SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — With the losses piling up for the Razorback football team, fans are looking where to place the blame, and Chad Morris is already catching heat. Sports radio hosts in Northwest Arkansas have seen an increase in people calling for a change at the helm, and the athletic department will have to think about finances when considering that change.
Those who tune into local sports radio shows these days hear a lot of the same thing.
“A lot of callers are calling in about making a coaching change, whether that’s the head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator,” said Lee Shannon, a co-host for the “Average Bros.”, a show on ESPN 99.5 based in Springdale.
Razorback fans overwhelmingly call in to say there needs to be a change at the top only a year and six games into Morris’ tenure.
“I would say at high as 70-75% think it’s time for a change,” said Nathan Sadler, also an “Average Bros.” co-host. “Chad Morris has never beat a Power 5 team in his career as a head football coach. That’s a problem.”
But if Morris is fired, it’ll cost the UofA, which is already paying former coach Bret Bielema $320,000 every month until the end of 2020. Morris signed a six-year, $21 million contract in 2017. If he’s fired without cause before January 2023, he’ll be owed 70% of his remaining salary.
Should a change happen this fall, Morris would be owed nearly $10 million.
“You’ve got a frustrated fan base in the sense that we’re not winning games, and whose head needs to roll?” Shannon said.
Arkansas’ upcoming schedule is brutal, so a win over a team like Auburn might turn the tide pretty quickly. But a loss to teams like Western Kentucky or Mississippi State later in the season could be devastating to Morris, who’s already drawing ire from many fans.