FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen’s truck was set on fire early Monday morning and the incident is being investigated for arson.
Sgt. Craig Stout said the Fayetteville Police Department received a call at 3:59 a.m. regarding a fire at Allen’s residence. A Chevy Avalanche registered to Bobby Allen, Arkansas’ director of high school relations and Brandon Allen’s father, was on fire when authorities arrived at the scene.
Stout said it was the second car fire police responded to Monday morning.
Stout said both fires are being investigated for arson. He added it also “too early to say” whether the two car fires were related, but added “we’re moving forward like they are.” There was no immediate indication Allen specifically was targeted.
But it wasn’t the start to game week Arkansas expected for as it prepared for the season opener at Auburn. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said “your breath kind of stops for a moment” when Allen called at 4:15 a.m. to inform him the truck was on fire. But he said the quarterback, who was “completely safe,” didn’t sound rattled.
“It was kind of just status quo, ho hum for him,” Bielema said. “Which, to me, is probably not a big surprise to those of us who really know him.”
It’s not the first time something has happened to Allen’s truck since he has been Arkansas’ starting quarterback. He returned from the overtime loss at Mississippi State last November to find someone had egged his truck.
But Bielema said it didn’t appear Allen was targeted this time.
“This wasn’t the only one,” Bielema said. “There were, I believe, three, the possibility of four more that took place on campus. So it’s probably somebody new to town maybe. If it is someone that targeted him, then obviously we’ve got to deal with that situation as it comes. But it is what it is. You play it out as it is.”
Bielema said the “mum’s the word” regarding the incident, however, while the arson investigation is conducted. He’s also making his quarterbacks — which includes Allen’s younger brother, Austin Allen — unavailable for comment this week.
But Bielema is confident Allen’s concentration won’t be clouded this week.
“I just called him and said, ‘Hey, if it’s all right with you, this is the plan. We’re going to take you and Austin off limits,’” Bielema said. “He started laughing. I said ‘You tired of this?’ 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.”