Was O’Grady’s suspension for challenging Morris on Jefferson?

PHOTO BY TED McCLENNING | HITTHATLINE.COM

More and more the questions surrounding Saturday’s suspension of senior tight end C.J. O’Grady are getting directed at Chad Morris and his handling of the whole quarterback drama.

Did O’Grady go to Morris on Monday and relay the players’ position that freshman K.J. Jefferson should be starting?

Did the players find out Wednesday that Morris, who appears more and more paralyzed by indecision trying to coach at this level, decided to start Ben Hicks over Jefferson?

Did O’Grady go to Morris on behalf of the players, express disagreement with that decision and get suspended before the Mississippi State game?

With one coach in his second season getting fired Sunday, does Morris even get the opportunity to be embarrassed by one of the quarterbacks he ran off beating the Hogs on Saturday when Ty Storey comes to town with Western Kentucky?

Florida State went ahead and fired Willie Taggart on Sunday after a 9-12 start. Morris, is 4-17 in his second year at Arkansas and making no signs of figuring it out.

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Former and current SEC coaches were asking the question Sunday, “is Morris the dumbest coach in the league?” over his handling of the whole mess.

It all comes back to Jefferson, who clearly was the best quarterback on the team when he stepped on the field in August camp, but has spent most of the season running the scout team for the defense.

When he came into a game that was out of hand in the first quarter against the Bulldogs on Saturday, the team clearly was energized more than it’s been nearly the entire season.

Have players been seeing Jefferson’s ability since August and finally pushed the issue now that Morris can’t use the “saving him” argument?

Did Morris respond like a high school coach and kick O’Grady off the team for the homecoming game? Did he actually try to prove a point by kicking a fifth-year senior off the team for THAT game?

With all these questions hanging out there, Morris proceeded in the post-mortem to make about as offensive of a comment an Arkansas coach could make about Jefferson:

“We kept it as simple as possible with him.”

For the Razorbacks, who have historically not had a large percentage of African-American players at the quarterback position, that comment was jaw-dropping.

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The fact that Morris wasn’t trying to insult anybody just shows how in over his head he is as a head coach of an SEC program desperately trying to find a positive direction in today’s world of getting good players.

It’s not like he doesn’t take enough time. For a coach who has little regard for media deadlines and can’t seem to get anything on time, you’d think he would have a little better grasp of what to say.

Jefferson got a spark from the fans and the players. But you get the idea the players have known about him all along.

“We were as excited as the fans,” captain and senior linebacker De’Jon Harris said later.

“He has looked great in practice,” said wide receiver Mike Woods. “He looked good out there today … the same way he has been looking in practice.”

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Have the players been pushing for him to play all along?

Did Morris duck and dodge THEIR questions like he does the media?

Did Morris lose this team back in September? That’s when the whispers started that he wasn’t playing the best players … the ones many thought gave the team the best chance to win.

He can’t use the excuse he knows who to play to win games because he hasn’t won enough games in two years to qualify for even a postseason trip to Shreveport.

No matter how far down the program was when he inherited it, things weren’t that bad.

But now we get down to maybe the most important question of all that can directly affect Razorback football and, effectively, an entire state.

With Florida State knocking over the first domino, how long can Hunter Yurachek wait to make a decision?

A choice, by the way, that could have a direct impact on HIS future.

And at 4-17, can anybody really afford to wait?

48 COMMENTS

  1. Stir the pot, Andy. Get your readers as riled up as possible with unsubstantiated rumors. Hey, it’s today’s journalism. Truth? Schmooth! How many readers can you attract? That’s what counts these days. If the man can win 4, let’s give him one more. If he can’t win four, then show him the door.

    • Dang! You sure are stirring up a lot of what ifs! A whole bunch of BS for sure. All assumptions. Your assumptions make an ass out of you and out of the Razorbacks. Lies lies lies. problem you are planting seeds of untruth and folks will only partially read and run with it and then rumors and innuendo will abound. I’ so sick of you folks marketing so much crap to the all of us. I say get off your arse , away from your laptop and get some quotable truth to share. I’m embarrassed for you and for anyone who spreads all this malarkey you’ve suggested.
      1. Make no assumptions
      2. Take nothing personally
      3. Be IMPECCABLE with your word
      4. Always do your best
      Four simple rules that I feel you would be smart to incorporate in what you do
      Good Luck

    • Are you for real? You really think he deserves another year? This man clearly has no vision for the football program in regards to winning games. Hunter fires Coach A, because he couldn’t clearly describe a plan for the future, after going 18-15, NIT berth, with a talented group of freshmen. Why is chad getting a pass?

