Hogs: Bielema kills media contact w/Brandon Allen as police investigate torching of QB's pickup
FAYETTEVILLE - Fayetteville police are investigating a possible arson regarding Arkansas junior starting quarterback Brandon Allen's vehicle while it was parked overnight by his residence.
Jr QB BRANDON ALLEN
Fayetteville firefighters and police responded to a 3:59 a.m. Monday report that Allen's Chevy Avalanche was on fire after responding to a 1:34 a.m. call about another Chevy Avalanche on fire in Fayetteville.
At his regularly scheduled Monday press conference, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema opened it addressing the situation of Allen's vehicle.
Bielema said Allen called him shortly after 4 a.m.
"He just kind of explained to me that he was calling to let me know that his car was on fire and he was watching it across the street and the fire department was there and his dad (Bobby Allen, on Bielema's staff as the Razorbacks director of high school relations) was on his way, that unfortunately something had put his car on fire and that he didn't know at the time what had taken place," Bielema said. "Obviously all the authorities are there. They have started a formal investigation, don't know a lot of details right now, just that B.A. is completely safe."
Following last season's Nov. 9 overtime loss to Mississippi State in Little Rock, Brandon Allen's car was vandalized with an overnight egging. As of Monday afternoon there was no release of information if that incident could be related to this one or if there is a connection to the fire of Allen's vehicle to the one reported earlier Monday after midnight.
"As soon as I got off the phone with B.A. the next person I called was his dad," Bielema said. "You are a dad first and foremost and I could hear it in Bobby's voice, the concern that he had and all the issues that are around that. Hopefully they are going work through the details of that and find out who is doing it. It sounds like there are a couple of other scenarios this weekend on campus. Hopefully it's an isolated, random situation."
Bielema said Brandon Allen seemed to be handling the situation calmly, but that he is removing both Brandon and his brother, redshirt freshman backup quarterback Austin Allen, from media contact this week.
While trying to minimize the distractions, Bielema, in response to a question, said he is not worried about his starting quarterback losing focus on Saturday's game at Auburn.
"I'm not, just because I know the kid," Bielema said. "He said he's just rolling with the punches. I think he would like to just thank all of the people that reached out to him. Obviously it hit the Twitter world. But other than that, I really don't see it being a big issue with him."
Allen, 21, is a graduate of Fayetteville High and has lived in Fayetteville since his father came from Boise State in 1998 on the Arkansas defensive staff of Houston Nutt. Bobby Allen also coached defense for former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who signed Brandon Allen in 2011.