HOOVER, Ala. Arkansas running back Knile Davis and a few other teammates have spoken with former coach Bobby Petrino in the past several days.

Davis said Wednesday, during Southeastern Conference Media Days, he received a phone call from Petrino last week. It was the first time he has spoken to his former coach since Petrino was fired in April.

"He was just saying hes sorry for what happened," Davis said. "He expected me to have a big season. I could hear the humbleness and the hurt in his voice. He was really hurt by it. I said, 'Coach, dont be too hard on yourself. Youll come back from this.' He just told me that he loved me and that was pretty much it.

Davis wasn't alone. Quarterback Tyler Wilson said he had spoken to Petrino, too. So has defensive end Tenarius Wright. Davis said the coach has called a handful of players and appreciated the message.

"Im glad that he did call me just with respect," Davis said. "It was cool. Now Im ready to go."

The revelation regarding the phone conversations came a day after Petrino was serving as a caddy for one of his daughters during a golf tournament in Kentucky. They were the first public photos of Petrino since his April 3 press conference, which came two days after the motorcycle accident.

Those close to Petrino said he's still healing physically and emotionally from the accident and the fallout.

Arkansas coach John L. Smith, like the players, also had his first conversation with Petrino last week.

"I think it was a way of Bobby saying, 'Let's just kind of let you take care of everything and you don't need to answer any questions about you and I having visited," Smith said. "Now that we have, yes, we talked.

"It was basically about our football team at Arkansas, of which he's always concerned about that. And, of course, what he's going to do from here on out with his life, things he'd like to get done."

Smith said later Petrino does intend to coach again.

"My suggestion was to stay involved, stay involved, stay involved, which he'll do," Smith said when asked about Petrino coaching again. "He'll stay involved and he'll be back in, I believe that, next year somewhere."

Robbie Neiswanger Arkansas News Bureau