, and at that point, I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with my Hog loyalty. If a good play occurs, it has to be Gus making the call, and a play doesn't work, it has to be Houston's fault. You've created a monster with this Springdale mess, and we are going to be losing someone very special because of it. No amount of money is worth having to put up with a group of young men and their parents being able to dictate what occurs on the football field, and I know that no where else in this country does this occur.

All of this brings a black cloud over a tremendous year a year where we were not picked to do anything. I hope, as athletic director at the University of Arkansas, you put a stop to this childish behavior, and please, I beg you, before you make a decision to hire a coordinator on either side of the ball, please make sure that coach has left his high school whistle, letter jacket, championship ring, and resume at home. This is the SEC, and this is where the big boys play. Gus was not ready mentally, physically, nor it appears, emotionally.

Sincerely,

Teresa
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Re: Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

Postby admin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:43 pm

Mustain Starts Over at USC
by Kelly Whiteside
by USA Today
May 28, 2007

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Mitch Mustain sounds every bit of the 1,500 miles from home these days. After transferring to Southern California following a tumultuous time at Arkansas, Mustain is asked how much he's looking forward to starting over.

"A ton," he says over the phone.

Mustain went 8-0 as a freshman starter but ended the year as the backup quarterback. In December, Mustain was the target of a vicious e-mail sent by a Razorbacks fan, a friend of coach Houston Nutt's family. Last month, another Arkansas fan filed a lawsuit against two university officials because the fan felt the university did not properly investigate the e-mail sent to Mustain.

Mustain decided to transfer because "I felt it was in my best interest to move away," he says. In 2005, Mustain was the consensus national player of the year after leading Springdale (Ark.) High to a state championship. Though he wavered on his commitment to Arkansas, he signed after his high school coach, Gus Malzahn, was hired as the Razorbacks offensive coordinator.

Given all the controversy, Arkansas' run-oriented offense and Malzahn's decision to take a job at Tulsa, Mustain asked for his release. "I tried to convince him to stay through the spring (with the team)," Nutt says. "I think he thought about it, but, really, deep down inside, his mother wanted him to leave."

"That's interesting," says Mustain's mother, Beck Campbell, an Arkansas graduate, when told of Nutt's comment. "Mitchell would have been a fourth-generation graduate. We did everything thing in our power to keep him here."

Campbell declined to discuss the details of the difficult times at Arkansas but says when her son told her he was leaving, she cried all day. "He felt he didn't have a choice," she says.

Mustain says he contacted USC and Tulsa. "I didn't want to be recruited again," he says. He remained at Arkansas for spring-semester classes and says he didn't face any overt criticism on campus. He's now attending summer school at USC and will have three seasons of eligibility after sitting out the 2007 season.

"I miss him already," Campbell said before flying to Los Angeles to visit him this past weekend. She says she also will miss cooking the four pot roasts or three pans of lasagna on Monday nights when Mustain and some teammates regularly came over for dinner. "Sometimes you go through adversity to get where you need to be," Campbell says. "Now he's where he's supposed to be."

Even if it's far from home.

-- Kelly Whiteside
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Re: Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

Postby admin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:46 pm

Turmoil Leaves Arkansas Far From Hog Heaven
by Kelly Whiteside
by USA Today
May 28, 2007

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Sitting in a chair with a portrait of his family on the wall to his right and a wild hog head mounted on the wall to his left, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is trying to make sense of the turmoil that has affected his family and the Razorbacks family during the last six months.

"To me this is way overboard," Nutt says during an interview in his office last week. Arkansas fans are among the nation's most passionate, as Nutt, one of their own, surely knows. But what happens when some fans investigate coaches and school officials, and one files a lawsuit to force action from those officials?

Several fans used the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act to obtain records of Nutt's university-issued cellphone. Ensuing chatter on the Internet and message boards resulted in that information becoming the basis for news reports about Nutt's personal life.

Another fan, John David Terry, filed a lawsuit against Fayetteville campus chancellor John A. White and university system President B. Alan Sugg because he felt the school didn't properly investigate a derogatory e-mail sent in December by Teresa Prewett, a Nutt family friend, to then-Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain. Sugg and White have asked that the suit be dismissed with prejudice and they be awarded their legal expenses.

