Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is always good for some well-placed humor. He joked about motorcycles as a mode of transportation as “a touchy subject.”
During Thursday’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl coaches press conference in Memphis, a reporter mentioned Alabama coach Nick Saban’s helicopter landing on a Georgia high school’s football field during a recruiting visit.
“Did you guys get here by helicopter?” the reporter asked Bielema and Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.
Despite his hectic schedule, Bielema made it clear he was a man of the people by simply stating, “I came in regular airplane mode.”
Snyder said, “We came on motorcycle.”
Bielema didn’t hesitate with his remark.
“That’s a touchy subject around here,” Bielema said. The room of reporters erupted with laughter.
Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino had a motorcycle accident on April 1, 2012, that eventually led to the uncovering of a messy scandal in the Arkansas athletic department. The investigation uncovered an inappropriate relationship between Petrino and a female staff member in the athletic department, this eventually led to his firing from the university.
The press conference up to that point was short on quotables, other than typical high praises from one coach to the other and their teams, Snyder’s induction to the College Football Hall of Fame, and how excited they were for extra practices and bowl week experience for their players.
The good-natured ribbing at Thursday’s press conference comes from a longtime friendship between Snyder and Bielema. Bielema earned his first coordinator title while working for Snyder.
Arkansas (7-5) will play the Wildcats (6-6) on Jan. 2 at 3:20 ET. The game will be live on ESPN.