Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
SEC, NCAA show strategical gamesmanship
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during a news conference, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Atlanta. Georgia and Alabama will play Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
When the SEC presidents and chancellors decide today whether or not to allow student-athletes back on campus, it will be with approval of the NCAA.
The SEC didn’t need it, but the NCAA Council voted to lift its ban on three college sports that was set to expire May 31 unless they extended it.
Instead, they lifted the ban on football and men’s and women’s basketball.
More than likely the ban was lifted because it appeared the SEC was going to approve a June 1 return of some athletes, thus postponing a showdown between the NCAA and the most powerful college conference in the country.
Meanwhile, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith obviously plans on having football this fall with a limited number of fans.
The number he mentioned was just 20,000, slightly less than 20% at Ohio Stadium.
That number seems low for a stadium that seats more than 100,000.
The University of Arkansas could maintain social distancing and allow at least 30,000 because there are so many suites that automatically would give more than 6 feet of distance from the masses.
Currently, the UA has had about 31,000 commit to ticket renewals, but looking at a ticket map on the UA website that shows which tickets are available, most of the renewals were between the 20s in the lower bowl.
If football is played and the UA allows fans, someone is going to have to sit in the upper deck and the less desirable seats.
No doubt some of the long-time donors won’t want to move. But if it means seeing their Razorbacks playing in person, they may agree to it for one season as long as they get their regular seats back next year.
CBSsports.com continued its rankings of the college football coaches Thursday with Nos. 26-65, and Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman came in at No. 65.
The reasoning was sound. Pittman has never been a head coach or even a coordinator at the Division I level.
One way to look at it is Pittman has no where to go but up, and he will.
On Thursday, Vanderbilt University announced that Candice Storey Lee, a former standout student-athlete and three-time Vanderbilt graduate, has been named vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director after serving in the role on an interim basis since February.
The decision was made because of talent and abilities but cements Lee’s place in Vanderbilt and college sports history. Lee is Vanderbilt’s first female athletic director and the first African-American woman to head an SEC athletics program. The appointment places her in the upper echelon of college athletics as one of only five women currently leading a Power Five program.
Lee has served as the department’s senior woman administrator since 2004. As deputy athletic director, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the athletic department and also served as the sport administrator for the football and women’s basketball programs. Lee formerly served as a member of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, is the former chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Committee and a former chair of the SEC Senior Woman Administrators.
As a captain and four-year letter winner for Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team, Lee graduated with a bachelor of science degree in human and organizational development in 2000. She also received a master’s degree in counseling from Vanderbilt in 2002, and in 2012, she earned a doctorate from Vanderbilt in higher education administration.
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