What Chad said about attending his son's games

FAYETTEVILLE — One road loss isn’t making Chad Morris rethink his Friday night routine.

The first-year Arkansas coach said Wednesday he still plans to travel to watch his son, Chandler, play quarterback for Highland Park High School in Dallas as often as possible. Some fans had been critical of Morris’ decision to be away from his team last Friday, the night before the Razorbacks lost 34-27 at Colorado State.

Morris said he does not miss any team meetings or practices while he is away to watch his son, a junior who has been offered by Arkansas, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and other programs.

“Everything is done here before we ever get on any plane or before we ever travel to any team hotel,” said Morris, who added that team meetings and walkthroughs are scheduled for Saturday mornings before the games.

An itinerary of last Friday’s team activities shows the Razorbacks left Fayetteville at 3 p.m. Central and landed in Fort Collins, Colo., around 5 p.m. Mountain - a span of three hours. Once at the hotel, players had an optional chapel service at 6:15 p.m.; a team dinner at 6:45 p.m.; offensive and defensive meetings at 7:45 p.m.; and yoga, mental imagery and a snack between 9 p.m. and their 11 p.m. lights out curfew.

Steve Atwater, a former All-Pro safety for Denver who played at Arkansas, spoke to the team during dinner.

The CBS Sports Network broadcast of the game stated that Morris arrived in Fort Collins around midnight local time after watching Highland Park defeat Mesquite Horn 35-18. Morris said Wednesday that he plans to attend Highland Park’s game at Frisco Lone Star on Thursday.

Because he attends a game in which his son is playing, Morris is able to evaluate players without the game counting against the program’s limit of 42 evaluation days. Highland Park will play some teams with Razorback recruits, such as at Mansfield Legacy on Oct. 12. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a receiver from Rockwall, Texas, recently reported an offer from Arkansas 10 days after Morris watched his team play against Highland Park.

Morris said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney used to attend his sons’ games on Friday nights. Morris was Clemson’s offensive coordinator from 2011-14. Other notable coaches who have recently attended their sons’ high school games the night before their own teams played are Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy.

“We’ve got several coaches out on the road on Friday,” Morris said. “Again, going back to building this program and taking it from the blueprint of where we were at Clemson and watching Dabo and his success, and being able to go watch his two boys play and being on the road on Friday nights - a lot of programs do things different on a Friday….The main important thing is to get out and recruit when you get the opportunity. You only get so many days to get out.”

Following a speech to the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club last Wednesday, Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said he was OK with Morris’ decision to attend his son’s games.

“I had a son that played college football over the past four years and I fought tooth and nail to make sure I didn’t miss very many of his games, especially not his home games,” Yurachek said of his son Ryan, who graduated from Marshall last year. “And I missed several of the events at the University of Houston when I was an athletics director there because I thought it was very important for me to be at my son’s games.

“I have full trust in Coach Morris…He’ll handle that the right way, and he already has.”

Jeff Traylor, the team’s running backs coach and associate head coach, oversees the team’s Friday night activities.

“You usually try to give guys downtime to get away from football,” Morris said. “We’ve taken teams to the movies before just for the simple reason that’s their one time during the course of the week they don’t have to worry about their studies. We want them to get away from football for a little bit; just get to your room and relax. Sometimes we’ll have them come down and have a team function where we’ll watch the Friday night game of the week, play dominoes or cards or whatever it is to fellowship together.

“We try to vary it and a lot of it depends on what our seniors want to do. As we continue to grow our program I’ll give them more options on what they want to do with their Friday nights.”

Matt - thanks for running this down. I don’t agree with it, but it is what it is. I do think it’s interesting Morris says he did not miss any meetings and several posters in the other thread said the same thing.

That’s not what the itenirary says… team meetings on Friday night at 7:45 PM. Given our HC has a well deserved reputation as an offensive guru I’d personally like to see him involved in the offensive team meeting the night before a must win game for realistic bowl hopes.

He said he did not miss any team meetings. There are O/D meetings led by coordinators Friday, but no full team meetings until Saturday.

Thanks for making that distinction, but still think if you are having meetings it can’t hurt to have the HC there to observe preparation, attitude, attention to detail, etc. Especiially the first time your new team travels.

