Matt Jones has been the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2010. He is also a feature writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in journalism.
Deacon gets scholarship, then ice bath
FAYETTEVILLE The increasingly-popular ice bucket challenge led to an Arkansas football player being awarded a scholarship Tuesday night.
Junior offensive guard Adam Deacon was told he was being placed on scholarship after speaking to teammates about ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) during a team meeting, according to a release. Deacon's mother died of ALS in March 2013.
As a result of Deacon's speech, Arkansas' team completed the ice bucket challenge following its practice Wednesday morning. Groups or individuals are challenged to douse themselves with ice water to raise awareness and funding for ALS research.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said he will match donations made by his players and assistant coaches for ALS research.
Deacon's older brother, Tyler, was also an offensive lineman at Arkansas and was placed on scholarship in 2012 after beginning his career as a walk-on. Adam Deacon is the third walk-on this preseason to be awarded a scholarship for the Razorbacks, joining tight end AJ Derby and kicker John Henson.
In all, eight current scholarship players at Arkansas began their careers as walk-ons. Bielema, a former walk-on at Iowa, said last year he would have a competitive walk-on program at Arkansas.
In addition to awarding scholarships, Bielema has reduced meal costs for walk-ons and increased the number of game tickets they can give to family members.