College football: A tough Monday for Bret Bielema, who has beef with Auburn and loses a recruit

2013-10-29T09:15:00Z College football: A tough Monday for Bret Bielema, who has beef with Auburn and loses a recruitAP, BadgerBeat.com Sports madison.com
October 29, 2013 9:15 am  • 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bret Bielema's week didn't get off to the best start Monday.

First, it appears his war of words with Auburn is alive and well.

The Arkansas coach's latest issue with the Tigers' coaching staff came as a result of game video Auburn shared with the Razorbacks, footage Bielema said painted a less-than-complete picture of the Tigers' plays.

"There are just some clips that haven't, shall we say, the TV copy doesn't match the film copy," Bielema said.

Then, Bielema and his staff had to come to grips with the lost commitment of a high-profile recruit after Rockaway (N.J.) Lackawanna College offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor changed his mind and dumped Arkansas in favor of Texas A&M. According to ESPN.com, it is the third school to which Eluemunor has committed after first opting for UCLA (June 9) and then Arkansas (July 26).

"I have decided to flip my commitment to the Aggies for more than one reason," Eluemunor, a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder, Tweeted on Monday. "It felt like home and I like where the program is headed."

Chris Hauser, the Razorbacks director of football recruiting who followed Bielema to Fayetteville from the University of Wisconsin, took to Twitter to react to the development. He questioned why an offensive lineman would shun Arkansas and Bielema's system for a spread offense, Tweeting: "Why NFL doesn't draft spread offense O-Lineman!!!! Might want to think about this before u play ur college career in a spread offense."

Later, Eluemunor spoke out via Twitter to the negative reaction from Razorbacks fans about his decision to switch his commitment.

"Arkansas fans move on damn!" he Tweeted. "I would not recommend anyone going there after the tweets I have received from mad fans smh death wishes really?"

The recruiting drama came on the same day as Bielema made public his beef with Auburn.

Bielema said he filed a complaint with the Southeastern Conference -- the most recent in a series of run-ins with Auburn for the first-year Arkansas coach, dating back to back-and-forth banter between he and Tigers coach Gus Malzahn during the summer.

The video issue adds an additional layer of intrigue to Saturday's game between the struggling Razorbacks (3-5, 0-4 SEC) and No. 8 Auburn, a game in which Arkansas welcomes home its former offensive coordinator and native son, Malzahn.

The Tigers (7-1, 3-1) have experienced immediate success in their first season under the former Arkansas State coach who also served as the offensive coordinator at Auburn during its national championship season in 2010.

The latest bit of success for the Tigers was last week's 45-10 win over Florida Atlantic, a game Bielema watched a television copy of while Arkansas had its first bye week of the season.

It was while comparing the television copy of the game and the video Auburn sent that Bielema found a difference.

"On the TV copy, they have a swinging gate at the beginning of the play, which obviously happened," Bielema said. "It was on the TV copy. And when we got the video copy from them today, that exact same play doesn't show any of the gate.

"... So, if I hadn't watched the TV copy, or if our guys hadn't had the time to go back and review, we would have never known that to happen."

During SEC media days in July, Bielema had his first run-in with Malzahn after the Auburn coach said he thought Bielema's concerns for player safety in a no-huddle, hurry-up system were "a joke."

"I'm not a comedian," Bielema responded.

The Malzahn-Bielema exchange was followed by another bit of public banter between the Arkansas coach and another Auburn coach in August following an injury to Arkansas tight end Austin Tate.

Following Tate's injury, Tigers assistant coach Tim Horton — previously an assistant at Arkansas — tweeted his well-wishes to the tight end for a speedy recovery. His tweet, however, came a day before Bielema planned to release news of the injury — leading to a phone conversation between the two.

"I go over in detail our players, our coaches, our media in-house and, of course, he we release information," Bielema said at the time. "I forgot to review this with the Auburn staff."

Bielema's complaint about the lacking video on Monday overshadowed what's been a difficult first season for the former Badgers coach with the Razorbacks. Arkansas enters the game against the Tigers having lost five straight games, the longest losing streak of Bielema's career as a head coach.

While the Razorbacks have struggled in their first year with a new coach, Auburn's fortunes have quickly turned under Malzahn following last season's 3-9 record.

Malzahn's quick success has led to increased scrutiny of Bielema at home because of Malzahn's ties to Arkansas as a former assistant coach and long-time high school coach there.

Monday's video complaint just adds another subplot to the relationship between the two head coaches, as well as Saturday's game.

"I'm sure it's a glitch," Bielema said. "I know Gus stands for everything that's right and (has) great faith in doing things right. So, I'm sure it's just a glitch that they'll get to the bottom of."

Follow Rob Hernandez on Twitter at @RobHernandezWSJ

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(28) Comments

  1. waubesa
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    waubesa - November 01, 2013 7:36 pm
    I too can see Bert back as a Hawkeye, but in no way as head coach.
  2. Homer717
    Report Abuse
    Homer717 - November 01, 2013 12:37 pm
    Bret is really starting to look like that Razorback.
  3. GodHeals
    Report Abuse
    GodHeals - October 30, 2013 10:33 pm
    This is a lesson about how all the money we pay to the BTN, ESPN, that if we, baby bombers, just stopped our crack drug habit to sports we could afford to live a much better life. Cut cable ! Get a roof antenna for local stations and a Roku box for free programming. Seriously, imagine if you cut ESPN and BTN out of your life how many tens of thousands you could have invested for a better life with family and friends.
  4. GodHeals
    Report Abuse
    GodHeals - October 30, 2013 10:19 pm
    Bielma is a life lesson.

    Can you imagine a more evil character in USA sports than this clown ? Hope he is unmarketable anywhere.

