LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Auburn defeated Arkansas at home 48 to 10 on Saturday, putting the head Hog on the hot seat in the eyes of some fans.
The Razorbacks are currently 3-7, putting them at the bottom of the SEC West which isn’t a place fans are used to being under Head Coach Sam Pittman.
In the 2021-2022, Sam Pittman coached the Hogs to a 9-4 season. In the 2022-2023, the team was 7-6, and they won bowl games both years.
After losing by 38 points Saturday, and facing a 3-7 record, some fans, like Jeff Halpern, are saying there needs to be a change.
“That’s embarrassing. It’s beyond embarrassing,” Halpern said. “I think you have to make the coaching change.”
Supporters, like Jason Houk, say this year shouldn’t be the last of a coach who has been popular with fans.
“The NIL and the portal have changed the whole dynamic on who is got to go where and how they are doing it, and that’s got to be really tough on coaches,” Houk said.
The two previous head coaches who were fired, Bret Bielema and Chad Morris, received a combined $18 million in severance. If the recently fired former Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos is accounted for, more than $20 million will be paid to coaches who were told to leave.
Those against Pittman argue if the Razorbacks can’t put together a consistent eight or nine wins a season, the recruiting will only get worse, and that cost may be even to swallow than a buyout’s cost.
“I think Arkansas is a program that can have success, but you have to hit on having the right coach in there,” Halpern said.
Coach Pittman’s contract was extended last year and runs through December 2026. He is earning at least $6 million per season, so it would cost another eight-digit figure if he was let go before the end of the year without cause.
“I think I’d stick with him,” Houk said. “It’s college sports and a lot of time they don’t have a lot of patience or tolerance for a bad season.”