Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Fired Texas coach didn't have a chance to win this one
Chris Beard, then the head coach of the University of Texas basketball team, talks to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Austin, Texas, in this Dec. 10, 2022 file photo. (AP/Eric Gay)
Chris Beard was never returning.
It may have taken almost a month, but when he was arrested for choking his fiancee, there was only one option for the University of Texas, and that was for the school’s attorneys to do the paperwork.
When UT put him on unpaid administrative leave, its intent was clear.
His fiancee, Randi Trew, told police the night of the incident that Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.”
She told police that night that Beard choked her for about five seconds. Later, she said Beard’s actions were in self-defense and that he didn’t choke her, although the police report included pictures of her injuries.
Reportedly, she slapped him during an argument.
Texas put out a statement that the firing was for cause, so Beard’s contract would not be paid, which means he loses a $35 million buy-out.
There is never a good reason for a man to use physical force on a female.
In Beard’s one season at UALR, there was no indication of that type of behavior, and he was well-liked. The man can flat out coach, but assaulting anyone is not acceptable behavior.
The 49-year-old Beard was 29-13 at Texas, 112-55 at Texas Tech — where he led the Red Raiders to the Final Four — and was 30-5 at UALR. Overall, he was 237-98 as a head coach, and now he leaves UT the way his mentor Bob Knight did at Indiana, under a cloud.
He left Texas with one option. The Longhorns used it Thursday.
There is a reason Missouri was letting the Arkansas Razorbacks shoot threes in the first half Wednesday night.
As a team, that isn’t their strength.
Opponents are going to throw a lot of zone defense at Arkansas, especially without Nick Smith, who can create a lot of different ways to score.
Eric Musselman realized quickly what was happening and put true freshman and Morrilton native Joseph Pinion in the game. Pinion is a gifted shooter and scored 13 points, hitting 3 of 6 three-pointers, as Arkansas won 74-68.
The thing about these Razorbacks, who outscored the Tigers 47-34 in the second half, is someone always seems ready to step up. One night it might be Ricky Council, another it might be Jordan Walsh or Anthony Black.
In the first half, Arkansas was 2 of 12 from behind the arc, but in the second half they were 4 of 9. They attacked the goal more, went for higher percentage shots and played better defensively.
It was a little surprising, but not shocking, that Bobby Petrino was at Las Vegas as Barry Odom’s offensive coordinator for less than a month before jumping to the same position with Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.
Most likely, the former Arkansas and Louisville head coach, who was last at Missouri State, will be making more with the Aggies than Odom makes as head coach for the Rebels.
This is just one man’s opinion, but it is hard to see Petrino as an assistant.
He hasn’t been an assistant for more than 20 years, and he’s accustomed to doing things his way when, where and how he wants.
Petrino has a great football mind and will give a lot of SEC defensive coordinators nightmares. He also has an eye for detail.
This is his 21st move as a coach in 40 years.
Petrino left Arkansas under a cloud, but came back to the Little Rock Touchdown Club and apologized for embarrassing his family, the school and its great fans.
He has been gone from the UA for more than a decade, and it’s time someone got his picture in a neck brace off the internet.
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