A response to the university's motion to dismiss will be filed today, says Terry's lawyer, Eddie Christian Jr. A state circuit court judge will consider the motion to dismiss at a hearing Monday.

"There are people all over the country scratching their heads wondering, 'What in the world is going on at Arkansas?' " says White, a native Arkansan. "My goodness, it's hard for me to understand."

It would be hard to understand even if the Razorbacks had struggled last season. Instead, the team won 10 games for the first time since 1989. Their four losses, including the final three games of the year, were to teams ranked in the top five in the season's final poll. They won the Southeastern Conference Western Division title. Nutt was named SEC coach of the year. Running back Darren McFadden was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and is a leading Heisman hopeful entering the fall.

The e-mail sent to Mustain by Prewett in early December was part of an environment that Mustain chose to leave. He and wide receiver Damian Williams, also a teammate at nearby Springdale High School, have transferred to Southern California. Their coach at Springdale, Gus Malzahn, who had become Arkansas' offensive coordinator after Mustain's and Williams' senior season, has resigned and taken a similar job at Tulsa.

Athletics director Frank Broyles, 82, the most influential figure in Arkansas sports history, announced in February that he will retire in December at the end of his 50th year at the university. Nutt and White say Broyles' decision was influenced by the stress of the last few months; Broyles downplays its impact on his decision.

Amid the football saga, Broyles fired men's basketball coach Stan Heath in late March, just after the team lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Unable to land his top candidates, Broyles hired Creighton coach Dana Altman, who then changed his mind the next day and returned to Omaha. (Less than a week later, Arkansas hired John Pelphrey away from South Alabama.)

These days, Freedom-of-Infomania is all the rage in Fayetteville. The university has received so many FOI requests in recent months, White says, it has had to hire an additional attorney. Even Altman's cellphone records were requested, athletics department spokesman Kevin Trainor says. But, given Altman's brief stay, Trainor says, that phone was never taken out of the box.

Fans and reporters are not the only ones requesting information. Mustain also submitted an FOI request, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The quarterback asked for phone records for Houston Nutt; Danny Nutt, the running backs coach and head coach's brother; and Broyles.

"It's a feeding frenzy out there," says White, who is trying to conduct a search for an athletics director amid this environment. White is handling the search himself. He says he is putting nothing in writing and is not using his university cellphone.

"Some individuals who have declined interest (in the AD job), they didn't state that (the turmoil) was the reason, but then they'd say, 'By the way, what in the world is going on?' So I'd have to conclude it was on their mind," he says.

'More on guard now'

The SEC's annual spring meetings begin today in Destin, Fla., and Nutt says he may address the level of unprecedented scrutiny with his fellow coaches. "I think everyone's going to be a little bit more on guard now," he says. "I think that's what you'll see nationwide."

According to the Democrat-Gazette, Nutt exchanged more than 1,000 text messages with the cellphone of Donna Bragg, a television news anchor in Arkansas, from Nov. 30 to Jan. 11, including one of 19 minutes before the start of the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1. Nutt wrote an open letter to fans, saying there was nothing inappropriate about his relationship with Bragg.

Nutt says the two are friends and that wrong conclusions have been drawn from the volume of text messages. He says many of those text messages were simply one- and two-word responses to questions. During the six-week period being analyzed, Nutt says, a close friend of Bragg's had been diagnosed with cancer and Nutt, who has had family members with cancer, was helping Bragg's friend get treatment. He also says some of the messages he exchanged with Bragg concerned the charity work both are involved with.

Terry's lawsuit revolves around the e-mail Prewett sent to Mustain. According to excerpts included in the complaint, Prewett wrote, "Competition scares the s(—-) out of you, doesn't it little boy? Please transfer. All you've been since you walked onto campus is a cancer. … Why is it that you came to Arkansas again? Was it so your mommie could be close by to change your diaper, or was it because you thought having (Malzahn) on the sideline would make playing in the SEC easier?"

Prewett sent the e-mail in December after a book was published about Springdale High's 2005 state title season in which Mustain, USA TODAY's national high school offensive player of the year, said he'd be more likely to attend Arkansas if Nutt was fired. (In fall 2005, Arkansas was enduring a second consecutive losing season.)

