Another Ryan Mallet Story, K.J. & the Heisman & Is The NCAA About to Crack Down on NIL Violations?

By Mike Irwin
on 2023-07-03 16:32 PM

Q. WVHogfan says: My favorite Ryan Mallet’s play was the touchdown pass against LSU right before halftime. But my favorite Ryan moment came during warm-ups before an Ole Miss game….

…..Ole Miss punted the ball and the ball landed on Arkansas’ side of the field next to Ryan Mallet. Instead of tossing the ball back to Ole Miss, he chunked it halfway up the student section.

A. That was Ryan Mallett with his game face on. He was actually an upbeat guy to be around away from football. But he was all fire and nails when it came time to play the game. I think he took it a little too personal when Arkansas lost but that was the competitor in him. I also htink that may have been why he was so happy as a coach. football was no longer about him if was about those guys on the field that he was coaching and by all accounts he was a lot more forgiving of his players than he was of himself as a player.

Q. Dr. Strangepork wants to know: With the sad news of Ryan’s passing. Do you have a favorite story about him as the QB?

A. Like most of Arlkansas players and fans he was really bummed out over the 2009 loss to Florida in Gainesville. The score was 23-20 and there’s no question that the officials gave that game to Florida. It ewas so bad that the entire crew was suspended the next week. There was a reporter in the Arkansas sports media from Florida and that reporter would wear a Flordia hat to practice and to press confrences.

The week after the Florida game that reporter was interviewing Mallett and started teasing him about the game. I guess it was spossed ot be funny. Mallett was in no m od for that and he told his head coach right after that that he would never again agree to an interview with hat reporter.

The next time that reporter showed up at a press conference and asked a question Petrino told said that he would not answer any more questions from her until she got rid of that Gators hat. I think we all agreed that showing up as a member of the media wearing a team hat of any kind was unprofessional.

The thing is, she had worn that hard before and Petrino didn’t say anything. I think what he did in that press conference was his way of saying, you’re not gonna mess with my quarterback.
They had a very good relationship.

Q. RazorAlex88 says: I’m happy for Alyssa on her award! Well-deserved!

A. I agree. We’re all very proud of her. She runs the Pigtrail Nation these days and his was quite an honor. A national organization, the National Sports Media Association handed out these awards. They went to the best sportscaster in every state. Clearly she caught their attention.

Q. JJHog asks: Are these rumors of millions of dollars for NIL deals inflated or are they true? What does a guy like Devo or KJ Jefferson command? Is 100k a year common place ?

A. It’s not official, because NIL deals don’t have to be made public, On3, a sports website, issues NIL updates every week. According to them Rocket Sanders has the best NIL deal at Arkansas. His is currently worth $750,000. KJ Jefferson is listed at $436,000. Those numbers are higher at some schools. Angel Reese for instance, the star on their national championship womens basketball team, supposedly has an NIL deal in the range of $1.4 to 1.6 million.

That’s crazy money,

Q. Eddy Lynn asks: Does Arkansas lose many players because of NIL? I’ve heard there’s kind of a limit to how high they can go compared to schools like A&M, LSU & Tennessee:

A. Again, there’s no way to know for sure but I hear rumors. One I heard recently involved a transfer who came in, toured Arkansas facilities, as knocked out by what he saw. Bascially told the coches that he was coming. He just had to make one more visit but not to worry because he wasn’t going to that school. He ended up going to that school supposedly because they offered more NIL money than Arkansas.

So how often does this happen? I really don’t know but I was told by a coach in a certain sport that there are still athletes out that pick a school for more reasons than NIL money. It’s a factor with this but not the bottom line.

Mousetown wants to know: Is it true that the NCAA is actually gonna start cracking down on NIL rules violators? Sound awesome. But what about lawsuits?

A. Charlie Baker, the new president of the NCAA, says they’re going to start enforcing the rule that a specific NIL deal cannot be offered or discussed until AFTER an athlete sign with a school. In words, you can not use NIL money in the recruiting process other than to mention that there are options available for discussion once they sign.
A couple of years ago the state of Tennessee state legislature passed a law allowing NIL money o be paid to high school athletes it opened the door for it to happen in every state ujnder the throry that NCAA rles can’t trump state law.

But Baker says there is legal precident for ther NCAA to create rules for its member instituitonsto follow. It happened to Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV. The NCCA slapped him with sanctions for a rules vilolation. The State of Nevada passed a law making wht he did legal. BUt the counrt ended up ruling that it wasn’t about the law. It was about an organization right to create rules for membership. You can be sanctioned or removed from the orgainization because you violated its agreed upon rules by the members.

Baker says the NCAA is going to start cracking down on schools or coaches who offer athletes NIL deals before they sign. He also says go ahead and sue us. We’ll win.

