Ask Mike: FB Hogs stuck in the Portal, NIL Lawsuit Talk & Did Makhi Disrespect Muss?

By Mike Irwin
on 2024-02-05 19:36 PM

Q. Our first question is from HL McCamish who wants to know: Am I just making excuses or does it seem like almost every team in the SEC plays its best game against our Basketball Hogs? I’ve watched LSU some on TV this year. I never saw them hit shots like they did on Saturday.

A. It still will come across as an excuse to most Arkansas fans but you are correct. LSU’ big man hit four of his first five three-point shots. He scored 25 in the game. He was averaging 11. LSU shot 62% from the field and 58% from three in the first half to build a 15 point lead. You have to play better defense than that but some teams wouldn’t shoot that well against air. Arkansas actually outscored LSU 38-30 in the paint and 8-2 on second chance points but the other big problem was turnovers. Arkansas was outscored 19-10 in points off turnovers. The bottom line, the guys are not responding to coaching. Maybe some, but not nearly enough. I also think this portal class was overrated. That does happen. The fans got all excited when they saw a top 5 portal class. It wasn’t what the rating experts said it was.

Q. sgiles asks: What’s your take on the Makhi/Muss blowup in the LSU game. Not a good look when a player disrespects his coach like that.

A. I think you have to look at what happened after that. If Muss is really upset with a player you don’t see that player for the rest of the game and maybe the game after that. Mitchell came right back into the game. It really looked like Muss didn’t clearly see what happened before that testy exchange and he quickly realized it.

Makhi has really stepped up his play over the last three games. I think that’s why he was frustrated. He was doing his job and some others around him weren’t.

Q. Southern Raised asks: Are any of you in the media going to explain what happened with Devo Davis? Do you honestly not know? I read this stuff where he will go back on the radio soon and explain what happened. He needs to do this. I’m tired of these crazy rumors.

A. At this point if we reported anything on this it would be rumors because I don’t know for sure. I have been told by a really good source that what the fans are saying on the Internet is not the real story. But you are right. Devo could clear this up and hopefully he will. But it’s his life. He can do what he thinks is best for him.
Q. mousetown says: Last week you listed Blocker as one of the players you think is coming back next season. Why is everybody so high on him? He can’t shoot free throws. He misses layups and short jump shots. He also fouls too much.

A. Here’s my take on Blocker. He’s an Arkansas kid. He loves being a Hog and he want to help this team win in the worst way. But he plays out of control at times because he’s putting too much pressure on himself. You can’t keep getting rid of Arkansas kids. They need him on this team next year. I think with a reworked bunch of guys that play better you will see great energy with Blocker without a lot of the mistakes. So yes, he needs to be back and I hope he doesn’t decide to leave on his own.

Q. Smithian says: This team has the least chemistry of any team I’ve ever seen. Musselman threw a lot of random ingredients into the pot the last few years and, as a gourmet chef, made it work. This year, the ingredients clash. A gourmet chef can’t make that work.

A. I agree with you. You could send a lot of these guys to other teams and they might play better. But with the way Muss coaches and the demands he makes I think a lot of them have resisted that kind of discipline.

Q. To football where Marty Byrde’s proxy asks: Would you agree that it’s extremely important for the Hogs to get at least 1 win out of the first 3 tough games (OSU, Auburn, A&M)? That SHOULD give them 3 wins by the end of September and make the rest much more manageable and cool Sam’s seat a little maybe.

A. Absolutely, but I think they they need two wins in that stretch to gain momentum. OSU is loaded with returning players. That game might decide the way the entire season goes. A road win there and honestly I think they might win the other two. I’ll have a better feel for this once spring football gets underway and we see the effect of Petrino’s offense on this team.

Q. Hog Fan n Tx says: There are two Razorback four-star players left in the portal, a wide receiver and a linebacker. Are they eligible to continue classes or are they just out of luck since no other team has picked them up? Were they just not that good or are they looking for NIL money?

A. The guy to keep a eye on is Mani Powell. I think Arkansas should take him back because they need linebackers. The receiver is Sam MBake and he got into trouble with Sam Pittman. I don’t think he can come back. In answer to your question both of them can go to school this semester because their scholarships are for one year.

Q. Hogdogger says: Now we pay players to come play for us. What’s next, pay then bonuses to win games, stay the full season, play in a bowl game? Don’t they already receive a free education and other essentials that are worth money or even more for a future?

