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  • #1 by osumed14 on 13 Jul 2017
  • So do people think about UALR doing a feasibility study to get football!?  Good or bad for the central Ark area?  Could some fun rivalries start up between them and A State and even UCA early on while getting things built?
  • #2 by Seminole Indian on 13 Jul 2017
  • Interesting idea for sure, but hard to accomplish.

    As far as FBS, unless you have P5 resources like Liberty,  it is almost impossible unless you have a FBS Conference wanting you. I don't think any FBS conference is going to add teams. The SBC, who just kicked out two FBS teams to get to a better number, is probably not an option.
  • #3 by osumed14 on 14 Jul 2017
  • I was told that at the summer meetings for SBC they actually discussed it and made a rule that any league team that begins a sport that is already in the league will automatically be able to be a part of that league in the new sport. 
  • #4 by Jim Harris on 14 Jul 2017
  • There are a few heavy hitters around LR that are resigned to the fact that Arkansas is done playing in Little Rock after 2018 and would like college football of some sort in central Arkansas and put the stadium to use. No one expects 50,000 people to come out, everyone understands that (Arkansas doesn't' even get 50,000 here anymore for games). But A-State recruits 1-2 players a year out of Arkansas now, the Hogs get the cream, SEC-level talent in Arkansas that doesn't choose Bama, and there are players who left here who go to ULM or La Tech or Juco or wherever who could be the base of a program. Can they find the money to finance football on a year-to-year basis, would be the question. If anyone felt the effect of a UA Little Rock team, it would probably be UCA, but they also recruit the region and not just the state.

    And Houston Nutt could get that job he wants.
  • #5 by Sweet Feet on 14 Jul 2017
  • The SBC is kicking out NMSU and Idaho because they weren't full members. Idaho i think had a plan to drop to FCS anyway. It seems like the SBC wants more full member football teams. They have 10, but the norm in the FBS is usually 12-14. With UALR and UTSA being the only full member teams without one, a UALR football team would make perfect sense
  • #6 by Seminole Indian on 14 Jul 2017
  • Not sure about them voting to allow UALR or UTA or add football, but they don't want more football teams because it cuts into each schools CFP money, and that is a big reason why they let NMSU, and Idaho go. UALR gets some of the SBC CFP money to cover FCOA.

    Here is a nice write-up on AStateNation.com about some of the $ issues:

    "Currently UALR charges students an athletic fee of $21 per semester hour, compared to a $19 per hour fee at Arkansas State. Raising fees could be a challenge for UALR. In 2015-15 the annual cost for two semesters taking 15 hours a semester at UALR was $8165 for an in-state student compared to $8050 at Arkansas State."

    Category             AState          UALR              Difference
    Salaries           $4,299,858   $2,749,197   $1,550,661
    Scholarships    $5,415,333   $2,400,228   $3,015,105
    Recruiting        $467,314      $176,993       $290,321
    Team Travel    $2,612,402    $1,119,665    $1,492,737
    Equipment       $926,878       $212,694      $714,184
    Guarantees     $504,500        $79,000        $425,500
    Medical            $293,925       $14,710       $279,215
    Total                                                     $7,767,723


    http://www.scout.com/college/arkansas-state/story/1790842-how-feasible-little-rock-football
  • #7 by Seminole Indian on 14 Jul 2017
  • Another link to an article comparing athletic cost for all the  SBC schools in the SBC.

    https://www.underdogdynasty.com/2016/4/19/11451554/Sun-Belt-Athletic-Budget-2015-Arkansas-State-Georgia-Southern-Appalachian-State


  • #8 by Kicking Wing on 14 Jul 2017
  • The SBC is kicking out NMSU and Idaho because they weren't full members. Idaho i think had a plan to drop to FCS anyway. It seems like the SBC wants more full member football teams. They have 10, but the norm in the FBS is usually 12-14. With UALR and UTSA being the only full member teams without one, a UALR football team would make perfect sense
    The SBC kicked those two out because they only participated in football, they are geographic outliers and they did not contribute to the football power rankings.  Still had to split the CFP money with them.  The SBC finished ahead of CUSA and the MAC a few times already in CFP performance money and that was WITH NMSU and IDAHO in the fold.

