LIKE IT IS:

UA out to quench its thirst for more revenue

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long speaks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, about the increased donation to the Razorback Foundation, Inc. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long speaks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, about the increased donation to the Razorback Foundation, Inc. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

It was a simple news release that came by email, perhaps a test balloon, that said the University of Arkansas plans to sell beer and wine in club seating at football games this fall.

A license was going to be applied for through Sodexo, which probably relieves the UA of some liabilities. Sodexo is the food and beverage vendor that has the UA contract, which would include Walton Arena and Baum Stadium.

The news release was immediately forwarded to the city desk, and as you probably know reporters Cathy Frye and Jake Sandlin, with an assist from Chad Day, did a great job of putting together a story for Page 1A in Thursday’s edition.

Those of us who workaround the athletic department big house weren’t surprised that booze sales have popped up.

It is being realized nationally and locally that beer and wine sales are a revenue source that hasn’t been tapped like a keg of cold Miller Lite. Or Bud Light, if you prefer, which apparently some do.

College athletics is driven today by money. Tradition and history are only cogs in the wheels of industry and it is nationwide, not just in the SEC, which will have its own network and license to print money beginning in August.

It’s surprising that some teams aren’t changing their uniform colors to green.

What the UA may find out is that a lot of Broyles-Matthews donors who sit on the 50-yard line are not going to be happy they won’t be allowed to have the same refreshments as those who sit indoors. That may be especially true for the guy who sits in the upper deck and yells his heart out for his Hogs.

We have been led to believe the SEC has a rule about prohibiting alcohol in public areas, which makes one wonder if state property isn’t always a public area.

Anyway, it would have been nice if it had been announced that a large part of this newfound income was going toward the salaries of the professors and teachers who are still the reason the majority of the students go to school there.

Athletic Director Jeff Long has Razorbacks athletics on sound financial footing that will be even stronger starting in August.

It is on

When the Senate and House meet Tuesday night in their showdown basketball game, no thoughts will be on Obamacare, re-elections or where they are having lunch Wednesday.

It will be about winning.

Last year the House won and Speaker Davy Carter tried to use the “this is just about helping out some worthy organizations” line, but he admitted it intended to defend its title.

OK, sure, but they went out and got former Razorbacks guard Pat “The Shooter” Bradley to play, along with former Arkansas quarterback Quinn Grovey, a couple of television reporters, and they made sure House Rep. Fred Smith was available. Smith is a former Harlem Globetrotter.

The Senate went for more size in its recruited shooters, obtaining former Razorbacks Scotty Thurman and Blake Eddins. They, too, have some television reporters.

“The Senate has recruited several key players and have decided to practice this year,” said Michael Lamoureux, Senate president pro tempore. “I am confident that with a little practice, the Senate will have no problem in bringing the trophy to our side of the Capitol.”

The Senate better have practiced, and it better be in shape. It is being coached by former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. The House is coached by KATV’s Steve Sullivan, who is allegedly trying to recruit former Razorbacks and NBA center Joe Kleine to assist.

So it is on.

Admission is $10 at UALR’s Stephens Center, and all proceeds go to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas and the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant and Saline County.

Sports, Pages 19 on 02/14/2014

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