NFL ban wouldn’t block Payton from coaching Arkansas

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Earlier today, a reader posed an intriguing question that sparked an extended Twitter debate.  Since many of you never have and never will use Twitter, we decided to import the debate to the pages of PFT.

The reader asked whether suspended Saints coach Sean Payton could spend 2012 coaching at Arkansas.  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that Payton’s suspension would not prevent him from taking the job.

Of course, Payton’s contract might, even if he’s prevented from working during the coming season.  But if Saints owner Tom Benson has no problem with Payton making productive use of his time away from the NFL, then any language in the deal that could scuttle a one-year arrangement for Payton in Fayetteville would be irrelevant, since Benson wouldn’t be inclined to enforce the deal.

Some Arkansas fans have pointed out that a Band-Aid approach to the sudden termination of Bobby Petrino wouldn’t work because the program needs a long-term solution.  But how can the program find the right long-term coach in the middle of April, when the candidates are few and far betwen?

It would make much more sense to hire Payton, elevate the program’s status and stature for 2012, and then parlay that extra attention/notoriety into making a play for a top-shelf coach come 2013.

Firing Petrino so late in the offseason makes the 2012 largely a lost cause.  Why not salvage it with a skilled and experienced head coach who has plenty of time on his hands?

For Payton, that could be the best way to fill the void in his life — and the best way to avoid the temptation of constantly communicating in 2012 with men like Drew Brees and Joe Vitt, in defiance of the terms of Payton’s suspension.

58 responses to “NFL ban wouldn’t block Payton from coaching Arkansas

  1. Williams, Carroll and Saban are all perfect for Arkansas, none have any credibility whatsoever.

  2. That would make for a pretty terrible recruiting class. “I won’t be here next year, but make a long-term commitment to play here anyways.”

  3. Don’t think this could happen. I would imagine employing a person currently working for an NFL team, even while suspended, would be an NCAA violation, even in the SEC where things like honesty and academics don’t matter.

  4. Sounds crazy at first, but this might be a great way for Arkansas to prevent a huge outflow of transfers. What better incentive to stick around then playing for a guy who (presumably) will be back coaching in the NFL next year and making draft decisions?

  5. The wild dumb speculation surrounding Bountygate just reached nuclear meltdown proportions.

    This is perhaps the single stupidest waste of a “story” I’ve ever seen on this site. And that’s saying something.

  6. Mike, did you hit your head again?

    It makes far more sense to promote from within, even for a year, and move the program forward with known people who are committed to the long-term success of the program, as opposed an opportunistic egomaniac.

    This is just a bad idea all the way around, and I would not wish this on the Razorbacks and their fans.

  7. If Miami is smart they could get rid of Mike Sherman now?

    And I am not bitter that he road Farve’s coat-tails, moved up to the 3rd round to take a PUNTER, and basically set the Packer’s back 5 years.

    Go Pack! AROG on Rome TV today!

  8. Honestly, it would be great move for Payton. It keeps him active on a daily basis in the world of football coaching and also exposes him to a whole new level of offensive scheming not found in the NFL.

    It’s a really good way for him to avoid having the game pass him by, which wouldn’t be altogether improbable with a yearlong suspension.

  9. So his antics and untruthfullness can strech across two states? ya no one wants that.
    Coach Arkansas would show hes not sorry for what he did, just sorry he got caught.

    I thought this guy was all in for New Orleans, guess not.

  10. Yeah, bring in the only NFL coach to ever get suspended for a year for cheating and lying for 3 years after being told to stop after you fire a coach for lying who was a former NFL coach who quit on his team and players.Why not just keep Petrino.didnt they fire him for his actions and how it effected there players,team and college.That would really restore honor to there college.

  11. Yep, and that will go over real well with the Louisiana faithful when Sean Payton’s Razorbacks beat Les Miles’ LSU Tigers in the final game to end LSU’s title hopes.

  12. Serioulsy Florio, you continue to sink to new lows. Is this even a remote possibility, I didn’t think so. You should try Star magazine or better yet the National Inquirer, that is more down your alley in terms of journalism.

  13. Arkansas fired Petrino because he lied to them. So their potential solution would be to hire Payton…who’s only available because he’s currently suspended from the NFL for consistently and repeatedly lying.

    That makes sense.

  14. I’d like to see SP volunteer coaching a high school team and/or holding football camps for players/coaches

  15. Arkansas was an AP Top 5 team last season, and will be bringing back the SEC’s #1 passer in Tyler Wilson. This is the best opportunity the Razorback’s will have in the next couple of decades to make this a national program. This Petrino incident could be a long term blessing in disguise if they can get the right guy, right now.

  16. Anyone see the price of the “new” nike jerseys?

    99.95 for the cheapo replica jersey. I thought 85 was a massive ripoff for a shirt. Apparently dont change a thing, add an oversized swoosh and charge even more.

  17. Why not?
    He’s losing $7 million this year. Recoup $4 million and do advance scouting in the SEC. He’s only one state away in Arkansas.

    Everybody wins.

  18. 2013 National Champions – Arkansas Razorbacks* ??

    By the way,

    2009 Super Bowl Champions – New Orleans Saints*

  19. Sounds like an idea. A good idea. Arkansas isn’t going to get anywhere near as good a coach as Payton this late in the game, and Payton could use the money, the loss of free time worrying about his old team, and the ability to scout players for the 2013 draft from a whole new perspective.

  20. Why take the pay cut????

    LSU, Florida, and Alabama are in the Razorbacks’ way and that’s why it’s not worthy of being accepted by Payton!!!

  21. Florio just cant go a day without a “hang the saints” article.

    This is a stretch at best and probably didnt needed to be posted.