    There is not much football talent in central Arkansas or anywhere in Arkansas to be honest.  Arkansas State gets far better talent from AL, GA, MS and TX.  UALR cannot build a program that will compete in the SBC by going cheap and recruiting central AR.  ULM has the worst budget in FBS and rarely competes despite being in a talent rich state.  UALR would need to spend more than ULM to compete and there would be a lot of startup costs to get facilities in order.  They need probably $7 million more in the budget to make it work and that does not count the start up expenses.  They could go on the road three times a year and get crushed and net around $4 million but that means they will have a hard time accumulating the wins they need to attract fans and boosters.

    They can't make it by trying to compete with UCA and UAPB for players.  They have to compete with La. Tech, USM, ASU, UNT, Tulane, etc. to sign players.  They have a long way to go to catch any of those.

    UALR fits geographically and there is room in the league so it would be great but I just don't see them finding the money given that they do not fully fund the sports they sponsor today.
  • #9 by Seminole Indian on 14 Jul 2017
  • I've read nothing that indicates that anyone associated with the SBC wants to replace NMSU and Idaho. In fact they seem to feel strongly that 910 (counted all the schools but A-State) is the best number for a G5 conference in football.
  • #10 by Seminole Indian on 15 Jul 2017
  • Little from the SBC as far as the number of schools playing football:

    “This was a strategic decision that was reached following a thorough and complete review of our options,” said Sun Belt Conference and Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth. “The Sun Belt’s Presidents and Chancellors strongly believe it is in the best interest of the conference to have a core membership of 10 football teams that are geographically located within the ‘footprint’ of the conference and that these 10 members also compete in all conference sports.  This decision, along with the full 12-team membership that goes into place for the 2016-17 season with the addition of Coastal Carolina University, will reduce travel demands and missed class time for all Sun Belt student-athletes – while also furthering the development of regional rivalries within the conference.”

    "This 10-team football league will maximize the Sun Belt’s on-field performance, push us to the top ranking of our four peer conferences, and will give us the best opportunity to soon place a team in one of the  College Football Playoff’s New Year’s Day bowl games,” said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson."

    http://www.hogville.net/yabbse/index.php?action=post;topic=635053.0;last_msg=10881217
     
  • #11 by Seminole Indian on 15 Jul 2017
  • I was told that at the summer meetings for SBC they actually discussed it and made a rule that any league team that begins a sport that is already in the league will automatically be able to be a part of that league in the new sport.

    Here is a link about their spring meeting:

    http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2017/5/23/GENERAL_0523172455.aspx

  • #12 by Hawghiggs on 15 Jul 2017
  •  UALR should hire Paul Petrino as its first coach. He has done a solid job at Idaho.
  • #13 by Sweet Feet on 15 Jul 2017
  • The SBC kicked those two out because they only participated in football, they are geographic outliers and they did not contribute to the football power rankings.  Still had to split the CFP money with them.  The SBC finished ahead of CUSA and the MAC a few times already in CFP performance money and that was WITH NMSU and IDAHO in the fold.

    There is not much football talent in central Arkansas or anywhere in Arkansas to be honest.  Arkansas State gets far better talent from AL, GA, MS and TX.  UALR cannot build a program that will compete in the SBC by going cheap and recruiting central AR.  ULM has the worst budget in FBS and rarely competes despite being in a talent rich state.  UALR would need to spend more than ULM to compete and there would be a lot of startup costs to get facilities in order.  They need probably $7 million more in the budget to make it work and that does not count the start up expenses.  They could go on the road three times a year and get crushed and net around $4 million but that means they will have a hard time accumulating the wins they need to attract fans and boosters.

    They can't make it by trying to compete with UCA and UAPB for players.  They have to compete with La. Tech, USM, ASU, UNT, Tulane, etc. to sign players.  They have a long way to go to catch any of those.

    UALR fits geographically and there is room in the league so it would be great but I just don't see them finding the money given that they do not fully fund the sports they sponsor today.

    My point exactly with NMSU and Idaho getting kicked out. Being geographical outliers didn't help. UALR would pair with Arkansas State and would fill that instate void.

