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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

  • RP57
    November 26, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.

    Every negative comment supports the opinon (stated by Wally) that JCP is incapable of making a quality head coaching hire. After Nutt, JLS, and BB, I'm more than willing to give her a shot. I can't imagine her doing worse.

  • NoUserName
    November 26, 2017 at 3:41 p.m.

    Her one hire was worse. Did you even bother to read the article? She said the decision to fire BB was made after the Missouri game. But the press conference was already scheduled. And she had to have made the decision in like 3 seconds. And plenty of people think the way BB was fired so quick after the end of the game was poor. Fact is, she is off to a bad start. And it's ridiculous to have to preface that with 'the same would be said if she were a man' just to placate people like you.

  • DEE672
    November 26, 2017 at 4:04 p.m.

    More stunning news for the 1950's boys: 32 of the top 500 companies have women as Chief Executive Officers. Good grief , the sky is falling. Get used to it.

  • BoSoxfan
    November 26, 2017 at 4:31 p.m.

    She didn't exactly say what Wally says she did. She said she thought a coach could be hired prior to having a permanent AD in place and she was currently the AD. That is true.
    She said she would be on point in the search for a coach, in consultation with people who knew and understood Razorback football. She said there would be no FORMAL committee.
    Any one who thinks she is hiring a coach all on her own - heard what they wanted to hear, not what she said. She was asked if she had the authority to hire a coach and she said yes. Doesn't mean she will and she never indicated she would be flying solo.

  • Hogfanatic
    November 26, 2017 at 4:35 p.m.

    Mr. Hall,

    You nailed it today. You actually voiced what the vast majority of razorback fans and arkansas alumni feel--thank you!!!!!

  • Packman
    November 26, 2017 at 6:49 p.m.

    Thanks Wally! Hopefully this will generate enough calls to Trustees to stop whatever bullsh*t game Steinmetz and Cromer are playing. It's preposterous for an acting AD without a search committee to make/recommend this hire. Thanks again Mr. Hall for using your forum to expose this pure nonsense before it's too late.
    Hey RP and DEE - Seriously? You two want to play the sexist/misogynist cards? AYFKM? Did it ever occur to you that by making such silly statements YOU are being patently sexist? Good grief. Get your pink pussy has out of a wad and get over yourselves. This has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with best practices.

  • Swineboy
    November 26, 2017 at 8:08 p.m.

    I though it was terrible the way they fired the coach. there were some close games ,if he had won he probably would still be coach.I hope we get a coach who can stick around 20 years or so. Go Hogs WPS

  • Delta2
    November 26, 2017 at 8:28 p.m.

    Swineboy, 20 years or so? Are you really that simple and outdated? You'd better get back to your little shack up there in the holler.

  • GeneralMac
    November 26, 2017 at 9:42 p.m.

    If someone comes across as arrogant with an ....."interim"{.......title in front of their job, imagine what they would be like if that ..."intetrim '.....title was removed and they got the AD job.

    Quit playing the sexist card Dee.

    Same old, same old
    Day in, day out

  • RP57
    November 27, 2017 at 5:03 a.m.

    Hey Packman-can’t speak for Dee but I’m a guy. But thanks for proving the point. Firing Bielema falls under the heading of best practices given the embarrassment he had turned the program into. The last time we used a committee we got Houston Nutt. Still waiting for someone to give specifics about what in JCP’s background disqualifies her from making the hire. Doubt I’ll get an answer to that question.