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Pittman wanting tighter window

by Scottie Bordelon | June 2, 2023 at 3:14 a.m.
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman reacts, Saturday, April 15, 2023, during the Red-White Spring Football Showcase at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. Visit for today's photo gallery..(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

DESTIN, Fla. -- Arkansas football Coach Sam Pittman spoke openly at SEC Spring Meetings about his want for the NCAA transfer portal window to tighten in the future.

The NCAA put in place transfer portal windows for 2022-23 to try to regulate when players were allowed to enter. There was a 45-day window from Dec. 5 to Jan. 18, and another 15-day window from April 15-30.

"Here is what I believe: if you're going to go in the portal, I believe you know it a little while before," Pittman said. "It's like selling a house. Like I said before, house coming soon for sale, and that's kind of what the kids are doing now. If they know they're going in the portal, they'll say on portal day I'm going to go in. I don't think it would be unjust for the kid to cut it down."

Pittman said quality of life in May for coaches across the board is "not very good right now." And he is hopeful that a two-week window will replace the 45-day window during the winter.

"You're out on the road trying to recruit high school kids, but yet you have some portal guys on campus, so you have to bring the position coach back," Pittman said. "Well, do you bring the coordinator back? Well, if you don't, you're probably not going to get him.

"I think the window is too long. I don't think [shortening it is] being unfair to the kids."

Asked about roster turnover with the Razorbacks since the end of the 2022 season, Pittman said there were two or three players who went into the transfer portal that he was "very disappointed" about. Overall, though, he was not surprised by the number of players who exited the program.

"I've turned that all around and I'm telling them I don't want anybody going in the portal," Pittman said. "At least they'll know we're not trying to kick any of you off the team or invite you to leave. There was a lot, but if you add in the walk-ons that went in there, too, all those numbers are added together.

"[It was] probably about what I expected, to be honest with you."

Pittman at baseball

Sam Pittman plans to be at Baum-Walker Stadium when the Arkansas baseball team plays in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, which begins Friday with a game between the Razorbacks and Santa Clara.

"We have a lot of [official visits] each weekend," Pittman said. "[But] I'm going to find a way to get out there, because Dave [Van Horn] and them and his team deserve everybody who can get out there to root them on."

The Razorbacks' game begins at 2 p.m. on ESPN-Plus.

In primetime

Sam Pittman said the Razorbacks getting to play Brigham Young at night in Fayetteville on Sept. 16 is a huge deal.

It was announced Wednesday that Arkansas' first two games of the season against Western Carolina and Kent State will be played at 3 p.m. Ahead of the announcement, Pittman wanted the home game against BYU to get a primetime slot, and it did -- 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

"Hopefully we get off to a good start [to the season]," Pittman said. "I think I looked at where they'll be when they're coming in. I think it could be a really good game, and maybe they'll be ranked.

"I think we'll have an advantage because of our fans. To be honest with you, I was hoping that one would be at night. I'm glad it is."

Arkansas defeated BYU 52-35 last season in Provo, Utah. The Cougars will play their first season as a Big 12 member this year.

Brazil on the move

Arkansas women's basketball Coach Mike Neighbors said Wednesday that he is losing a valuable member of his support staff in Jeff Brazil.

Brazil is listed on the Razorbacks' website as special assistant to the head coach and director of video.

"He has been offered an unbelievable opportunity with a video company that he's been working with as a liaison and he's going to go work for them," Neighbors said. "We're going to have a change with Jeff. He's been with me since the very first day.

"Somebody will step in and do some of the things. ... You could never replace Jeff Brazil. Everybody that knows what he does, he's irreplaceable."

Schedule notes

Arkansas Coach Mike Neighbors provided a number of scheduling notes for the 2023-24 season.

Neighbors said the Razorbacks do not yet know their opponent for the first year of the ACC/SEC Challenge, but they will play on the road. He added that UCLA will come to Fayetteville in December.

Neighbors also said Arkansas will play at Arkansas State, which he called a "marquee matchup," and Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Central Arkansas will play the Razorbacks in Fayetteville.

He said Arkansas will play a game in central Arkansas against an opponent to be announced. Home games against Murray State on Nov. 10 and UCA on Nov. 20 were previously reported.

Simple process

Arkansas men's basketball Coach Eric Musselman said there is never an easy recruiting process.

But a couple of his transfer signees -- Tramon Mark (Houston) and Keyon Menifield (Washington) -- had short and fairly simple recruitments, he added.

"Tramon, he just kind of wanted to [be here]," Musselman said. "I think he was pretty simple. Like, 'Hey, just hit me with the basketball, Coach.' And Keyon [was that way].

"Both of those guys were like, 'Talk to me about style of play. Talk to me about what your guards have done.' It was a little bit like JD [Notae]."

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