    His insecurity, like Mike Tyson or whoever, probably means he has likely burnt a hole in his pocket to impress others and now the story ends. 50% to his wife and no where to go.
  5. BobsYourUncle
    Report Abuse
    BobsYourUncle - October 29, 2013 4:08 pm
    Some things never change. BB regularly tossed coaches, players, fans and everyone else under the bus. We now have an example of his recruiting director, tweeting nasty comments about a high school kid. Stay classy, Bart!
  6. BobsYourUncle
    Report Abuse
    BobsYourUncle - October 29, 2013 4:06 pm
    Iowa has several younger coaches that they would choose from first. Also, Mr. Ferentz has a contract that runs through 2020, for 4 million per year. If he is fired, (not gonna happen) Iowa still owes him his entire contract less 250g's.
  7. iponder
    Report Abuse
    iponder - October 29, 2013 4:04 pm
    Now that Brett has seen the top secret "swinging gate" he should have no problems beating Auburn badly?
  8. Iabucky123
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    Iabucky123 - October 29, 2013 3:10 pm
    I think Bret has had a lot of beef lately! Must have an apparel deal with a Big and Tall store.
  9. Ignatius J Reilly
    Report Abuse
    Ignatius J Reilly - October 29, 2013 3:02 pm
    Divorce in 3, 2, 1,...
  10. Dawg
    Report Abuse
    Dawg - October 29, 2013 2:57 pm
    More Bielema stories! He's hilarious and as a badger fan its Important to stay up to date on past coaches and players. I expect coverage of any past badger that does interesting things...more jj watt, more russel wilson, more bb!
  11. bananahammock
    Report Abuse
    bananahammock - October 29, 2013 12:45 pm
    You're forgetting that train wrecks sell advertising space. If you doubt this fact then please explain The Jersey Shore and Honey Boo Boo being household names. Not only did you likely read this article but you took the time to comment. You just helped Madison.com sell more ad space.
  12. philfan05
    Report Abuse
    philfan05 - October 29, 2013 12:43 pm
    That will probably happen soon. I see him getting fired from Arkansas after next season and probably winding up at Iowa by at least 2016 or2017.
  13. River
    Report Abuse
    River - October 29, 2013 12:36 pm
    I love the constant Bret updates. Reminds me of all those seasons I had to put up with the BB apologists.
  14. MagnusP
    Report Abuse
    MagnusP - October 29, 2013 12:20 pm
    Agreed, let's not hear any more about him until he plays Wisconsin.
  15. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - October 29, 2013 12:02 pm
    @frankingston;

    Just_one_more...

    "It's not always easier being the bigger person,"

    Have you seen Bielema in his current white maternity muumuu? It makes being the 'bigger person' appear rather easy!

    The Gotch

  16. frankingston
    Report Abuse
    frankingston - October 29, 2013 11:36 am
    Agreed, can we be happy with the awesome coach and person that we now have and move on from the fiasco that was the Beliema Era. If not, that's ok, but then we are no better than the trophy wife of his that blasts Badger Fans with the tweet 'Karma'.

    It's not always easier being the bigger person, but the payoff is always better! We are better than that Badger Fans and madison.com!
  17. human
    Report Abuse
    human - October 29, 2013 11:33 am
    Not piles of s**t. Rakes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B0xe_iaTjs
  18. TopOfCenter
    Report Abuse
    TopOfCenter - October 29, 2013 11:25 am
    Please more Bielema stories.
  19. Cornelius Gotchberg
    Report Abuse
    Cornelius Gotchberg - October 29, 2013 10:30 am
    @MadisonSteve;

    "Thank you, Razorbacks, for taking Bret and his trophy wife off our hands."

    Trophy wife?

    Reminds me of the "Everbody Loves Raymond" episode where Marie refers to herself as such.

    To which Frank (the inimitable and much missed Peter Boyle) replies with perfect comedic timing, "You're a Trophy Wife? What contest in hell did I win?"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGI__K5kCJU

    The Gotch
  20. kooler
    Report Abuse
    kooler - October 29, 2013 10:25 am
    thank you arkansas and the SEC for acting as our sewage treatment facility.
  21. paulwesterberg
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    paulwesterberg - October 29, 2013 10:24 am
    Bielema will just have to console himself with his big pile of money.
  22. Steve_R
    Report Abuse
    Steve_R - October 29, 2013 10:14 am
    Please, no more Bielema stories.
  23. MadisonSteve
    Report Abuse
    MadisonSteve - October 29, 2013 10:10 am
    Thank you, Razorbacks, for taking Bret and his trophy wife off our hands. We couldn't be happier up here in Wisconsin. I am sure you thought you were stealing him from us, but in reality, you saved us from another two our three years of decline before he would have been run out of town.
  24. gorman
    Report Abuse
    gorman - October 29, 2013 9:35 am
    It's not just you.
  25. Steelers6SuperBowls
    Report Abuse
    Steelers6SuperBowls - October 29, 2013 8:29 am
    What exactly did he expect the way he rode in there? He's got to pay his dues & shut his mouth or else he'll never get anywhere down there with anybody in that conference.
  26. Cornelius Gotchberg
    Report Abuse
    Cornelius Gotchberg - October 29, 2013 8:15 am
    Is it just me, or does Bielema, et al, just look for piles of s**t in which to step?

    And then start pointing fingers.

    The Gotch

  27. jcboo
    Report Abuse
    jcboo - October 29, 2013 6:13 am
    SOOO-EY !! BB is now exactly where he belongs.
  28. Mr LaMarr
    Report Abuse
    Mr LaMarr - October 29, 2013 6:11 am
    Karma! I'm glad he's gone. Gary is miles ahead both as a person AND as a coach.

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