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College athletes will be on their own generating income in NCAA proposal

Don’t get too worked up over the latest NCAA proposal for athletes to be able to profit from their name, image and likeness because they won’t be getting any additional money from their schools.

No, they will be on their own to figure out how to make the money. The difference is that simply puts them in the same league with every other college student.

And the NCAA won’t get anything from it.

“The NCAA is not in a position to demand anything in return,” USA Today columnist Dan Wolken told Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas Wednesday afternoon. “They don’t have anybody on their side.”

While the common misconception is the NCAA figures out a way to make money on everything, they won’t be able to on this one simply because the schools will not be able to have a role in the athletes making money.

“The NCAA is not in a position of strength here,” Wolken said. “They hope it’s enough to satisfy lawmakers because NCAA doesn’t want states having 50 different sets of rules. That becomes problematic. The NCAA is trying to get Congress to do something (to get them off the hook).”

Here are the key points in the proposed rules that have come out in the last few days and will be voted on in January, per a source to ESPN.com:

• Allow student-athletes to make money by modeling apparel as long as that apparel doesn’t include school logos or other “school marks.”

• Allow athletes to make money from advertisements. Athletes would be allowed to identify themselves as college athletes in advertisements, but would not be allowed to reference the school they attend or include any school marks in the advertisement.

• Prohibit athletes from marketing products that conflict with NCAA legislation, such as gambling operations or banned substances. Individual schools would also be allowed to prohibit athletes from marketing products that do not line up with the school’s values.

• Allow athletes to hire an agent to help procure marketing opportunities, so long as that agent does not seek professional sports opportunities for the client during his or her college career.

• Require athletes to disclose the details of all endorsement contracts to their athletic department. The working group would recommend further discussion about whether a third party should be involved in overseeing these disclosures in a way that prevents endorsement deals from becoming improper recruiting enticements.

The first one is the most interesting because the athletes will not be able to hold press conferences and have a soft drink sponsorship deal wearing school apparel. Or wear that apparel at any personal appearances.

In case you’re wondering it’s been that way for a long time in the NFL. That’s why you see familiar faces in commercials wearing some generic uniform.

They also will have to have the school approve any deals their representative can put together for them.

But they will have to be public.

“What they are trying to do is create a framework with name, image and likeness where a player has to disclose it to their school, those deals vetted that they fall into a similar range for that type of deal,” Wolken said Wednesday.

Oh, and these rules do not prohibit players from having donors involved in these deals, according to a source to the Associated Press.

“Trevor Lawrence could have his own passing academy,” the person told the AP, referring to the Clemson quarterback who would not be able to have any licensed Tigers logos on the T-shirts.

It will put added pressure on the players. Gone is any privilege they have of just being a kid. When you jump into the business waters it’s grown man territory and that means it’s not all sunny skies and fields of clover.

“If you’re an athlete spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to make money on Instagram you’re going to have to choose at some point,” Wolken said. “Some will thrive in that environment and some will not. It’s part of being an adult.”

The bottom line is like in any business some will succeed wildly while others, well, fall on their face. It’s just in most other businesses they aren’t already under a spotlight before they start.

It’s opening a door the NCAA has tried to keep closed for about 80 years.

“As long as the school’s not involved and doesn’t look like it’s recruiting it’s going to be allowed,” Wolken said.

In other words, the NCAA has given up and is just trying to keep some kind of authority.

How long they make it work is anybody’s guess right now.

 

 

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Skipper still ‘bitter’ over infamous tripping call against Texas A&M in 2014

In the first of a run of overtime games against Texas A&M in 2014, Arkansas offensive tackle Dan Skipper got a tripping call far behind a big play that could have given the Razorbacks momentum.

He still remembers it … pretty vividly, too.

“That’s definitely a play I’d like to have back,” he told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) on ESPN Arkansas Wednesday morning.

It wasn’t intentional and the ball was about 30 yards upfield at the time. Skipper more or less just wasn’t graceful.

“I actually didn’t try to trip him at all,” Skipper said. “That was the guy I had cut originally and I got his hands on the ground. As a 6-10 uncoordinated sophomore I was just trying to get up. That’s the funny part about it, I was just trying to get up.”

He hasn’t let it go, either.

“That was the one tripping call in the entire FBS that year,” Skipper said. “I’m still a little bitter and, yes, I remember the ref. I hope I don’t see him in public because I’d probably trip him.”

While he didn’t address how soft the Hogs’ offensive line has become over the last few years he gave some insight about how it gets tougher under Sam Pittman, who was Skipper’s position coach for his first three years in Fayetteville.

“His guys go out and play with a swagger,” he said. “That’s where a lot of toughness comes from in my eyes. When you go out there and can play fast you can play tough and it just kinda happens.

“It’s not forced as something difficult to do. You know what you’re doing. You expect to win and you expect to exert your physical dominance on the guy across from you.”

Earlier this week, former center Travis Swanson talked about spending a lot of time before practices with Pittman in what became known as the pre-meeting meeting.

Skipper had those, too, along with teammates saying there were all of those big guys crammed into a 10×10-foot office at times.

