The Mike Anderson Era Hogs seem to have a bit of a player retention problem. Following closely on the heels of Jeff Peterson and Glenn Bryant's recent departures, Rotnei Clarke, he of the sweet jump shot and even sweeter faux-hawk, has apparently left the program
Clarke has seemingly made an annual habit of threatening to transfer, but as recently as this April it seemed like that situation had been quelled and the sharpshooter was on board with the Anderson regime. But, rumors of his exit started to leak out yesterday, and this afternoon Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com unleashed a bombshell column in which it was revealed that Rotnei had asked for a release and been refused. Drama!
But, this evening, a team meeting was held sans-Clarke (we're thinking it didn't take a very big room to hold everyone), and the word out of Fayetteville is that he's no longer on the team. More drama!
Furthermore, Goodman's article also dropped this tidbit (without any further detail or context): "Two members of Arkansas' highly regarded recruiting class -- which was assembled by former coach John Pelphrey and his coaching staff -- both asked Anderson for their release." Yikes.
At this rate it seems safe to say that a) if you're a decent-to-good intramural player currently enrolled at the U of A now could be your chance to fulfill a dream and land a spot on the Razorbacks and b) Anderson has quite a bit of work to do.
As for Clarke, my thoughts tend to follow those of Dave Barr in this column...that his choirboy image probably overshadowed a serious "me first" ego, and that he's surely getting some bad advice from whomever is urging him to leave. As for the rest of the team, it's increasingly looking like next year is going to be a lot tougher than previously assumed. And as for the fans, any hopes that the constant turmoil that has plagued the basketball program for the last several years had ended seem firmly dashed at this point.
Woo pig sooie?