To a certain extent, we expect football coaches to blow up on occasion. Screaming sideline tantrums are always a little surprising, but they happen regularly enough to not shock fans.
So that’s why no one is talking about Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and the penalty he drew for unsportsmanlike conduct during his team’s 49-30 loss to Alabama this past Saturday. After all, his team was losing at home against the No. 1 team in the country, and he was desperate to win.
But that wasn’t it for the poor officiating crew tasked with managing the game. Alabama head coach Nick Saban, famous for his fiery temper and explosive tirades, went off on the referees in a way that made Bielema’s tantrum seem positively dignified.
And all of that came despite the fact that his team never trailed and was up 35-17 at halftime. Alabama has now won 18 games in a row, and Saban remains one of the most intense coaches in college football, and this isn’t even his first incident this season.
Oddly enough, Saban went unpenalized for the incident, which speaks to either the language he used or his status as one of the best coaches in the country.
But lest you think the refs were the only ones suffering abuse Saturday night, Arkansas fans were especially displeased with Bielema and let him know it after the loss. Perhaps the most vocal Razorback supporter to express his disappointment was associate professor Lawton Lanier Nalley, who screamed at Bielema as he was leaving the field, “if I had your record I’d be f–king fired. F–k you.”
Or: who screamed expletives at Bielema as he was leaving the field.
Nalley, a professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness with a degree from Kansas State according to his bio, was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He was released that night.
According to the AP, an Arkansas spokesperson said an announcement on Nalley is forthcoming.