Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is drawing heavy criticism on social media after the surfacing of a video clip that appears to show the outspoken coach flopping to feign a shove from Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson on Saturday night.
Robinson was flagged for a personal foul on the play, although it's not clear whether Bielema's actions caused the the official to throw the flag. Nevertheless, the timing doesn't look very good for the Razorbacks' coach. In immediate succession, Bielema approaches Robinson after the whistle, stumbles backward for no apparent reason, followed immediately by the penalty flag flying and Bielema celebrating the outcome.
If that was a true flop, it was the worst one in history. Infamous NBA flopper Vlade Divac would be ashamed.
The video drew the attention SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who stated Tuesday that he spoke with Bielema about the incident and that the penalty was not "direcly associated" with Bielema's actions.
"I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip," Sankey's statement read. "Football is played in an intense and competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed at the end of the play was not directly associated with Bret's efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner."
Alabama won the game, 27-14, but at the time of the penalty, the outcome was very much in doubt: the Crimson Tide led 3-0 in the second quarter, and Robinson's penalty came at the end of an interception by the Razorbacks' defense. Robinson, incidentally, is one of the top left tackle prospects in college football, though as a sophomore, he won't be eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.
If he's trying to take attention off his 3-16 SEC record in two-plus seasons, he gets an A for effort.
And an F for execution.