Pigskin politics | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pigskin politics

Posted By on Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 6:47 AM

  • University of Arkansas

The state's in a tizzy over tomorrow's Razorback football game at Fayetteville against Alabama. Go Hogs.

Meanwhile, my athletic department deep throat is monitoring related matters. For one thing, she says, despite an anti-politicking rule once prominently displayed by the athletic department among tailgate rules, an area will be set aside for political candidate tables/booths outside Razorback stadium tomorrow. But employees have been alerted to watch for rogue distributors of political pamphlets outside those boundaries. (The Beebe tailgate will include free Beebe koozies — find them near Maple and Stadium Drive.)

Deep Throat, a traditionalist, is also somewhat taken aback by a new dimension added to game rituals. Now, it's not only the team that will run through the Razorback Band's "A" to the roar of the home crowd. Athletic Director (excuse me, vice chancellor) Jeff Long has invented a new ceremony — a "walk of honor," in which selected nabobs will walk through the A and have their names announced on the PA and displayed on the jumbotron message boards.

How do you get selected for the walk of honor?

You guessed it. Moolah. You've given big to Hog athletics in the past or, my source claims, future walkees might also include people on the sucker list for future fat checks. Inaugural walkees will be related to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which put $21 million into the stadium now bearing the name of the media titan whose wealth created the foundation.

It's no different at Fayetteville than anywhere else, I guess. Everything is for sale in big-time athletics. You wonder if the UA produced a Nobel laureate if they'd be invited to the walk of honor. I guess if they wrote a big enough check first.

SPEAKING OF ALABAMA: It gets a black eye in Wall Street Journal today. The suggestion is that Nick Saban pushes underperforming players to take "medical scholarships" to open up football scholarship slots for better players.

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