    That being said, Coach Johnson should hire him as a recruiting consultant at Tulane.

  22. Plus, the NFL would okay this, but not let the Vikes leave for Los Angeles because the politicians screwed them over???

  23. Wait let me understand they fired the college coach for not telling the truth.

    And Shawn was punished for not telling the truth.

    Anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

    If they hire him they are saying lie about hurting people but do not lie about who your banging

  24. Let’s just make up any scenario and write a story around it. The possibilities are endless, and most of them lame. Like Payton coaching AR, for example.

  25. This would be an all new low for Arkansas, the SEC, & the NCAA in general.
    Let’s put aside for a moment the message Arkansas would be sending people: “dishonesty & cheating are ok as long as you don’t get caught or lie to US”
    How could NCAA possibly allow this if Dez Bryant got suspended for having lunch & a few text/phone conversations with Deion Sanders-a former player who held NO official capacity with any NFL team?
    I understand the people who comprise the governing bodies of the NCAA & SEC are crooked enough to eat soup with a corkscrew, (letting Cam Newton play after it was clear he was central to a pay for play scheme) but surely even they would not allow this, right?
    What am I missing here?

  26. That is the worst conceived idea I’ve heard in a very long time.

    This is a college program and those kids are only there for four years. So for a freshman, 25% of their time is blown on the Sean Payton circus, and for seniors, their last year at the school will be a mess with a new offense, a new defense, new rules, new everything.

    Juniors actually have it worse because they know that all the BS they have to go through for one year with Payton will all change the next year. So, they may not be able to adjust to Payton and then they have only one year to look good for the NFL and that’s also going to be in a whole new system.

    What about recruiting? Is Sean Payton going to go out on recruiting trips? He hasn’t been involved with a collegiate program for 16 years. He doesn’t even know how to recruit anymore. What would he even say to recruits? Yeah, I certainly won’t be here when you come, but sign up, it’ll be great. Nope, I have no idea who will be coach, I’m going back to the NFL once my suspension is over.

    Man, use your head, Mike.

  27. Why take the pay cut????

    LSU, Florida, and Alabama are in the Razorbacks’ way and that’s why it’s not worthy of being accepted by Payton!!!


    I hate to break it to you, but Arkansas would murder Florida.

    Alabama always seems to have our number though.

    LSU won last year, but we’ve won 3 of the last 5.

    When Alabama beat us (1 of only 2 losses last season) they were ranked #1 in the country

    When LSU beat us (that other loss last year) they were ranked #1 in the country.

    Arkansas was also with out the #1 rusher in the SEC from the season prior, all last season.

  28. This makes PERFECT sense!

    1) The Hogs have a good support staff in place. He walks in and doesn’t have to hire assistants. The UofA is already on the hook to pay for the ones all ready in place.

    2)He comes from a high power offensive minded team. Petrino (love him or hate him) leaves behind a….high powered offensive juggernaut that is run via a “pro-styled” offense.

    3)He leaves at the end of the year. He will not try to parlay a good Interim coach year into a multi-year job! We can then shoot for a Home Run hire in December.

    4)I personally believe he is being made an example out of by the NFL. No where have we seen that he condoned the bounties.

    5)This solves the Hogs main concern about having to hire an unproven assistant (Mahlzan, or McGee) to lead a good year, but would be an unproven commoditty long term.


  29. i know, i know u authored this story because of the other day when u hit send on that dummy phone hypothetical story u said to urself “really, did i just do that!” so to make that ridiculous attempt of sarcastic idiocy go away u wrote this.

    and people why do u respond to this as something that is going to happen-“child please”.

  30. So many of you assume he would have to return to the NFL. Top college coaches get just as much money as NFL coaches and just ask Steve Spurrier, the hours are better.

    He could very well tell the NFL to shove it, walk away and go coach Arkansas for as long as he would like.

  31. What if Payton was hired and Arkansas won the BCS title? I could see a senario where he enjoys his time there and works a deal out of his Saints commitment to stay on. What would the nay sayers say then?

  32. Mike, Sean Payton if he is to survive as the Saints HC, must step away, and I think much more will eventually come out about what happened with this corrupted program. If he took this job, it would help him and the Arkansas Football program. Yes and this story has been talked about here in New Orleans. The irony that he could play the role he inquired to Parcells about taking with the Saints, a one and done. He could also be an Assistant Head Coach at Tulane. Either way he would be surveying college talent.

  33. How can he coach Arkansas when he’s still REALLY going to be coaching the Saints?
    Please don’t tell me you think that Payton isn’t going to get his messages into those coaches meetings and the locker room just because Goodell says he isn’t “allowed” to! He will still be coaching the Saints, we just won’t physically see it.
    I wonder how good of a disguise they can come up with for him. “Hey why is the ball boy so close to Drew Brees right now?”

  34. how random is that?!!

    NFL ban will also not block Payton from:

    running for public office
    going to the grocery store
    writing a book
    eating crawfish
    hunting alligators
    baking bread
    having a garage sale
    throwing horseshoes
    shooting pool
    reading a good book
    participating on PFT…

    there, that should keep you guys busy for a couple of days…

  35. Only chance Ark-CANT-Saw would ever have in coming close to winning a NC…..

    Payton is actually going to work for the Hornets..wink, wink…

  36. I think it’s a great idea. You could hire the heir apparent this summer and make him a scout who happens to make $4M a year. This would set Arkansas up for 2013 and beyond. Meanwhile Payton wins a national title during his suspension.

  37. The place needs to be fumigated after Petrino. Short of that, I’d be afraid of touching anything he may have been in contact with.

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