Nine Arkansas football players have been named to the Hampshire Honor Society, which recognizes college football players at all levels who maintained a 3.2 GPA or better through their entire college careers. That’s the most HHS honorees named from any FBS school this season. The Hampshire Honor Society is a program of the National Football Foundation.
The HHS Hogs are Austin Allen, Robert Decker, Jack Kraus, Josh Liddell, Frank Ragnow, Paul Ramirez, Jake Raulerson, Karl Roesler and Zach Rogers. Arkansas also led all SEC schools with 47 football players on the fall 2017 SEC honor roll.
Wow! This is worth taking note of. I hope we put this kind of information in front of our recruits. Many recruits and parents say they are seriously interested in academics, so this should stand out as to how serious our athletic programs are.
Awesome performance. To maintain that level and play
football with all that entails in time commitment is truly
noteworthy. A strong support staff and system that
helps to create an environment that values this as well is
I know there are many proud family members that are
certainly happy for these young men, these Razorbacks.
And, this was always one of the “mitigating” points I would wrestle over when I considered the “should we keep him or move on” fate of CBB.
Let me state right here that ultimately, I agreed that we had make a change, and - moreover - Chad Morris quickly became the coach I wanted us to hire. So, I’m happy with where we are now, relatively speaking (i.e., I’d be happier if we were all speculating about an SEC Championship season; but I’m pleased with our new direction).
That said, I was really, really pulling for Bielema to have a better season and then build upon it in the future, for many reasons. Unlike many, I still strongly prefer the style of football he played to the hurry-up, short-pass offenses many schools feature today (and, yes, I do realize that is the “wave of the future”, whether I like it or not). But there also was the issue of continuity vs. having to reset and “retool” personnel to fit a new style (as we are going through now).
However, even more than that, I was and have been legitimately proud of the academic progress and record that Football, in particular, has posted during the years CBB was on campus. I know many will scoff at that and ridicule it as a “loser’s consolation prize”. But to me, winning on and off the field are not mutually exclusive. Sure, I really, really want to win some Championships - I’m starved for one! But I do believe, unlike some, that for a college team, it’s still about the classroom first and then athletics. Also, I believe that “winners” in the classroom translate into athletes that play smart and play with character.
I’m proud of the record of academic success reflected in the OP, and I thank Coach Bielema and his staff for that excellent result, along with congratulating the players who got it done.
A look at the US News rankings of public universities is enlightening. There are 41 Power 5 schools ranked above UA – including most of the SEC (we’re tied with LSU). I don’t think you can accuse any Power 5 school of ignoring athletics. And most of those schools have done/continue to do rather well in sports. UCLA. Michigan. Florida. Georgia. Alabama. Auburn. Penn State. Wisconsin. Etc., etc. (I don’t even count UNC, which has forfeited its right to call itself an excellent academic school IMO with the ghost department for jocks and those well-informed enough to get in on the scam). Never mind Stanford, Notre Dame and Duke on the private-school side. You do not have to dumb your school down (or recruit people who seldom see the inside of a classroom) to win in college football or any other sport.