Other posters were so certain that nothing happens on Friday nights - dinner, movies, and “hand holding.” As I suspected there is more to it than that.

Good for him. There may be times where he can’t attend his son’s games but when he can, go for it!

Good for him.

It’s utterly ridiculous that some think it’s not ok.

They are selfish and inconsiderate, and probably live a miserable life if they think it’s ok to tell someone they are doing their job wrong by going to their sons game.

It’s great for the program that he gets extra recruiting in with the top prospects in the state free of charge. It’s great that his son gets to have his dad at his games without a dime of cost to the university. The only negative are the boorish people who think it’s their place to tell him it’s not ok.

Its absolutely insane to me that this is a problem with some, knowing damn well a lot of the people griping are dads. At the end of the day you won’t wish you had worked 5 more hours, you will wish you had spent 5 more hours with the ones you love. To try and take that from someone over a meaningless period of time which does not require the coach there other than in their opinion “it looks bad” is insane. They look bad, really bad.

As you grow older, you realize more and more, life is short. I’ve never heard a parent in their later years say, " I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with my kids." You only have one shot.

Which of the O/D meetings should he miss? He can’t be in both. Do you really believe spending a few minutes in one & then the other makes any difference at all to the team, the game, the program?

This has to be one of the dumbest criticisms of coach I’ve ever seen.

I’m embarrassed as a razorback fan someone would actually feel need to ask him about this.

I’m the one who asked. I didn’t necessarily enjoy asking a man to defend spending time with his family, but I’ve heard this criticism enough (not just on our board) that I felt it warranted him an opportunity to respond to it. You may disagree; that’s fine.

For what it’s worth, someone in the athletics department told me today they knew they would have to address criticism over this at some point, probably after the first time he lost a game.

What did they think when DVH missed a game to attend his daughter’s graduation?

Some of our fans need to relax and get a hold of themselves.

Dave missed two games - one for the graduation of each daughter. He gave the commencement address at the second one.

A lot of the criticism, I suspect, is from the simpletons who are jealous of the money he makes, almost as if they’re paying his salary. And then the loss happened. And then the piling on.

It’s silly, but I figured it’d be controversial. Especially after the first loss.

Either he wins or he doesn’t. I’m in it for the end result. I’ll call for his head if he can’t win. But it’s way too early to tell. In the meantime, lay off Coach Morris for watching his son play football. Please.

College football and fans are out of control. Why would any dad want to miss his son’s game home or away?

We just had 5 years of people saying “Saban isn’t taking vacations, he’s in the office 24/7” , so naturally there is going to be murmurs once it was out and we lost. There may be no meetings missed, but I stayed in Springdale for years when the Hogs spent Friday nights in the same hotel, there were meetings because the blocked off certain areas of the convention center and didn’t allow you in there. What was he going to do if the Auburn game was an 11AM kickoff, pretty hard to have team meetings/walk through before the game. I thought the EI game we had a Friday practice and when the team went to the hotel, he left for Dallas. In the end, what will matter is the wins/losses.

Thank you for asking Matt and glad he addressed it head on. If this is a “ nothing burger” and a complete non - issue then I wonder why your source in the AD said they expected criticism and knew they would need to address it at some point? Why do you expect criticism for something if, as so many on this board have said, it is a “ complete non-issue”?

All I can say is Chad must have been plenty tired from the extra traveling back and forth with some of the boneheaded decisions made during the game as everyone knows when your tired it makes it very hard to make decisions that are correct-It’s not just being with the players Chad has a game to coach which requires a rested clear mind does he have that when he pulls those all night trips? I don’t care how many Red Bull someone has drank just as players later in games when getting tired start making mental mistakes-just my two cents worth but I think it has some merit- Let the bullets fly

Maybe because our fan base is chock full of shallow thinkers. They know that and that’s why they expect criticism. Plain as day.

It’s not quantum physics, dude. It’s whether to go for it on 4th and one. It’s just football. My gosh…


Maybe because our fan base is chock full of shallow thinkers. They know that and that’s why they expect criticism. Plain as day.