UALR won't visit Beard next season after Texas Tech buys out of game

Former UALR coach Chris Beard
Former UALR coach Chris Beard

The UALR men's basketball team won't be visiting its former coach next season, after all.

UALR released its non-conference men's basketball schedule Thursday, which includes a Nov. 12 season opener against Central Baptist and home games against the University of the Ozarks (Nov. 14), Idaho (Nov. 18), Tulsa (Dec. 3), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 8) and Central Arkansas (Dec. 10).

What it doesn't include is a trip to Lubbock, Texas, to play former Coach Chris Beard and Texas Tech. The two teams met in December last season and were under contract to play again next season, but UALR Athletic Director Chasse Conque said Thursday that Texas Tech bought out of the game for $55,000.

"They reached out to us and started the dialogue, and I think it's best for both parties," Conque said of the Texas Tech game. "Wes [Flanigan] was on board; I was on board. I think, at the end of the day, we all felt this was the best thing for everybody, just being one year removed from last season."

Conque said the open date created on the schedule was filled with a home-and-home series with Oral Roberts. UALR will play at the Tulsa-based school Dec. 19 and host the Golden Eagles during the 2017-2018 season.

Other road games this season include at Central Arkansas (Nov. 29), at Northern Arizona (Dec. 14) and at Florida (Dec. 21).

"I think it's a great schedule, and I think it's a step in the right direction of where we want to go long term with building the schedule," Conque said. "I think, finally, we're in the driver's seat and in control of the scheduling process."

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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