In the midst of a historic stoppage due to the global health pandemic, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and his staff haven’t slowed down at all in recruiting, which is what he’s told us a couple of times was his goal.
He’s talked about kicking recruiting up a notch or two during this time of limited contact and they are doing, locking down enough commitments to be ranked now ahead of Alabama in the rankings.
Which, of course, is completely meaningless right now. The Razorbacks are 39th, which is ahead of Oklahoma (42) and the Crimson Tide (45). As I said that doesn’t count for much right now.
But it has been interesting to see that defensive coordinator Barry Odom’s connection in Oklahoma seems to be paying off based on the headlines from the guys that following recruiting closely.
What it means, simply, is this staff isn’t sitting around at a time when probably no staff is, but nobody has a clue what they’re really supposed to be doing in this situation anyway.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said over the last couple of days he’s thinking some teams may start later than others, depending on the local health conditions.
That’s a decision that will likely be different in each state.
But it’s interesting to note the NCAA seems to be following the lead of whatever the SEC and some other conferences say. I don’t pay much attention to some of the conferences as they appear to be run by politicians and not leaders.
The SEC, fortunately, has a leader in Sankey who doesn’t appear to need to form a committee to decide whether or not ot do anything.
He gets in touch with his athletic directors, who are responsible for keeping their bosses in the loop, and they make a decision.
It’s also not put to a popular vote, either. That’s a positive sign.
Arkansas is starting to re-open things over the next few weeks and in Fayetteville people are out and about much, much more in the last couple of weeks.
It’s pretty easy to spot because we’re actually starting to see those fender-benders all over town that happens when traffic increases. People are going in and out of stores, the lines are getting longer at drive-thru lines.
The SEC has already said it’s planning on playing the normal schedule. Whether the Hogs get to play all of their non-conference games as scheduled right now is up in the air to a certain extent but the guess is there will be practice starting sometime in July.
SEC Media Day in July probably won’t be the usual gathering of media people in Atlanta. Doing everything virtually is a more likely scenario.
The best advice is don’t panic and don’t assume the circumstances now will be the same in two weeks. That’s how quick this whole thing has changed.
It will likely keep changing that fast … or faster.
Which is why it appears to be heading in the direction of football starting practices in mid-July at a lot of places … including Arkansas.