If there is anything you can bet Jerry Jones knows as well as anyone in football is that contracts are merely the starting point for negotiations to change or cancel them.
For proof of that you can check out the ongoing situation with the Razorback Foundation and Bret Bielema.
Which is why it won’t be surprising to see the Arkansas-Texas A&M game moved to the campuses sooner rather than later and not return to AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Aggies athletics director Ross Bjork, who has been on the record as not particularly caring for the game, said on the Studio 12 podcast (the official A&M podcast) he may want it moved this year.
The Pac 12 once again playing the second-fiddle lap-dog behind the Big 10 in announcing a conference-only schedule this year and that cancels an Aggies’ home date with Colorado.
“We would need that game on campus,” Bjork said. “To me, that game should be on campus anyway. But if something were to happen this year, we’d do everything we can to move that game to our campus.”
Razorbacks athletics director Hunter Yurachek said Thursday he’s talked with Bjork about it and didn’t exactly appear overly concerned about this year … if Hogs get the same favor the following season.
“I think it would be fair that we get that return game here in Fayetteville next year and then potentially resume in Dallas for the final two years of that contract,” Yurachek said. “I wouldn’t want to see Texas A&M get a home game this year and for us not to get that return game next year.”
With just two years left on a contract that nobody has been particularly excited about the last few years this whole virus thing might give everybody a chance to get creative.
Jones, of course, played for the Hogs. His son Stephen played for the Hogs. His grandson, John Stephen Jones, is currently on the roster. The Jones gave the university the money for one of the top academic and food places in all of college sports.
“Obviously, we have a relationship with the Jones family here,” Yurachek said.
While Jerry has publicly been in favor of the game, the crowd sizes have been dwindling. Arkansas hasn’t won the Southwest Classic since 2011. It’s hard to maintain a lot of enthusiasm for a game one team hasn’t won a game in the stadium in six years.
Attendance has fallen so far they could put the same number of fans they had last year into that stadium and maintain social distancing requirements in the current health crisis.
In other words, that game is generating $3-5 million per game less than it used to.
Yurachek may have a preference, but he also knows the economics of the situation.
“[The Jones] own that venue, so [Bjork’s] feelings on that may be slightly different than mine,” was how Hunter put it Thursday.
Which is the politically correct way of saying he knows who’s name is on the check.