Pittman feeling much better about Arkansas' NIL funding
This time last week, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman had just fielded questions regarding rumors of his job security after a 48-10 loss to Auburn.
Two days after that, Pittman met with the media on his weekly Wednesday Zoom call and told reporters that he wasn't exactly pleased with the NIL funding the Razorbacks are receiving.
After a refreshing 44-20 win over Florida International and a strong statement from Athletics Director Hunter Yurachek, Pittman was in much better spirits Monday afternoon.
Yurachek announced that his fourth-year head coach will be not be going anywhere despite a tough 4-7 season to this point.
"I think it's really big because you know we're getting a lot of negative from coaches in recruiting," Pittman said of Yurachek's statement. "I'll say this, I think when you sign up for the SEC, you have to win. I mean, it's here, A&M, Mississippi State, wherever, Alabama. Wherever. You’ve got to win. And if you don't, there's opportunities for you to be unemployed. That's just how it is, and that's what we sign up for.
"So, I look at this as an opportunity for us to change our team, keep the ones that are good players for us and good kids and change our team, give us a chance to do that. And I think financially we're going to have the money from NIL to do that. When all that happens, I think we can field a really, really good football team. And I'm excited about, obviously Saturday, but I'm really excited about the future."
Did you catch that part about NIL?
Just last Wednesday, Pittman said that Arkansas needed to grow its NIL budget. I guess after he said that, someone heard it loud and clear and decided to step up. I think that Pittman probably wasn't supposed to say anything about it by the way he answered my question of if something changed from last week to this week.
"No. Well, yes, but I don't want to talk about it right now," Pittman said. "(Looks over at SID) I kinda blew that, didn't I? I don't remember what the question was, but I think the answer was no. I just feel good about it, and I'll leave it at that for right now."
Whatever happened to make Pittman feel much better about Arkansas' NIL funding is great news, so great that Pittman feels good about being able to recruit financially against the best.
"I think recruiting, I think we can recruit against anybody," Pittman said. "It's just that you can't recruit against anybody financially, and I really feel good about where we're sitting now and that if that's the case, we can go out and recruit very well against anybody."
Instead of spending the money to buyout Pittman's contract, plus the rest of the coaching staff, Arkansas can now focus solely on raising NIL funds and buying a great offensive coordinator.
"Sometimes you got be careful what you wish for, you change the program, it might get worse too you know," Pittman said. "So, yeah I think we get the budget, we can go recruit. We’re Arkansas, we have a love for here, I think we can go recruit against anybody. But it’s hard if you don’t."
Arkansas picked up a big commitment from former four-star Michigan State offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock on Monday, so things are trending up for now. A win over Missouri at 3 p.m. CT at Razorback Stadium on Friday would be even better for Pittman and crew.