“Offensive linemen are funny,” he said. “The more guys you can get together the more ideas flow. You just see the field through one set of eyes. You can learn so much ball from watching safeties and defensive backs and finding tips.

“In college meetings you don’t necessarily have as much time to go over that type of stuff. Those pre-meeting meetings were a lot of that kind of stuff.”

Skipper proceeded to have six NFL stints with five different teams (he was with the Lions twice) and found out how vast and good Pittman’s former players are.

“In all my stops in the NFL I’ve played with another Pittman guy,” he said. “I’ve never been the only one in the room and I’ve made six stops on five teams. Always having a Pittman guy kinda speaks for itself. We all get along, swapping stories and having a good time.”

And he did give an indication that it’s not all fun and games.

“When it’s time to work it’s time to work,” he said. “He expects your best effort every day and if it’s not there he lets you know about it.”

 

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Players trickling back to Fayetteville while Pittman trying to drop weight

With things shut down around Fayetteville, Sam Pittman is starting to see some of his players trickling back into town as he is walking more, but still managing to eat because he likes to eat.

“Since I’ve been the head coach I’ve lost about 12, maybe 15 pounds,” Pittman told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft (The Morning Rush) on ESPN Arkansas Wednesday morning. “I’ve only got about 100 to go.”

Fans see Pittman walking around the campus with his defensive coordinator Barry Odom on their daily conversations that both seem to be enjoying.

“Barry and I walk and I have such a fun time with that, people driving by, honking and I get to wave at them,” Pittman said.

Former offensive tackle Dan Skipper was on the show earlier in the morning and the guys recorded a question from him asking Pittman “how the diet is going during quarantine.”

Pittman laughed.

“He could have picked up the phone and called,” Pittman said. “I now he’ll walk his big behind in the office soon and I’ll get him back. I told the guys the other day I’ve ate so much salad if those scales don’t turn around a little bit as I’m eating salad I’m going to Popeyes or somewhere and eat me one of those sandwiches. See if that changes my diet plan up a little bit.”

Pittman said it’s not a stress-eating thing, either.

“I’m pretty much an eater eater for a long time,” he said. “I’m a head coach now. I’ve got to eat a little better … I may be on TV a little more or something like that. I’m working at it. Last time I checked I didn’t see ol’ Danny in GQ magazine, either, so we’re about even.”

Pittman knows some of the players are starting to filter back into Fayetteville.

“Early about 90, 95 percent of the team was gone,” he said. “Our sports medicine guy Dave was telling me 35 percent — well, that may be high — 30 percent of the team is starting to trickle back.”

While you can count on Pittman bringing toughness back to a program that has gone downhill in that area the last few years, he’s not worrying about the break being that big of a problem.

“They are in constant contact which translates into accountability,” Pittman said. “We send out three different workouts. One is with weights, one is with bands and one is with body. We’ve got a plan to fit everybody’s needs.”

There are more players that will be coming back to Fayetteville over the next couple of months. Some are bored being back at home and others are just itching to get out.

Quarterback Feleipe Franks has managed to get some throwing and catching in with teammates.

Maybe the biggest part of what Pittman is looking to restore is the physicality that sort of dwindled away, particularly in the trenches.

“You can’t play the game if you don’t like being physical,” Pittman said. “It has to feel good to you. The only way I know how to do it is practice it. When you knock the heck out of somebody and it feels incredibly awesome, you get that feeling and you want to do it again.

“We have to get our team to be the same way.”

That’s what many Razorback fans are wanting to see.

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Elite 8 voting continues in Houston Nutt Region of greatest Razorback game

Elite 8 voting continues today in the Greatest Razorback Football Game of all-time bracket! Now your votes count more than ever, because these Elite 8 match-ups are tough, and feature some of the greatest games in Arkansas football history. But which one is the greatest? Voting in the Houston Nutt is now open! Make sure to submit your votes below!

Click here to view the full bracket!

Tomorrow (Thursday), Elite 8 voting will be conclude with voting in the Ken Hatfield Region! Get out there and vote on what you think the Greatest Razorback Football Game of All Time!

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Anderson on last possession in loss at Lubbock, direction of team

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson met with the media Monday afternoon and talked about the lack of execution on the final possession against Texas Tech, but says team still improving.

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Harris on loss to Texas Tech, matchup with Georgia on Tuesday night

Arkansas guard Jalen Harris visited with the media and talked about the problems in the loss to the Red Raiders last Saturday and the matchup with the Bulldogs at Bud Walton.

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Kjerstad, Cronin, Fletcher pick up preseason honors from ‘Baseball America’ magazine

PHOTO BY ANDY HODGES | HITTHATLINE.COM

FAYETTEVILLE — Sophomore Heston Kjerstad, as well as junior reliever Matt Cronin and junior Dominic Fletcher added yet another preseason All-America nod to their growing list of accolades Monday afternoon as all three were recognized by Baseball America.

This is the third preseason honor won by Kjerstad and Cronin and second for Fletcher.

Cronin was the lone Razorback on the first team and one of four players from the SEC. Fletcher earned a spot as one of three outfielders on the second team, while Kjerstad earned a spot on the third team.