    • Seriously? Are you as uneducated, illiterate and ignorant as the author? It’s the same inane garbage produced by modern journalism. In fact, it isnt journalism at all.

  2. Stir the pot? Unsubstantiated rumors? Why do some people get so bent out of shape when people speak the truth? By the way, how do you know any of it it unsubstantiated?

  3. Dang! You sure are stirring up a lot of what ifs! A whole bunch of BS for sure. All assumptions. Your assumptions make an ass out of you and out of the Razorbacks. Lies lies lies. problem you are planting seeds of untruth and folks will only partially read and run with it and then rumors and innuendo will abound. I’ so sick of you folks marketing so much crap to the all of us. I say get off your arse , away from your laptop and get some quotable truth to share. I’m embarrassed for you and for anyone who spreads all this malarkey you’ve suggested.
    1. Make no assumptions
    2. Take nothing personally
    3. Be IMPECCABLE with your word
    4. Always do your best
    Four simple rules that I feel you would be smart to incorporate in what you do
    Good Luck

  4. KJ came in during the 4th qtr, not the first. Proofreading is a must in journalism especially when you try to make Morris look worse than he did. Especially by insinuating that KJ isn’t smart enough because he is black. Most coaches with young players say they keep the playbook simple to start out. Reaching much?

    • Good article Andy. Couldn’t have said it better! Chad has to go. Florida State cares about there program and even with a decent coach in Taggert, they cut ties. Hunter is quick to fire a good coach in Mike Anderson, let’s see how he does with a terrible coach. Dare I say this is a black and white issue….

  5. Dang! You sure are blowing up a lot of what ifs! A whole bunch of BS for sure. All assumptions. Your assumptions make an ass out of you and out of the Razorbacks. Lies. problem you are planting seeds of untruth and folks will only partially read and run with it and then rumors and innuendo will abound. I’ so sick of you folks marketing so much crap to the all of us. I say get off your arse , away from your laptop and get some quotable truth to share. I’m embarrassed for you and for anyone who spreads all this malarkey you’ve suggested.
    1. Make no assumptions 2. Take nothing personally 3. Be IMPECCABLE with your word 4. Always do your best
    Four simple rules that I feel you would be smart to incorporate in what you do. Good Luck

  6. David Hurst, I think you need to read the story again. Andy didn’t say he came in in the first quarter. He said he came into a game that was out of hand in the first quarter. He’s right. It was out of hand when we were down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. I think Jones and Jefferson did a heck of a job getting the points that we got.

  7. It’s clear Andy has a personal grievance against Chad Morris. Has all along. This article is crap just like all his others. There’s no truth in anything this clown writes. Morris is a bad coach, we know. To spin this into racism is unacceptable and does nothing but hurt our program more than it already is. Shame on you Andy, go work for CNN where you’ll fit in.

  8. I’d like to know how many of you were at this press conference. How many? You people are being sucked in by snippets of edited video from press conference you did not attend. How many practices have you been allowed into? Do you have sources? As far as racism and race baiting, that is stirring the pot. How many black quarterbacks has Arkansas had? How many black coaches for that matter? Andy made an observation. That’s all. It’s true. Arkansas has had very few black quarterbacks, two, maybe three. Anyway, I don’t care what color you are, when the coach says he has to “keep it at simple as possible”, it may have inferred that it had to be dumbed down for KJ because he’s a freshman, and I can tell you now, that that is not the case! It is a shame that that is where some of your minds go though.

  9. I’ve been hearing the same— that press conference and the players’ tweets just confirmed it yesterday. Your analysis is right on.

    • The SEC west is arguably the best division in any of the power 5 conferences. Since 1999, how many SEC title games have the Razorbacks played in? Won? The non-conference game victory’s are getting harder to come by as of late too. Seems to be difficult to recruit top shelf players to play in NWA , no matter who is coaching . I understand that competing in the conference is also a recruiting tool.But players ultimately want to win on Saturday. Look at all the cash that has been spent on the stadium & other football facilities to boast our chances to land those caliber of players. It hasn’t worked. Maybe the football team needs to move to another conference if it wants to be competitive. Sure, the university would lose big revenue that membership in the SEC conference generates every year. But it seems that the fan base is more interested in fielding a competently coached team that consistently wins ballgames year in and year out. There is nothing prestigious about being the perpetual cellar dweller in any conference.

