The Arkansas Razorbacks fired Bret Bielema following their 45-42 loss to Missouri on Friday night, but despite it being an expected move, the administration is getting significant pushback for how it let Bielema know he had been dismissed.
Bielema said in his postgame press conference that he was informed of his fate as head coach while he was walking off the field.
According to Arkansas radio host Bo Mattingly, a source within the athletic program explained the thinking behind the timing of firing Bielema so soon after the game’s conclusion.
Source in athletic department says Bielema was fired tonight so that he’d have a chance to talk to his team (players are leaving town to visit family) and be given the choice of speaking to the media after the game.
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) November 25, 2017
Except that doesn’t explain why Bielema was not allowed to, at the very least, first address his team in the locker room following the close loss to Missouri. Firing him as he left the field is just brutal, as fans as well as Arkansas players on Twitter and an athletic director at another program have claimed.
Bielema, however, has handled the situation incredibly well, displaying and speaking with class and class only during his postgame and post-firing press conference.