Arkansas has parted ways with Chad Morris as head coach, a person with knowledge of the matter told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school had not yet announced the news.
Though the firing comes on the heels of Arkansas' 45-19 loss at home to Western Kentucky on Saturday, the decision to make a change before Morris could complete his second season had been weeks in the making. Morris' short tenure at Arkansas had been a disaster on the field: 4-18 overall and 0-14 in the SEC with embarrassing losses to North Texas, San Jose State and Colorado State prior to Saturday's blowout.
With little evidence that the program was trending in the right direction and an exodus of fan support, Arkansas had little choice but to go in a different direction.
Morris, a legend in Texas high school coaching who made his name in college football as Clemson's offensive coordinator, will be owed $10 million as part of his buyout agreement.
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That's an expensive decision for Arkansas, which swallowed an $11.9 million buyout for Bret Bielema two years ago. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Razorback Foundation stopped has stopped paying out the $320,833 monthly check Bielema was owed, claiming he hasn't fulfilled his end of the settlement to seek similar employment that would offset Arkansas' obligation. Bielema is currently the New England Patriots' defensive line coach, and the matter seems likely to end up in court.
Arkansas could end up pursuing Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Memphis' Mike Norvell or Washington State's Mike Leach, among others.