Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Pelphrey Should Have Gotten More Time

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
March 13, 2011 was the day the Arkansas Razorbacks (18-13, 7-9) fired head coach John Pelphrey.

Coach Pelphrey started off hot at Arkansas, leading the Razorbacks to the second round of the NCAA tournament in his first year with the program.

Since then, Pelphrey had losing records during conference play and never was invited back to the big dance.

In his four seasons at Arkansas, Pelphrey accumulated a record of (69-59, 25-39).

Jeff Long, the athletic director at Arkansas said, "I wanted to give John [Pelphrey] every chance possibly."

"I felt like four years was fair to John [Pelphrey] given the situation he took over and given the commitment that was made to him when he arrived here."

Granted, four years is enough time to turn a program around or, at least, show improvement and that's exactly what coach Pelphrey was steering towards.

Even before his days at Arkansas, it took him three years before making a positive move in the Sun Belt Conference.

But, with patience, coach Pelphrey turned South Alabama into one of the most competitive teams in the Sun Belt conference.

Pelphrey could of had the same success at Arkansas if AD Jeff Long was patient with the process.

"Obviously, I would've liked more time," Pelphrey said. "It takes time to build stability in a program. Every situation is different."

Coach Pelphrey has a point. Despite not making much noise in College Basketball since his first season, coach Pelphrey was on the verge of bringing in one of the top recruiting classes in the country.

Usually, when a firing occurs, recruits want to reopen their commitment. However, the Arkansas recruiting class, according to Arkansas Online, are looking to wait it out and see who will replace Pelphrey.

Just the thought of possibly losing commitment after securing a top-10 recruiting class is disturbing.

If Athletic Director Long allows Pelphrey more time, Arkansas could be looking at a top-25 ranking and possibly continual tournament bids.

Pelphrey's recruiting efforts made his rant for more time realistic. Coach Pelphrey was a fine coach and just needed more time to establish himself in the SEC conference.

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