Arkansas ties with Stanford for the most preseason All-Americans on Baseball America’s list, which was voted on by major league organizations’ scouting departments and was based on performance, talent and professional potential.

On the mound, Cronin returns as one of the top relievers in the nation after setting a UA single-season record with 14 saves. The save total tied for the second-most in the SEC and was the 14th most in the nation.

Over his 48.1 innings, Cronin struck out 59 batters, which was the sixth-most on the staff and he held opponents to a .154 batting average, which was the lowest on the team for the second-consecutive season.

Fletcher returns to captain the outfield after another stellar year both defensively and at the plate.

The junior notched his second-straight year with a .280 average or higher and 10 or more home runs becoming the first Razorback since Rodney Nye (1998-99) to hit 10 or more homers in his first two seasons.

He finished his sophomore season with 23 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games, which were both higher totals than his freshman season.

Fletcher’s best performances came in the postseason as he hit .346 in the College World Series with nine hits, two home runs and eight RBIs.

He was one of only two players in the CWS to record a four-hit game (vs. Texas Tech) last year and he was the first Razorback to do so since Jeff King in 1985.

After winning the 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year award, Kjerstad comes into his sophomore season as one of the most highly touted players in the nation.

Kjerstad was named a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA, while also making the All-SEC Second Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team.

The Amarillo, Texas native started all 69 games for the Hogs in left field and finished second on the team with a .332 batting average, while leading with 87 hits, 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. His hit total, home runs and RBIs were all Arkansas freshman records.

Arkansas will open the 2019 season against Eastern Illinois on Feb. 15 at Baum Stadium.

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Arkansas comes from behind to down Florida, 83-73


ESPN SEC NETWORK VIDEO

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Arkansas senior Malica Monk and sophomore Chelsea Dungee combined for 50 points helping the Razorbacks erase a 15-point Florida lead in an 83-73 Southeastern Conference victory in Gainesville on Sunday.

Monk dropped in a season-best 25 points and Dungee matched that with her ninth game with 20 or more after neither player scored in the first quarter.

In fact, almost no one scored in the first quarter as the Gators jumped out to a 19-7 lead after the first 10 minutes.

The Second Quarter

Arkansas rallied outscoring Florida 30-16 in the second frame to lead at the break. The Gators were up, 26-12 when Arkansas put together a 7-0 run that ignited the Razorbacks.

Dungee was fouled and hit a pair of free throws. Then Monk drained a 3-pointer from the right side. Monk bolted back on defense and got a steal that she drove the length of the court and laid in capping the run.

Down by just six points, the Razorbacks finished the frame with a 17-9 run including a dramatic 3-pointer from Mason at the buzzer giving Arkansas a 37-35 lead at the break. Dungee and Monk scored nine points each followed by five from Mason, four from Taylah Thomas and two from Alexis Tolefree.

Florida kept the game close for the early part of the third quarter until Monk got another layup for the 51-50 lead with 4:31 to play in the frame. Arkansas would go on to lead by as many as nine points before finishing off the 10-point victory.

The win is the third of the week for Arkansas who picked up a win at Tennessee on Monk’s last second shot on Monday. The Razorbacks defeated Alabama on Thursday and got their second road win on Sunday. The Razorbacks’ 5-2 league record moves them into a T-3rd in the SEC standings.

Monk and Dungee scored 50 of Arkansas’ 83 points. Jailyn Mason was in double-figures for the seventh time this year with 12 points. The Razorbacks shot 47.6%, their fourth-best shooting percentage of the season and went 18-for-23 from the line. Arkansas forced 15 Gator turnovers, keeping the streak of double-digit turnovers by opponents in every game alive. The Razorbacks only turned it over eight times, the eighth time Arkansas has had 10 or fewer miscues.

Notes

• Arkansas Starters: Alexis Tolefree, Malica Monk, Kiara Williams, Jailyn Mason, Chelsea Dungee

• Arkansas is 10-28 all-time against Florida.

• The win snaps a five-game losing streak to Florida and a five-game losing streak in Gainesville, with the last road win coming with a 83-74 victory on Feb. 19, 2009.

• Arkansas scored just five first quarter points – the lowest first period point total of the season.

• Arkansas erased a 15-point Florida lead winning the second quarter, 30-16. Malica Monk and Chelsea Dungee each scored nine points in the second stanza.

• Arkansas has forced double figure turnovers by their opponent in every game this season. The Gators had 15 turnovers.

• Arkansas won the third quarter for the 12th time this season, 28-21.

• The win is the fourth in a row in SEC play – the first four-game league winning streak since 2012.

• Arkansas won three games in seven days (at Tennessee, Alabama and at Florida).

• Arkansas won the fourth quarter for the 14th time this year and is 11-4 when winning the final frame.

• Malica Monk has scored 20+ points three times this year.

• Chelsea Dungee has scored in double figures 18 times this year and had 20+ points in nine games.

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Kjerstad on being ready to get back on field again

Razorbacks outfielder Heston Kjerstad talked with the media Saturday morning on battling the boredom and how working against his own pitchers helps him playing in the field.