Houston Nutt Transcript

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt addressed the media late Tuesday afternoon regarding several items. Below is a partial transcript of his comments.

(On Search for Offensive Coordinator) “We are still in the process (of searching for a new coach) in between recruiting. I’m trying to get the best person and there are several names out there that we are still doing a little research on. Hopefully we will know more by the end of the week.”

(On whether he would grant Mitch Mustain a release) “I’ve told all the players if they want their release, we will grant their release. I just want guys that want to be here. Hopefully (Mitch Mustain) will be here. Anyone who has asked for a release, I’ve granted it.”

“I’m not frustrated right now. I know how difficult it is and how hard college football can be. You see it all over the country. I talk to Tommy Tuberville and he went through a difficult time and that’s unusual. You see more things across the country. The internet, talk shows, everything is open. There is a lot of information out there.”

(On Mitch Mustain transferring) “I don’t know for sure where we are right now. I think you would have to talk to him. I don’t know (if he has made a decision).”

(On Nutt’s conversation with Mustain on Tuesday) “I’d like to keep that confidential. Ask Mitch (Mustain) exactly what he wants to say. I think that’s important to keep our conversation confidential until he’s ready to act.”

(On Mitch Mustain) “He did ask for a release. Naturally, I don’t want him to go. I want him to stay here. But also, we want the ones that really want to be here. I have given him his release so let’s just see.”

“I hope he stays here. He was 8-0 as a starter and did a wonderful job. Very few freshmen can do some of the things he has done. He was put in a very difficult situation and I’m very proud of him. He has to make the call. He has to feel good about it. He has to want to be here and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

(On where Mitch Mustain may go) “He didn’t say anything and I didn’t even ask him that.”

(On the search for an offensive coordinator) “Nothing is official. We are still waiting and still searching. What has been difficult is we have been recruiting, in homes. We have been trying to make up some time there. It is hard to get everything aligned just right right now. It’s not official yet. We still have a little bit more time before a decision needs to be made. (David Lee) is one of three guys we are looking at.”

“The sooner the better but you can’t rush it. You have to get the right one and the right fit and that just depends. You don’t want to rush into it to quickly but you want the right chemistry.

(On how this has affected recruiting) “We have tried to hit most our commitments and we have a good number of commitments right now. The ones that have committed are very strong and that’s positive. The 16 or 17 guys we have committed have been touched by the telephone or an official visit and all of them have been very solid.”

(On the reaction from the fans) “I lot of people that have talked to me face-to-face have been very supportive and very positive. There are some that are not as positive. Hopefully we can move on and get everything back to normal and have a strong recruiting class. We did have a good year this year and a lot of people contributed.”

(On Gus Malzahn leaving) “His role did not diminish. One thing you always try to do, you want to be better. We really wanted to win 12 or 13 games and I thought we had a good year. It wasn’t diminished or taken away; we just wanted to add to it. That next person is going to be a guy we can lean on and talk to and really use his knowledge. That’s all it is.”

“As far as diminished, nothing could be farther then that truth. He did a lot of great things for us. He wants to be a head coach and the title of assistant head coach is very important to him.”

(On Ben Cleveland’s status) “I don’t anything about him. He’s in Kansas at a funeral and probably won’t get back until late Wednesday.”

(On the status of the program) “I challenge anybody (who thinks the program is unstable). I don’t believe that whatsoever. I think of that was true we’d lose 17 commitments or half of them and we haven’t lost one. We are coming off a January 1 bowl game and we won 10 games. I feel good about where we are and the room I just left and the players that are here that want to be here. That’s what you feel good about.”