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Sam Pittman describes his reaction to Hunter Yurachek telling him he’s not being fired

After defeating FIU 44-20 on Saturday, Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek strolled into the Razorbacks’ locker room with a message: head coach Sam Pittman is here to stay. On Monday, Pittman recapped the moment and described its impact.

“There was a lot of emotion in the room,” Pittman said. “I didn’t know it, but he wanted to address the team right before we finished with the [postgame] conversation and it was really cool because of the kids. They went off. I don’t ever want to get in that situation, but it was a special moment to be a part of.”

Arkansas’ emotion is understandable. The team is 4-7 and will not participate in a bowl game for the first time since 2020. After Arkansas’ 7-3 loss to Mississippi State in Week 8, the program fired first-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos.

Many speculated Pittman would be next in line. Nonetheless, Yurachek has backed the 61-year-old head coach at every turn. Pittman is thankful for his constant support and understands the stakes that come with his position.

“When you sign up for the SEC, you have to win,” Pittman said. “If you don’t, there’s opportunities for you to be unemployed. That’s just how it is. That’s what we sign up for. I look at this as an opportunity for us to change our team. Keep the ones that are good players for us and good kids.

“Financially, we’re going to have the money from the NIL to do that. When all that happens, I think we can field a really, really good football team. I’m excited about obviously Saturday, but I’m really excited about the future.”

Hunter Yurachek releases statement on Sam Pittman

While the players heard Yurachek vouch for Pittman, fans did not. Thus, Yurachek released a statement to let his position be clear.

“Our team was extremely excited last night after the game when I informed them that Coach Pittman is our head coach and will be moving forward into the 2024 season,” Yurachek wrote. “This has not been the season any of us anticipated.

“We have work to do. I am confident that together, we can meet the goals and expectations of our program. I want to thank the many Razorback fans who have supported our team this season. 1 look forward to honoring our seniors and cheering on this team on Friday as we take on Missouri.”

On Saturday, Arkansas will go head-to-head against No. 10 Missouri at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

Arkansas LB Chris Paul Jr. plans to enter Transfer Portal

Arkansas linebacker Chris “Pooh” Paul Jr. announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal Monday afternoon.

The 6’2 230 linebacker will have 2 years of eligibility remaining. Paul was named a Freshman All-American, a Butkus Award Watch List Nominee, and was named First-Team All SEC.

Transfer portal background information

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

He currently does not have an On3 NIL Valuation publicly listed. The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets high school and college athletes’ projected annual value (PAV). The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete’s value at a certain moment in time.

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