By Kurt Voigt
AP Sports Writer
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The misfortunes of Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen’s truck continue.
Police found his truck on fire early Monday and were investigating the incident as a potential case of arson.
Sgt. Craig Stout of the Fayetteville Police Department said Allen’s truck was one of three involved in a pair of car fires, though he said it was too early to say if the fire was related to Allen’s position on the football team.
“We don’t know that yet,” Stout said.
Allen’s truck was egged following a loss to Mississippi State last season, after which coach Bret Bielema said college football “is a little bit ugly at times.”
Stout said the police and fire departments responded to a call at 3:59 a.m. and discovered Allen’s Chevy Avalanche – which is registered to his father and former Arkansas assistant coach Bobby Allen – on fire. Stout said the car fire was the second of the morning in Fayetteville, following a call approximately two hours earlier a few miles away from Allen’s truck. The first fire also jumped to a neighboring parked car, and Stout said investigators are working to determine the cause of both fires.
Bielema said Allen called him at approximately 4:15 a.m. while the fire was ongoing.
“Your breath kind of stops for a moment when (I) saw it was (Allen) calling me,” Bielema said. “I was hoping it was my alarm, but it was half hour before I was planning on getting up.”
Bielema said Allen was “completely safe,” and that he plans to put the junior quarterback and younger brother Austin Allen – the team’s backup quarterback – off limits for interviews this week leading up to Arkansas’ season opener at Auburn.
Bielema said Allen was calm when the two talked Monday morning, and that he doesn’t expect the incident to impact the quarterback’s play against the defending Southeastern Conference champion Tigers.
He also said he’s hopeful the fire wasn’t related to Allen’s position on the team, and that he continues to believe Fayetteville is a top destination for high school recruits.
“One of the things people talk about is they can be here the whole weekend and never see a siren, never see a police officer with squad lights on,” Bielema said. “I think that’s still one of the best-selling points to Arkansas.”
Allen’s teammates showed their support for the quarterback through social media.
“The whole team has (your) back and we all know you’re the guy to take us to the promise land,” senior tight end AJ Derby tweeted.