Arkansas Football: Bret Bielema Suspends Alex Collins for 1 Week

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2014

USA Today


UPDATE: Feb. 18th, 2014

According to Thomas Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Alex Collins has been reinstated.  Read Bret Bielema's comments below. 


Arkansas running back Alex Collins, who led all FBS freshmen in rushing attempts and yards last season, has been suspended from team activities for a week due to an unspecified offense.

Robbie Neiswanger of Arkansas News tweeted the report:

According to Andy Shupe of, head coach Bret Bielema announced the suspension at a news conference to introduce new defensive coordinator Robb Smith.

While he didn't go into the specifics of his rationale, Bielema did make it seem like Collins' social media behavior was at least partially responsible.

"You'll probably see that [Collins] is not going to be as active on Twitter and everything else as well," Bielema said, according to Shupe. "He's been removed from all social media until further notice."

The suspension isn't overly important, at least in its current form, since it's taking place during winter conditioning and not spring practice.

Collins will miss all team-related activities for the next week—though Jerry Hinnen of CBS Sports says he's still expected to meet with strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert—but he should still be a full-go once real practices begin in Fayetteville.

According to Shupe, Collins is the fourth Razorbacks player that Bielema has suspended for a week this offseason, following the lead of running back Korliss Marshall and walk-ons Bubba Crouch and Nathan Williamson.

Collins, though, is by far the highest profile of that group.

A former 5-star recruit who was part of Arkansas' two-headed rushing attack last season, Collins is expected to again be one of the best offensive players in the SEC next year. He finished 2013 with 1,026 yards on 190 carries and was named the conference's Freshman of the Year, doing so despite his team's winless record in league play.

Bielema has a reputation for grooming his running backs into superstars, as he did with countless players at Wisconsinchief among them P.J. Hill, John Clay, Montee Ball and James White. Last year, he continued his trend of sharing the rock, giving Jonathan Williams 150 carries to Collins' 190.

Strictly based on talent, that dichotomy was expected to remain intact this upcoming season, with Collins perhaps pulling an even bigger load than he did as a true freshman.

This report, if isolated, won't do anything to change that, but it's at least worth keeping an eye on.

It might be the first step toward the dog house.


Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT