Great piece by Bob Holt on Hunter Woodhall … -20170528/

Defintely a great piece.

However, in the Track world, it is a controversial topic, as far as runners with prosthetic legs running against runners with natural born legs. The controversy began when South African Oscar Pistorius competed in the 400M at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Many runners that ran against Oscar in the international track meets, complained about hearing distinctive clicking sound when Oscar was behind them. And many thought prosthetic legs gave runners an advantage over other runners. But the International Olympic Committee rejected the objections and allowed Oscar to compete. However, the controversy remains.

Agree. I have mixed emotions about it too.

I am not speaking against signing Hunter. I am glad Razorbacks offered him and he is a Hog. But just want us to be prepared for a possible controversy. Of course, there won’t be a controversy unless he starts winning NCAA titles.

Same here. I admire him but I understand some of the concerns too.

Seems to me this is another example of people rejecting science and instead having “mixed emotions” based on anecdotes and personal biases.

The NCAA has studied the issue and found that, if anything, runners with prosthetics are at a disadvantage.

But, hey, let’s rain on the parade of an amazing athlete because it just looks and feels weird to us and people may gripe when we whip them like we usually do with or without one of the most amazing athletes in NCAA history. … ext-season

I think this fits into the mindset “this isn’t what I’m used to, therefore I don’t like it”. Which I see every day of every week of every year (especially on this board). A kid with prosthetic limbs is not the normal thing, therefore it must not be a good thing. NCAA says he can use the blades. Period. If we didn’t take him, the Nike Ducks would have. And then probably use him to kick our butts.

I agree. I’m just disappointed that it’s coming from people I respect. It’s the kind of mindset people witn disabilities have to deal with every day.

Everyone is really “rooting” for them but they’re just kinda weird and we are not really sure what to do with them or what to expect or how to characterize their accomplishments. It’s really pervasive and hard to overcome even in 2017.

He’s a Hog… and I hope he irritates the SEC and the rest of college track often with his wins.

The criticism is not coming from me, it is from fellow athletes. I don’t think you read my post right. I have not seen any non-athlete like you and me object to it. It is strictly fellow competitors. Google Oscar Pistorius and read all the stories around London Olympics.

I think Hunter is amazing. I’m rooting for him.

I’m just saying one study doesn’t settle things. There are usually numerous studies on all topics and there is often a lot of disagreement before there’s a universal opinion. The NCAA is saying A-Ok, but there’s much debate from the international community.

I read your post correctly. I also read RD’s correctly. You warned that we should be ready for controversy. RD chimed in and said he had mixed emotions, presumably bc there will be controversy and apparently because he isn’t satisfied with the science on the issue.

And, I think both positions are unfortunate but reflect an overall attitude that exists in our society.

Nevermind that the college athletics governing body has OKed it. We should batten down the hatches and prepare for controversy.

You all may be rooting for him but, Richard, your skepticism about the science around the issue and his worthiness for college competition does nothing but implicitly discredit him.

Pistorius is a murderer, not that that has anything to do with the prostetic controversy or this amazing young athlete we were willing to offer & accept his commitment knowing what it may entail later on.
People that don’t like it are people that probably don’t like anything unless it benefits them directly. The kind of athletes like Mr Woodhall only come around once or twice in a lifetime and you have to admire their courage and dedicated work ethic. While you have to admire the schools that appreciate that, including us and the rest of the programs that offered this young man a chance to follow his dream.
Remember he didn’t have to go to college, that was his dream though & he is pursuing that.
Controversy or not, welcome to the Razorbacks Mr Woodhall.


I’m sure there will be some controversy. There will also be a ton of publicity for the Razorbacks. Mostly the good kind. And I’m really glad it’s the Hogs who are giving this young man a shot.

I predict that eventually the science will get good enough that these athletes will be disallowed from’normal’ competition. One day a man running on blades will run a 42 second 400 meters or an 8.9 100 meters, and they will be put in their own special category.

Very good post. I agree 100%. You articulated the whole thing better than I did, I would rather have him at Arkansas than any other school.

The Pistorius controversy was 5 or 6 years ago. The science has advanced since then. Yes, the prosthetics are probably better, but so is our understanding of whether blades offer a competitive advantage.