Arkansas considering adding security measures at games next school year
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
The guns-in-the-stadium issue may be over in Arkansas. But the security issues are not.
The Arkansas Legislature passed a bill that would have allowed firearms inside sporting venues last month before later amending it to make stadiums and arenas exempt. Some school officials went on the record saying it wasn’t something the university wanted. And now it appears University of Arkansas is going to take an extra step to ensure no similar unwanted items make their way into football games.
According to a story from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the university is seeking to implement metal detectors at Donald W. Renolds Razorback Stadium. Athletic department spokesman Kevin Trainor told the Democrat-Gazette the proposed added security measure is “not directly related to concealed carry in Arkansas.”
The issue did put a scare into lots of people, though. And it wasn’t just locally. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement saying the bill, before modification, created concern not only for Arkansas but for visiting schools as well. Various straw polls at media outlets across the state showed moderate disapproval among the public for allowing weapons inside the stadium.
One of the counters by those in favor was the assertion some attendees had been bringing them in for years, unbeknown to school officials or security (personal side note: I know that to be true with definitely one person, at least). Weapons have long been prohibited inside the stadium. The addition of metal detectors would almost definitely curb such a practice.
Several other items are already prohibited, including:
- Baby seats/strollers
- Bags of all types (except when used for medical or child care needs)
- Explosives, knives and other weapons
- Outside food or beverages
- Personal heaters
The story goes on to read that no decision has been made on any added security measures for the upcoming season. But part of the school’s ability to qualify for the exemption requires the school to submit a security plan, yearly, to state police. Arkansas is submitting such a plan currently.
The metal detectors and/or wands would not just be for Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Other athletic venues, both indoor and outdoor, would use them as well in Arkansas’ proposal.
Just when you thought it was over, huh? This story is sure to advance over the summer.
A cure to the kicking ills?
The Arkansas kicking game has been rough for a while now.
And while it might seem like: “Kicking? Who cares?” Go back and watch a few games from the last couple seasons. The Alabama game of 2014 comes top of mind. Razorbacks kickers are a combined 31 of 48 on field goal tries since Zach Hocker graduated in 2013.
Enter Blake Mazza. The freshman from Plano, Texas, is the latest addition to the 2017 recruiting class. He’ll arrive over the summer and could challenge incumbent Cole Hedlund. Mazza had just 1 scholarship offer, from Army, and will join the Razorbacks as a preferred walk-on.
Hedlund lost his job midway through last season and his replacement, Adam McFain, graduated.
Why not give him a whirl, right?
It’s like the NBA just discovered Bobby Portis
The ex-Arkansas big man is suddenly taking the NBA by storm. Razorbacks fans everywhere are saying, together, “We told you so.”
It’s taken more than a year and a half in the league for Portis to get his due. He actually averaged more minutes, points and rebounds his rookie year, 2015-16, than he did this season. Portis was, seemingly, in coach Fred Hoiberg’s doghouse for the first several months of this season.
Then, suddenly, for whatever reason (aka: the other Chicago Bulls bigs were pretty terrible), Portis got another shot.
In January, Portis didn’t play in 7 Bulls game. In February, he played in all of them and averaged 14.4 minutes a game. March and April of the regular season? Portis was playing more than 20 minutes a night and putting up more than 10 points per game.
The Bulls, the 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, just sent the top-seeded Celtics to a 2-0 hole after another win Tuesday night in Boston. Portis didn’t have the same 18-point, 8-of-10 shooting night he did in Game 1. But he was perfect from the floor and his team appears upset bound.
“Yep. We told ya.”
Ranking the redshirts
Redshirt freshmen are often the forgotten ones in spring and early fall football. The most recent recruiting class has received more recent buzz. And the old hats, the seniors and returning starters, get a lion’s share of the reps and playing time.
But at Arkansas, coach Bret Bielema is counting on a few of his second-year guys. On Tuesday, we took a look at the 11 most likely to make an impact this season.
For those of short attention spans, here’s a shorter list, with the players ranked by likelihood:
11. Giovanni LaFrance, LB
10. Kofi Boateng, WR
9. Jonathan Marshall, DL
8. Jake Heinrich, OL
7. Grant Morgan, LB
6. Deon Edwards, S
5. Micahh Smith, S
4. Briston Guidry, DL
3. Cole Kelley, QB
2. Dee Walker, LB
1. Jordan Jones, WR
Big innings propel Diamond Hogs
It was a veritable offensive explosive Tuesday night at Baum Stadium.
The Arkansas baseball team won its fifth straight game, this time beating Memphis, 16-7, in the first of a 2-game set.
The Razorbacks are now 19-4 in nonconference games and 23-3 at their home ballpark in Fayetteville. Game 2 on Wednesday, however, will be a little closer to Memphis. Arkansas is making its yearly trip to North Little Rock to play the Tigers at Dickey Stephens Park at 6:30 p.m.
- Las Vegas isn’t going to have this bet, but I’ll say it — if you are betting on one tight end currently on the Arkansas roster, make it Cheyenne O’Grady. The Fayetteville High product has increased maturity and blocking skills to go with his great hands, writes our Jason Kersey.
- The University of Arkansas is set to host various NCAA championships in both indoor track and field and golf in the coming years, per this story in on WholeHogSports.
- Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson had a good day Tuesday. Nothing to do with Daryl Macon or Jaylen Barford, though. No, this one is a little more personal. His daughter, Yvonne, signed a training camp deal with the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. Yvonne Anderson played at Texas from 2008-12.
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.