There was some surprise when it was announced by the University of Arkansas that it would play baseball games against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The UA has always had a rule that it would not play in-state teams.
For the first 75 years that made sense, but in today's economic world of perspiring arts where budgets of Power 5 athletic programs have soared past the $100 million mark, maybe it is time to reconsider.
And maybe scheduling the Razorbacks against the Trojans and Golden Lions in a 3-1 (three games in Baum, one each at the other schools) was a great start.
Sources say basketball will be next, and that makes sense, too. UALR and UAPB are in the same system, and for years the UA has scheduled teams and paid them nicely for home games against teams from the Sun Belt and the SWAC, which gave those schools more money to compete against the Trojans and Golden Lions.
In my career, the most intense atmosphere ever felt was when Arkansas State University took on the Razorbacks in the NIT in 1987, a thriller won by the Hogs in overtime 67-64. ASU fans did whatever it took to get a ticket for that historic game at Barnhill Arena, and both set of fans were loud and proud the entire game.
Which brings up the questions: How do the other FBS schools figure into this, or do they?
Arkansas State and the University of Central Arkansas aren't penciled in on any UA schedule, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the radar.
What the UA has right now is a pretty forward-thinking, aggressive board of trustees. Folks who see how something that might have been good 100 years ago isn't so good anymore. Even in football.
Perhaps -- and this is just that, a perhaps -- there is some thought being given to those seasons when the Razorbacks don't play Missouri in War Memorial Stadium.
Opening in central Arkansas against in-state schools -- which would be on a rotation of UAPB, ASU and UCA -- would be exciting. For basketball and baseball, add UALR.
Which basketball game would fans be more likely to attend in Fayetteville this season: UA vs. Florida International or the Hogs and Red Wolves? Or Western Kentucky or UAPB?
More tickets would be sold for games against in-state teams. That's what economics and today's world of athletics is about most of the time.
The Ronald McDonald House is one of the most appreciated organizations in the country for people who have children who are ill.
The Ronald McDonald House provides a home-away-from-home for those families who need to be near hospitals and doctors, and its Care Mobile provides free dental care and education to underserved children.
One of the major fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald operation is a golf scramble and tailgate party, and both will be here before you know it.
The tournament has an 8 a.m. shotgun start at Pleasant Valley Country Club on Monday, Sept. 27. A four-person team is $2,500, a two-person is $1,250 and individual play is $700. There is a ladies nine-hole scramble. Teams of four are $1,200.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, the Totally Tailgate party for sponsors and participants will be at Next Level Events. The party includes several large TVs for watching football, food and drinks, a silent auction and more.
Each team in the tournament will receive eight tickets, and those who just want to party and help the Ronald McDonald House can pay $50 for a ticket. For more information, call (501) 374-3318.
Sports on 09/06/2018
Print Headline: Hogs smart to schedule in-state schools