Razorbacks Retreat to Gridiron on Tragic Day
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On a day when college football appropriately took a back seat to the tragic events around the nation, the Arkansas Razorbacks sought solace on the gridiron.
The Hogs conducted meetings and practice as scheduled in an attempt to escape the horrific reality of the attack on American soil. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt met with his squad prior to the two-hour afternoon workout.
“With what has gone on in the world today, sometimes you know making those first downs it puts everything in perspective,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We have a lot to be thankful for. We were part of major history today and I wanted to make sure our players understood that. We are in a great place. Don’t ever take anything for granted.
“That is why it is important to go to study hall. That is why it is important to be on time in going to class and doing all those little things right that they take for granted. We had a lot of them worrying about when to go get gasoline for their car and other things, but once they got out here and got focused we had a good practice.”
Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles visited with Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer and other league athletic directors on Tuesday about whether this weekend’s games will be played as scheduled. No definitive decision was made on Tuesday, but a decision could come as early as Wednesday.
Nutt also was on the phone Tuesday comparing notes with friends and colleagues on how they were handling the tragedy in regards to their respective teams. The UA head coach said he considered canceling practice, but in the end decided that it was best for his squad to keep the previously scheduled agenda.
“We talked about it,” Nutt said. “I called Larry Coker a good friend of mine and head coach at the University of Miami. I talked to a couple of other trainers and athletic directors and everyone was pretty much going about business. We decided to do the same. We just tried to keep it as business as usual.”
Senior defensive end Carlos Hall and senior middle linebacker Jermaine Petty sat out Tuesday’s work. Hall is still ailing from a slightly pulled hamstring while Petty experienced some asthma problems due to allergies. Both are expected to be available for action this weekend.
Arkansas will return to the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday night’s scheduled contest with North Texas. The Razorbacks and Mean Green are slated to kick things off at 6 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
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