Mustain started eight games for Arkansas in 2006, and the Razorbacks won them all, but he finished the season as Casey Dick's backup. In December, the parents of three freshmen from Springdale High, including Mustain and Williams, met with Broyles. They had believed Nutt would run more of Malzahn's spread offense from high school and questioned the direction of the offense, which was run-oriented.

The lawsuit was filed last month after a group of fans who had been "watching and monitoring the situation and were extremely upset," says Christian, Terry's lawyer. Christian and Terry are Arkansas graduates. Christian says he's a season ticketholder and Terry has been one in the past. According to Christian, the group felt the e-mail to Mustain was being "swept under the rug." Nutt formally reprimanded Prewett and barred her from the sideline during games.

Christian asked Mustain's mother, Beck Campbell, to provide the e-mail exchanges she had with White during the incident. Now Campbell and Mustain say their main goal is to move on and focus on USC.

Christian describes the suit as "taxpayer action" and argues taxpayer money was wasted because White failed to do his job. The suit wants White to order a "good faith, full, complete and independent" investigation into the e-mail sent to Mustain. It also seeks an injunction to stop Sugg from paying White, who it alleges is in breach of his contract. It also seeks an injunction to stop White from paying any member of the football coaching staff "who are failing, or have failed, to carry out their mandatory contractual obligations."

"This is not about football," Christian says. "It's about how you treat a student athlete."

In White's and Sugg's motion to dismiss, their lawyers contend "at the end of the day, Plaintiff simply does not like the way White, Nutt or anybody else is doing his job or that they are getting paid to do it. … The place to file a complaint about that is with the op-ed pages and call-in shows, not in a court of law."

Nutt's ordeal

Nutt, 49, is entering his 10th season at Arkansas and is under contract through the 2012 season. Among SEC coaches, only Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer, entering his 16th season, has been in his job longer. Nutt says 26 SEC coaches have come and gone in his time at Arkansas. Nutt won't be added to that list anytime soon, White says. "I'm a solid, solid supporter of Houston Nutt," the chancellor says.

In 2004, Nutt entertained a lucrative job offer from Nebraska. His flirtation with Nebraska, followed by losing seasons in 2004 and 2005, didn't sit well with some fans. Then when Mustain, Williams and Malzahn left Arkansas, the unrest intensified.

Broyles says he can see the physical effect the last few months have had on Nutt. "He's aged. It's aged him because he's been hurt. He's a native Arkansan. He played here, coached here as an assistant coach, came back with the idea of coming home," Broyles says.

Nutt says: "What was hard was the children in school, the gossip (about his marriage). I have three in high school. They can be cruel at that age, so that was the tough thing." Nutt and his wife, Diana, told their children what to expect. "If you don't have a strong family, people can disrupt your family and break it up," he says.

Nutt says the experience has made him more determined to succeed. "The most important thing I can do is get lost in my immediate family and the family that I have here," he says, motioning to the field just outside his office window.

White and Broyles contend those who want Nutt fired are a vocal minority. Christian disagrees. "The discontent is very widespread," he says. "They would have you think there's a little negativity out there. I perceive it as vast."

School officials say renewals for season tickets are about 20% ahead of where they were at this time last year and that every Razorback Club event Nutt attends is filled.

"That group is not going to push us out," Nutt says. "That makes you feel good, but it makes you want to work a little bit harder. It makes you want to get with the players a little bit more and have them prepared during two-a-days. It's hard to explain the fire right now."

Though the controversy has overshadowed their fine 2006 season, Arkansas players say it hasn't been a distraction. "For us, it hasn't been difficult," McFadden says. "For Coach Nutt, I feel like it's outrageous and crazy for anyone to have to put their family through things like that. He knows we support him, the whole team."

Running back Felix Jones says he takes the criticism of Nutt personally. "I just feel like when you're attacking him, you're attacking us as well," the running back says. Still, Jones doesn't expect the controversy to wane anytime soon because Arkansas football is the state's full-time obsession.

"It's been the best of times, and it's been the worst of times," says White, borrowing the line from Charles Dickens. "How in the world would they have ever reacted if we won only seven or eight games?"
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Re: Table For One: A Day of Infamy, by Grady Jim Robinson

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The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain
directed by Matthew Wolfe
May 18, 2013
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