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Nutt: Chancellor White, AD Broyles 'want me here'

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The plot has thickened for Houston
Nutt and Arkansas.

First the Razorbacks stunned LSU in a triple-overtime thriller
Friday, then college football's coaching carousel began spinning in
earnest over the weekend.

Now Nutt says Chancellor John White wants him to remain at
Arkansas.

"Chancellor White and [athletic director Frank] Broyles, they
want me here. They want me to stay," Nutt told reporters Sunday at
his weekly news conference. "That's a good feeling, and I'm
excited about that."

It might not be that simple for the embattled coach. Nutt said
he's had preliminary discussions with White, but he didn't give any
details on what was talked about. Broyles is retiring at the end of
the year, and incoming athletic director Jeff Long has been mum on
Nutt's future.

Nutt said he expected to speak with Long later this week.

Before Arkansas's victory over LSU, multiple sources told ESPN.com that Nutt is not expected to return next season as the Razorbacks football coach.

Sources told ESPN.com that Long, who officially takes over when long-time Razorbacks AD Broyles retires on Dec. 31, was leaning toward replacing Nutt as the school's football coach.

Nutt went 10-4 in 2006, but he's been under fire since the
January departures of offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and
quarterback Mitch Mustain. The Razorbacks lost their first three
Southeastern Conference games this year, fueling more speculation
about Nutt's job security.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Nutt wouldn't be back,
but the school strongly denied that any decision had been made.
Arkansas salvaged an 8-4 regular season with a 50-48 win over
then-No. 1 LSU.

"That locker room was the best that we've ever experienced, and
there was so much happiness, so much joy," Nutt said. "Let's be
honest. This was a difficult season. Under the circumstances, for
guys to start out 0-3, it could have easily gone south. But the one
trademark that we have is we keep fighting."

The victory over LSU put the Razorbacks in decent shape for a
berth in the Cotton Bowl -- which has a long history with Arkansas
from the school's Southwest Conference days.

"Boy, I'm hoping the Cotton Bowl's going to call us. We have a
lot of tie-ins there," Nutt said. "But again, I know the Liberty,
the Independence, the Music City [bowls], we have great tie-ins
with the SEC."

Before Arkansas plays in the postseason, there will likely be
more news about where Nutt will be next season. If he's not back
with the Razorbacks, there are other job openings that might
appeal. Mississippi fired Ed Orgeron on Saturday, opening a spot at
another SEC school not far from Nutt's home state of Arkansas.

Nebraska fired Bill Callahan the same day.

Nutt was asked about his interest in other openings. He switched
the subject to recruiting.

"There's seven, eight jobs right now. There's going to be
more," Nutt said. "There's not just one thing on my mind -- 'oh,
that's the one.' I hadn't thought about things like that. Right
now, again, we've got 19 solid commitments after all this that are
still hanging there very, very strong and I'm proud of that. All
I'm doing right now is just touching base with those guys. We start
recruiting."

Nutt has been no stranger to controversy recently. Fans used the
Freedom of Information Act to investigate his cell phone records.
One man filed a lawsuit over a nasty e-mail a friend of Nutt's
family sent to Mustain before he transferred.

Nutt was asked if the fan base could be united if he were to
return as coach.

"I hope so. I hope so. ... I hope that if I walked by one fan
or I didn't speak to somebody, if I made somebody mad in that way,
boy I apologize," Nutt said. "All I've ever wanted to do was do
the right thing, do it the proper way and be the head coach and the
ambassador for Arkansas. ... I hope the fan base, I hope we all can
come together. I don't know.

"It's not going to be determined by somebody that gets on a
blog, or somebody that has an ink pen," Nutt added. "It's not
going to be determined by those guys. It's not. It's going to be
determined by Chancellor White, the board, coach Broyles and Jeff
Long. It's those people that are in charge."

A phone message left for White was not immediately returned.

Nutt said it has been a dream to coach at Arkansas. He took over
the program before the 1998 season. Nutt defended his record with
the Razorbacks, saying expectations have increased because of the
strides the team has made under his watch.

Nutt said he talked to Jimmy Johnson, a former Arkansas player,
after the LSU game.

"Boy once a Razorback, always a Razorback. He was so proud,"
Nutt said. "And by the way, Jimmy Johnson says he's not coming to
take this job -- it's too tough! That was his words."

Looking toward the future, Nutt struck an upbeat tone.

"You want to be supported," Nutt said. "You just want them to
know, hey, you're a team player, you're willing to do whatever it
takes. You want things to just go very smooth. ... There's a lot of
good, good things when you look close, but we're going to have to
see what's best, what is best. This week, we'll see."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.