    Central Arkansas by far has the most talent anywhere in the State, with Southern Arkansas coming in Second. However, everyone knows you can't just rely on instate talent here and I'm sure UALR knows that. I think they could do good recruiting since they would be in a city setting with more things to do than in a rural or country setting like Jonesboro or Fayetteville. The money would be a big issue, but I feel they would have more support, being in a much more populated area. They also have a lot of donors and big players in the city. I know people reference the basketball numbers, but when you are a program that hasn't made the NCAA tournament twice in 27 years, you can't expect numbers to be that high.
  • #14 by Seminole Indian on 15 Jul 2017
  • I sounds interesting but at this point I would say that FBS is out of the question, and FCS probably their best bet, unless the SBC has to take them. Not that they don't have to take them, just I am not aware of any such agreement.

    If there is no such requirement, just based on everything I've read, I don't think the SBC will add anyone unless a current member leaves.
  • #15 by DeltaBoy on 15 Jul 2017
  • It will take the Stephens family and the rest of big money in Central Arkansas to pull this off! But I not holding my breath.
  • #16 by Hawghiggs on 16 Jul 2017
  • I sounds interesting but at this point I would say that FBS is out of the question, and FCS probably their best bet, unless the SBC has to take them. Not that they don't have to take them, just I am not aware of any such agreement.

    If there is no such requirement, just based on everything I've read, I don't think the SBC will add anyone unless a current member leaves.

     The Sunbelt conference will be persuaded. If LR can get a permanent football program in War Memorial. Then a minor bowl game might not be out of the question either.
  • #17 by Seminole Indian on 16 Jul 2017
  • The Sunbelt conference will be persuaded. If LR can get a permanent football program in War Memorial. Then a minor bowl game might not be out of the question either.
    At this point I would say that unless they are required to take them, they will not.

    A-State fans do not appear to be opposed to the idea.

  • #18 by Großer Kriegschwein on 16 Jul 2017
  • I'll buy season tickets to WMS if UALR gets a football program. Why not?

    Close to home and I can take my boy every weekend they play. I don't see the cost being prohibitive.
  • #19 by Kicking Wing on 17 Jul 2017
  • My point exactly with NMSU and Idaho getting kicked out. Being geographical outliers didn't help. UALR would pair with Arkansas State and would fill that instate void.

    Central Arkansas by far has the most talent anywhere in the State, with Southern Arkansas coming in Second. However, everyone knows you can't just rely on instate talent here and I'm sure UALR knows that. I think they could do good recruiting since they would be in a city setting with more things to do than in a rural or country setting like Jonesboro or Fayetteville. The money would be a big issue, but I feel they would have more support, being in a much more populated area. They also have a lot of donors and big players in the city. I know people reference the basketball numbers, but when you are a program that hasn't made the NCAA tournament twice in 27 years, you can't expect numbers to be that high.
    Kids from LR are not going to choose UALR over ASU or UA and probably not over UCA every time.  There are not that many eligible, talented FB recruits in LR and most would prefer a traditional college campus with great facilities in my opinion. 
  • #20 by hawkhawg on 17 Jul 2017
  • Kids from LR are not going to choose UALR over ASU or UA and probably not over UCA every time.  There are not that many eligible, talented FB recruits in LR and most would prefer a traditional college campus with great facilities in my opinion. 

    I don't think it would hurt the UA, except some Central Arkansas money may be go to UALR instead of going to the UA.    Not many kids will pick the Sun Belt when they have a chance to play in the SEC.  Those of you that follow UCA and ASU, What percentage of the roster is from Central Arkansas?  I would think it would hurt both those programs, especially UCA. 
  • #21 by Sweet Feet on 17 Jul 2017
  • Kids from LR are not going to choose UALR over ASU or UA and probably not over UCA every time.  There are not that many eligible, talented FB recruits in LR and most would prefer a traditional college campus with great facilities in my opinion.
    Arkansas likely not every time depending on the quality of the player, since they are a bigger school. But I'm willing to bet they would snag more Central Arkansas recruits than ASU and UCA after the first few years. Again, you have a major city setting with more to do than Conway and Jonesboro. Not to mention its dead in the middle of the state, so some may not have to travel as far. I just think the city setting with more attractions would draw in more local recruits than a city with fewer things to do and is considered country. Although crime and thuggery is something the other cities don't have to really worry about.
  • #22 by Sweet Feet on 17 Jul 2017
  • UALR is taking the same approach as UTSA and South Alabama. It all started with a student petition with them. Then came the study, then eventually the program. Not saying this will happen since UALR struggles funding athletics, but with all the big money makers in the city, the people who rarely see a college football game in town, and the Mayor/Arkansas Parks and Tour wanting to make use of WMS after the hogs abandon it, UALR is the most obvious route that most of everyone in the city is on board with. If it wasn't for the student petition, we may not be talking about this now.
  • #23 by Hawghiggs on 17 Jul 2017
  •  I can see a scenario where UALR quickly becomes the second most popular team in the state. They would probably devastate Astate recruiting of central and southern Arkansas. Not to mention Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • #24 by Seminole Indian on 18 Jul 2017
  • Found this link to an article in the  Van Buren paper about UALR football:http://www.pressargus.com/sports/20170714/column-is-football-best-way-to-save-war-memorial-stadium
  • #25 by Inhogswetrust on 18 Jul 2017
  • Found this link to an article in the  Van Buren paper about UALR football:http://www.pressargus.com/sports/20170714/column-is-football-best-way-to-save-war-memorial-stadium

