UA Won’t Say If Coach’s Son Is Suspended With Pay Or Without

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For more than a month, the University of Arkansas basketball program has refused to say whether Mike Anderson Jr. is suspended with or without pay after being arrested in early December on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Arkansas men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson suspended his son indefinitely from the coaching staff on Dec. 3, one day after the younger Anderson was jailed in a DWI arrest.

Since Dec. 4, 5NEWS has sent at least four text messages to the athletic department, asking whether Anderson Jr. was being paid during the indefinite suspension.

On Dec. 4, Phil Pierce, associate media relations director, responded in a text to 5NEWS, “I have placed a call to the administrator who he reports to, but have not heard back. I will let you know as soon as I can.” He did not name the administrator.

However, five minutes after this story was first posted Tuesday evening (Jan. 8) on the 5NEWS website, Pierce sent an e-mail to the station, saying information on whether Anderson Jr. is being paid is a personnel matter and thus unavailable.

In its entirety, Pierce’s e-mail on Tuesday reads:

“I apologize that it took longer than I would have liked to get this information to you, but here is what I have been told regarding the questions that you had about Michael Anderson Jr.  He is currently still serving a suspension from the team and in regards to your question about his suspension being with or without pay, I am told that the information is not available as it is a personnel matter.  I don’t anticipate any further information or comment on the situation.”

Anderson Jr. is paid $30,900 annually in his job as the basketball team’s video coordinator, Pierce said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

The coach briefly addressed the arrest during a media availability Monday (Dec. 3), saying his son was being suspended indefinitely. The coach added he was disappointed and said the family would continue to support the 27-year-old Mike Anderson Jr.

The younger Anderson is in his second season as the team’s video coordinator. Anderson earned four letters playing for his father at Alabama-Birmingham and Missouri.

Anderson was booked into the Washington County Detention Center at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday (Dec. 2) after being pulled over by Fayetteville police shortly after 3 a.m., according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department website. It is Anderson’s third DWI arrest, with his previous arrests coming in Fayetteville in January 2012 and in 2007 while he played for his father at Missouri.

A preliminary police report states an officer saw a white Pontiac run a stop sign at Wedington and Colorado drives before making a turn onto Wedington. The officer said in the report that the car straddled the middle line before pulling into a gas station on Wedington, with the car’s gas tank on the opposite side of the gas pump.

The officer said in the report that he turned on his lights and sirens and the driver, identified as Anderson Jr., got out of his vehicle and approached the officer’s car. The officer said he told the driver to return to his car, and the officer smelled alcohol coming from the car.

The report states Anderson’s eyes were red and watery and he had slurred speech. Anderson failed a field sobriety test and later refused to take a breathalyzer at the detention center, according to the report.

Anderson was released on $2,000 bond and has a Jan. 18 court date.