Q. Marty Byrde’s proxy asks: Can you recount the Sunday Adebayo saga? Wasn’t the basketball program eventually cleared of any wrongdoing?

A. Adebayo and teammate Jesse Pate took a summer school course at UA-Ft. Smith which they needed to be eligible that next school year. They had not received any notice from the school they the two had passed the course by the time practices started in early October.

Nolan Richardson went to the athletic department’s NCAA compliance advisor to see what could be done to find out. He got a hold of their professor in that course was told that both players had passed the course he just had not posted the final grades yet.

So the compliance advisor old Nolan they Pate and Adebayo could start practicing. Later the NCAA came around checking on another matter and found out about those guys practicing and thge NCAA ruled that they had viloated the rules and order them to transfer to other schools to punish Arkansas.

It took over a year but the NAA finally came back and admitted that it made a mistake and allowed Adebayo to transfer back and gave him an extra season of eligibility. Pate was out of luck. He dropped out of school with that original ruling and neveer came back to college.

Q: WizardofhOgZ says: It’s been reported that some NCAA “Modernization of Rules Subcommittee” is considering a rule under which playing pro basketball for a certain period of time…….

…….wouldn’t disallow players from coming back and playing college basketball. Can you ask Coach Muss his thoughts on that concept, and share his response with us?

A. That’s not exactly what is being studied. If passed the rule would allow players who declared for the draft and remained in the draft after the deadline to withdraw but were no drafted to come back to school.

We can’t just pickup he phone and call Muss. We can ask him about that proposal at his next press conference. I can tell you what I think about it. If I were a coach I would be aganst it because if there’s a plyers who’s borderline in the draft and he stays in the draft all the way untril the draft would do I do about replacing him? So I wait to see and then he gets drafted and I have to scramble ot replace him. The cutoff deadline for withdrawing from the draft was put in for a reason. To allow coaches to start looking for a replacement for that scholarship as soon as the deadline has passed and they player in question is still in the draft pool.

So personally such a rule would give the player more options but the coaches would be hurt by it.

Q. Charley Scott asks: What’s your take on ESPN firing multiple on air hosts and analysts? They are really cleaning house. Are you going to stop watching? I might.

A. I watch ESPN to watch games. I don’t care about what I call the talking heads. Far too may of them mix politics into their work and I’m against that. ESPN plus is he best thing that come along in a long time with regard to watching games on TV in multiple sports. But the Disney owned company has been losing subscribers at a time when it needs more revenue to pay for the TV rights it needs to televise all these games.

So they’re unloading some on air talent to try to stay in the black. I’m fine with that. I don’t watch SportsCenter or these sports debate shows and I usually turn the sound down when watching games. I won’t miss any of these people.

If you liked them I’m sorry it came to this but ESPN has no one to blame for this but itself.

Q. Pigsfeat asks: Do you think KJ really has a chance of winning the Heisman Trophy? What would have to happen?

A. Its going to be difficult. Not only would KJ need to have an incredible season but Arkansas would probably need to win the SEC championship game and get into the national championship game.
A sizable chunk of the Heisman electors, those who vote, work for ESPN. Arkansas is nor on their radar screed. For the same reason that ESPN’s College Gameday hasn’t been to Fayetteville in 18 years, for the same reason that Darren Mc Fadden was passed over twice for the Heisman, KJ probably has little chance to win the Heisman. Arkansas is not on their radar screen when it comes to football.

Q. Jill Stockdale wants to know: Do you really think the Arkansas-Duke game in November will be the biggest game ever at Bud Walton Arena? I hear a lof of fans claiming that. I think they have been smoking funny stuff.

A. It’ll be big. Maybe bigger to a national audience, than aby other BWA game….IF Duke is number one. But the biggest ever to Hog fans? Bigger than the 2022 Auburn game? Bigger than Qualls dunk at the buzzer to beat Kentucky? I don’t know. Depend on how the game goes. We’ll have to wait and see.

Q. Hawgredneck wants to know: Are today’s players more media savvy than those of 20 or 30 years ago? It seems to me that social media has made college athletes more comfortable in front of the cameras compared to the 70’s & 80’s.Than those of 30 or 40 years ago?

A. No question they are WAY more media savvy. When I started in the early 70s there were two college football games a week on TV. College basketball viewing was limited. The other sports?
Forget it. My experience back then was that players who came from small towns with little or no media coverage sometimes struggled talking to reporters and especially doing TV interviews.

Social media has changed that. If you are good enough, no matter where you are from, you will get media people calling you asking for interviews.

The Internet reaches everywhere. There is no isolation from the rest of the country is really small towns.

(Last updated: 2023-07-03 16:32 PM)