    Van Buren paper writer......
    Wow that makes it credible..................



    Wait, no, nevermind.
  • #26 by Kicking Wing on 18 Jul 2017
  • ASU in the past would encourage a recruit to visit UALR first if they were both offering.  Trey Finn decommitted from UALR and chose ASU because he wanted a more traditional campus.  We rarely lose battles to UNT (Dallas has a little more going on than LR), UAB and the like.  Urban campuses are just easier to recruit against because you don't see the support for the school in those places vs. a "college town".

    UALR is not even the third or fourth most popular school in the state as it stands. They are not going to rise to second most popular by adding football.  I would be happy to see it but there is no concern about losing the few recruits from central AR.  I have degrees from ASU and UALR but I know there is a difference when it comes to athletic recruiting.
  • #27 by Seminole Indian on 18 Jul 2017
  • Van Buren paper writer......
    Wow that makes it credible..................



    Wait, no, nevermind.
    I was not going for "credible".
  • #28 by Inhogswetrust on 18 Jul 2017
  • I was not going for "credible".

    Then why post it?
  • #29 by Seminole Indian on 18 Jul 2017
  • Then why post it?
    Thought it was an interesting article, and besides we are in the Trump era where "credible" is negotiable.

    As I've said while the prospect of FBS football in LR is interesting, unless the SBC HAS to give them a path to FBS, there is not one.
  • #30 by Inhogswetrust on 18 Jul 2017
  • Thought it was an interesting article, and besides we are in the Trump era where "credible" is negotiable.

    As I've said while the prospect of FBS football in LR is interesting, unless the SBC HAS to give them a path to FBS, there is not one.

    Some people forget there already IS good football in central Arkansas at UCA.
  • #31 by Seminole Indian on 18 Jul 2017
  • Think the folks at A-State know about UCA.
  • #32 by hawkhawg on 18 Jul 2017
  • Urban campuses are just easier to recruit against because you don't see the support for the school in those places vs. a "college town".

    UALR is not even the third or fourth most popular school in the state as it stands. They are not going to rise to second most popular by adding football.  I would be happy to see it but there is no concern about losing the few recruits from central AR.  I have degrees from ASU and UALR but I know there is a difference when it comes to athletic recruiting.

    IN basketball about twice as many people attend UALR games compared to ASU. I bet it wouldn't take long for UALR football to surpass ASU in Football attendance and money. 
  • #33 by Kicking Wing on 19 Jul 2017
  • IN basketball about twice as many people attend UALR games compared to ASU. I bet it wouldn't take long for UALR football to surpass ASU in Football attendance and money. 
    I don't know where you get your information but that is not true at all on basketball.  ASU football draws very well in football and has a very competitive budget for athletics.  UALR does not have the money to come anywhere close and it is highly unlikely that a big donor will pony up $7 million every year plus $30 million for facilities. 
  • #34 by DeltaBoy on 19 Jul 2017
  • I would love to see it happen.
  • #35 by hawkhawg on 19 Jul 2017
  • I don't know where you get your information but that is not true at all on basketball.  ASU football draws very well in football and has a very competitive budget for athletics.  UALR does not have the money to come anywhere close and it is highly unlikely that a big donor will pony up $7 million every year plus $30 million for facilities.

    From the NCAA website for 2016 attendance.
    Little Rock had 3750 per game and AState had 1448 per game.  There is a lot more money in Little Rock than Jonesboro.
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