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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Cromer Peoples, interim athletic director for the University of Arkansas, talks about the decision to fire Arkansas coach Bret Bielema following a Razorbacks NCAA college football game against Missouri, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods) ( Associated Press )

When it comes to athletics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Chancellor Joe Steinmetz is arrogant, oblivioius or doesn't realize he is not at Ohio State University anymore.

Coaches line up to work at Ohio State.

At Arkansas, coaches have to be recruited, properly vetted and passionate about all things Razorbacks. And it didn't get easier with the way the UA treated Bret Bielema.

Transparency with the Razorback Nation is a must.

Friday night at a news conference, interim athletic director Julie Cromer Peoples said she made the decision to fire Bret Bielema after consulting with Steinmetz. She claimed the decision wasn't made until after the loss to Missouri, and it was done immediately so the players who were about to scatter all over the region wouldn't find out through a phone call or social media post.

Bielema had just finished the postgame prayer when he was summoned out of the locker room and fired. Needless to say, it was a shameful way to treat a coach and the national media ripped the UA for hours.

Bielema deserved better because he did nothing to embarrass the UA, which couldn't wait 12 hours to fire him.

As for the players, it is highly doubtful they were going anywhere. The Thanksgiving holiday was half over, and they have classes Monday.

The news conference in Barnhill Arena had been set up hours before Cromer Peoples appeared at 7:42 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. meeting with the media.

It was as self-serving of a news conference as experienced in 38 years of writing columns about the Razorbacks.

This column has nothing to do with gender, just what Cromer Peoples said. If a guy had made the same statements a couple of hours after the football coach was fired, the exact same column would have been written. Any person who seems to have an agenda deserves scrutiny.

Not only did she take credit for firing Bielema but she also said she would be on the point for hiring the next head coach; that it wasn't important to have an athletic director, although the UA did with her; that she had a vast network she would consult with; and there would be NO search committee.

That last statement was questioned not once, not twice but three times by the media, maybe more by the board of trustees.

Apparently Cromer Peoples thinks the AD job is important enough to have an advisory committee and the head coaching job isn't, which is a totally alien way of thinking in the world of college football.

Football fans don't spend money and gather 72,000 strong to watch an AD operate, but they do to see a coach win, which is why Bielema was fired -- he didn't win enough games.

Cromer Peoples said she had experience in coaching searches, citing the fact she was on the search committee at Indiana when it hired Kevin Wilson.

Indiana is a basketball school and a football dumpster fire, and Wilson resigned in December after claims of player abuse. He had a 26-47 overall record and 17-37 mark in the Big Ten.

Friday night's well-planned news conference -- her opening statement truly was brilliant with five references to Bielema, four times she used "I" and 10 times "our" or "we" -- made it seem that Steinmetz has performed a campuswide search for an AD and settled on Cromer Peoples.

It was the impression she left with several well-respected journalists.

Educated doesn't always mean smart about all things, and what Cromer Peoples and Steinmetz need to understand is the Arkansas Razorbacks do not belong to them. They are not a toy. They are a program that belongs to the Razorback Nation.

Sports on 11/26/2017

Print Headline: Steinmetz, Cromer Peoples causes for concern


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Archived Comments

  • arkateacher54
    November 26, 2017 at 5:41 a.m.

    OK Wally now you got me worried. You think she actually MEANT all that BS? Surely the UA is not going to let some little girl from down the hall and a dadgum Yankee hire our next football coach. Please God say it ain't so. We've had enough outsiders ruining the program for years all ready. Board of Trustees, somebody intervene quickly!

  • JA40
    November 26, 2017 at 7 a.m.

    Her comments have definitely bothered me. I'm 73, and a 60 year supporter of Razorbacks, and this doesn't seem positive for fans. I hope the BOT does something quickly. This lady may have three masters degrees and a 4 point, but she's out of her league.

  • Maumellehog59
    November 26, 2017 at 7:36 a.m.

    Thank you for saying what many of us are thinking. Since they seem to be in firing mode on the hill I’d like to include both Steinmetz and Peoples.

  • WGT
    November 26, 2017 at 7:51 a.m.

    Peoples and Steinmetz have no integrity. Arrogant, ego ridden boors.
    Mr. Hall,
    Thank you. Your respect and readership is large and reaching. Excellent job,sir.

  • RP57
    November 26, 2017 at 8:06 a.m.

    I'm a 50 year supporter of the Hogs and if you're more concerned with the way Bielema was fired than what an embarrassment he had turned our program into you might want to take a second look at your priorities. Until two weeks ago nobody had heard the names Steinmetz and Cromer Peoples but suddenly they're not qualified to do their job. I'm behind them 100%. The way Bielema was let go will have no effect on finding a replacement; any coach worth hiring understands they are highly paid to win games and if they don't they're gone. And give me a break about a new coach having to "understand what it means to coach the Razorbacks". The best Razorback coach in modern history came to us without being recruited and knew next to nothing about "what it means to be a Razorback".

  • drs01
    November 26, 2017 at 8:48 a.m.

    I believe neither she or Steinmetz are capable of doing the job facing the UofA. Steinmetz didn't effectively manage Jeff Long. There was more to his dismissal than just a losing football program. The Board finally got his attention on that. Now Steinmetz is giving wonder woman the authority to make a fool of herself with bold statements that she can handle the task of finding a coach. No help needed.
    What a joke.

  • rgh48
    November 26, 2017 at 9:12 a.m.

    I believe that both Steinmetz and Cromer Peoples will further alienate an already fragile fan base. She sure didn't do herself any favors with the trumped up rehearsed press conference.

  • RP57
    November 26, 2017 at 9:17 a.m.

    Where was all this outrage when Long gave Bielema the undeserved extension/buyout increase after the 2015 season? Steinmetz and JCP would be hard pressed to do worse than that. And specifically what in their past experience makes everyone so sure they're not qualified to do the job?

  • tpinter63comcastnet
    November 26, 2017 at 9:20 a.m.

    Has anyone of authority (above Cromer Peoples) -- U of A System President, B of T, etc. had anything to say about her press conference and self-assigned duties to do the Coaching job search on her own? I have not seen anything. Maybe the perception is the she is making decisions, but in reality is only a puppet for B of T ? I sure hope so... She is hardly what we need for an A.D. -- I guess its her 15 minutes of fame.

  • Toehead01
    November 26, 2017 at 9:21 a.m.

    Thank you once again Wally. I've been a Razorback fan for 60 years. I agree the two people that are controlling our sports now do not or will never know how we feel about our Razorbaacks. They are one of the few teams in the United States that have the whole state cheering them on. So you see, its important that we have someone that feels the same way. I for one think Bill Montgomery would make an excellent Athletic Director. I know Frank Broyles had a lot or respect for him. He would definitely know how we Arkansans feel about our beloved Hogs. Once again thank you for your article this morning.