A. That’s what I believe and continue to believe. For NFL quality athletes playing college football is an opportunity to develop so they can get a pro contract but also to earn a degree that will help in their career after football is over. They also love playing football. For the rest, a chance to play football on a college campus with a full scholarship, room and board plus and earn a degree in whatever line of work you want to go into, to me, that’s a great deal

Q. corvettephil asks: What’s your thoughts on the Tennessee and Virginia AG’s filing suit against the NCAA over NIL? I don’t see a violation of the Sherman Act. In a normal world I would see the NCAA prevailing since membership is voluntary. However, we don’t seem to be living in a normal world!

A. That’s what it’s going to come down to. Will the court rule that placing rules on NIL money is an anti trust violation? I’m not a legal expert but nobody is forcing athletes to play for a school that is a member of the NCAA. If you sign with an NCAA school your are subject to NCAA rules. Also the NIL rule that is in question doesn’t actually limit NILs. It simply specifies that they can’t be used in recruiting because the outright buying of player will hurt the sport. After athlete signs with a school NIL deals are allowed. I don’t see an anti trust violation in this but that is why we have a courts system.

Q. GA reddiehog asks: Can someone please post the members of the Hog men’s golf team?

A . Here we go:

Christian Castillo is a senior originally from California. He transferred in last year from High Point University and played in 10 events last year. He was an alternate in the post season matches. He has two years of eligibility left.

Thomas Curry is a true freshmen, an Arkansas kid with with four years left. He’s from Texarkana, Arkansas but played at Texarkana, Texas High and won the 5-A state championship with scores of 66 and 69.

John Daly II is a redshirt sophomore with three years to play. He redshirted last year. We all know who Little John Daly is.

John Driscoll III is a Grad Senior and this will be his last season. He transferred in from Northwestern last season. Had a really good fall but was injured in the spring.

Kaelen Dulany is a redshirt freshman with 4 years left. He redshirted last year. In 2021 he was named the top high school golfer in the state of Texas.

Matthew Griggs is a true sophomore with three years of eligibility left. Another Texas golfer, he made the starting lineup in two events last season.

Rex Hargrove is a true freshman from Houston. He was number 36 in the American Junior Golf Association rankings in 2022.

Matthis Lefevre is from France. He’s a JUCO transfer and is a 4th year junior. He was the national JUCO player of the year last year.

Manuel Lozada is also a 4th year Junior. He’s from Argentina and played in every Arkansas tournament last year with 16 rounds of par or better.

Jacob Skov Olsen is a 5th year senior from Denmark. Transferred to Arkansas from TCU where he played in 11 tournaments and had two top 10 finishes.

Finally there’s true freshman Erik Plenge from Peru. He played in seven pro events there and had six top 10 finishes. Mateo Pulcini who is a grad senior transferred in from Oklahoma City University where he was a three time Division II all American.

Q. Dr. Strangepork wants to know about Razorbacks in Major League baseball who train here in the off season. He asks: Do they have their own coaches/trainers or does the baseball staff fill those roles? How much interaction is allowed or legal to have between the pros and the college players.

A. The MLB players generally workout together without personal coaches and trainers. They help each together. Arkansas coaches can work with them but apparently there’s not a lot of that. Also current Razorbacks and the MLB players generally work out at different times. The MLB players go in the mornings and the Razorback players work out in the afternoon’s when their classes are over.

Q. WVHogfan says: Dre Greenlaw’s story is a true rag to riches story. Michael Oher and the Tuohy’s in The Blind Side was a touching story, but it was somewhat scripted from the beginning. Is there a documentary or a movie planned to tell Dre’s life story?

A. I know of nothing along those lines that is in the works but it hasn’t been a good thing for Ohr and the Tuohy’s. “The Blind Side” may have been a popular movie and Sandra Bullock did win an academy award for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, who was supposedly Michael Ohr’s adoptive mother but Ohr was critical of it.

Like most movies based on real people the script jazzed up the story of Ohr and the Tuohy’s. It was a silly move if you know anything about football. Plus Ohr later claimed that the Tuohy’s mislead him into believing that he was adopted when actually what they had with him was a conservatorship. That allowed them to make a lot of money off the movie. They claim that he had no interest in the movie until after he was no longer in he NFL and wanted money. They say that he asked them for $15 million or he would go public with what they had done to him. Ohr has denied that.

It’s a lot of he said, she said but it’s a good example of how things can go wrong with what was an good relationship until big money entered the picture.
As for Dre Greenlaw I’d be happy if he had another great Super Bowl and he was able to push his free agency money up.

(Last updated: 2024-02-05 19:36 PM)