  10. Time is now send him down the road and get a coach that loves Arkansas like Houston Nutt did. I’m a true Hog fan and always will be WPS

  11. Sometimes if you do stir the pot, you may get more than you bargained for. With the type of attitudes you have in the fan base now, you might start a fire you can’t put out. People have been known to get totally out of control.

  12. At the top of the article the writer poses a question. He doesn’t answer it, just speculates. Wow! Does that pass for journalism these days? Is he the guy that raised the question of JFK being killed by a crossbow bolt fired from a balloon?

  13. Pandering to those who are fooled by “the sky is falling” does not make for good journalism. All you have are questions with no substantive facts. You have no idea what caused O’Grady’s suspension….could it be the same reason as every other year he has played. He questions authority and that doesn’t work in college or pro. Miss a meeting at the pro level and you get fined.

    Give the speculation a rest!

  14. Not sure it’s necessary to interject “race” into the conversation. The comment by Morris would be offensive if the QB was White or Chinese. But like a lot of people these days, Hodge wants to support victim mentality and appear to “fight for the cause.” More PC stuff.

  15. Coach Morris separated this team when he announced who the QB starter and back up would be for the start of the season. The whole team coaches and players were shocked! This is when the players lost trust in Coach Morris. Rumors has it that he has lost control of the Coaches meetings throwing temper tantrums! Crying and screaming at the top of his lungs. Coach Morris is a wreck and can not get control of anything. He needs to resign immediately.

  16. If your first thought when you hear “we kept it simple for him” is “it must be because he’s black, and black people are stupid!”, YOU are the racist

  17. Jefferson should srarter rest of way thru send hickvand starkel packing fir texas. Steven jones played better than hick or starkel. But no where as good as kj jefferson. Does morris Bow down to Jerry Jones or does he do the right thing and put Jefferson at the starting quarterback you deserve to be the starting quarterback it was like night and day when he came in the game if you don’t play him he will leave like everybody else he deserve to be playing

  18. Jefferson should starter rest of way thru send hick and starkel packing for texas. Steven jones played better than hick or starkel. But no where near as good as kj jefferson. Does morris Bow down to Jerry Jones or does he do the right thing and put Jefferson at the starting quarterback you deserve to be the starting quarterback. it was like night and day when he came in the game if you don’t play him he will leave like everybody else he deserve to be playing

  19. He doesn’t want to make jerry jones mad. Jerry probably pores alot of money in arkansas. But kj jefferson can bring in big name recruits. Steven jones may have gotten a higher grade coming in because he is grandson of jerry jone. It was crystal clear who’s the better quarterback really was. What is Morris already in save my job mode

  20. Yah this article Is garbage. Won’t click on hit that line again. I’m unhappy with the losses like everyone else, but this hack has no clue what he’s talking about.

  21. Jefferson came into Razorback country as a top recruit with much promise. Most of his teammates it seems have seen and experienced Jefferson’s skills and ability. They see what he can do and know that he is good, yet my understanding is that they are confused as to why Morris would not play him.

    I feel the above article is NOT garbage as some speak of it,because I do feel there are questionable circumstances that have plagued this team. I feel the moral on this team is low. I also feel there is “politics” envolved.

    The razorbacks have many 4 star rated players on it’s roster. This says to me they are coachable and can play much better than what they are currently doing. So either Morris has created a team moral problem or he and his assistent coaches are not doing their jobs as coaches. The buck stops with them.

    I for one will terribly miss O’Grady because he was a very valuable player and he was strong and played with conviction. I trust there is a way to get him back.

    My heart bleeds for the players because I am sure they desperately want to win as we the fans wants so desperately for them to win. I worry their confidence will suffer….but I hope they can keep their heads heald high and continue to fight.

  22. If Arkansas cared one piece of Razorback dung about saving its storied program and a shiny legacy that includes an iconic coach and athletic director (Broyles) and a national championship (‘64 team), they’d fire Morris as quickly as they can get him on the phone and REHIRE HOUSTON DALE NUTT!!

    Anything else Arkansas does (or leaves undone) is a joke! Just like the Chad Morris era!

    Arkansas has become the laughing stock of the SEC and really all of college football. It’s sad to see a legendary program become the team that everybody schedules for Homecoming games.

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