Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Pittman: 'I don't think I'm getting fired'
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman is shown during a game against Florida International on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Following his team's 44-20 victory over Florida International on Saturday, Sam Pittman expressed confidence he will return as Arkansas' football coach in 2024.
"I don't think I'm getting fired, guys, or [Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek] would've told me I'm getting fired," Pittman said. "So I'm not for sure why I have to answer these questions about getting fired or not."
Pittman's comments came after he was asked about comments made on the ESPNU game broadcast regarding his job security.
ESPNU analyst Rod Gilmore on at least two occasions referenced a conversation Friday with Pittman.
"It’s been a disappointing season and there have been a lot of reports about Sam Pittman being fired at the end of the season or during the season," Gilmore said near the top of the broadcast. "We talked to him yesterday and he said, ‘I am not being fired this year.’ He said he had a two-hour meeting with his athletic director on Sunday and all is good. They haven’t forgotten what he has done with this program."
Later, with the Razorbacks leading FIU 38-20 in the third quarter, Gilmore referenced the same conversation.
"A lot of talk over the last week about Sam Pittman and whether his job was in jeopardy, a lot of discussion about the need for the team to finish strong," Gilmore said. "Sam Pittman heard it all, met with with his AD last Sunday for two hours and told us yesterday, ‘I am not being fired this year.’"
Pittman said he did not remember making those comments to the broadcast crew. Coaches typically speak with the TV commentators and production crew the day before each game.
Pittman said the talk of him being fired hurts the Razorbacks (4-7) in recruiting, "especially when we fabricate stories and put it out, it kills us in recruiting."
“We’ll kill recruiting if we keep talking about it," he added. "If you’re an Arkansas fan, it’s going to hurt us. Opinions, media has become opinions, so I wish we’d post the facts, and whatever the facts are we can deal with it.”
With the victory over FIU, Pittman improved his four-year record at Arkansas to 23-24. He is under contract through the 2027 season.
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