Is perception reality?

Over the past several days. May on this board have debated on the perception of the area most of us live in. NWA. The perception that this area is a slow, under developed backwater that may be charming, but dull and boring and offers little in the way of things to do for young student athletes looking of a University at attend. For the sake of argument, let’s say that this is true. How and or why is this perception prevailing? Where did it come from? Who is responsible for spreading this false perception? Why is it felt mostly in basketball recruiting and not so much in the Universities’ other sports? See baseball, track, and recently football and women’s basketball. And most importantly, how do we combat this perception? I’m interested in your thoughts.

from the 1960’s, and has just stuck like glue for whatever reason.

I think only one person on this board thinks this way, but he posts the same opinion repeatedly.

Obviously Fayetteville isn’t Dallas or Atlanta (thank God!), but it is a great college town. I fall in love with it every time I go.


is that for me?

I love my state and I love NWA

It is why I came to college and stayed here and didn’t go back and take over the family farm.


Here are some facts about Fayetteville and NWA in general: This region (Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers & Bentonville) has doubled its population to 76, 899 based on 2010 census. The growth is driven by Fortune 500 companies Walmart Inc., Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt Transportation as well as 1,300 Suppliers and vendors & many businesses. Dickson ST is recognized as one of the most prominent entertainment districts in the State. Fayetteville’s Historic Square hosts the number one Farmer’s Market in the country. Amenities are countless to name a couple: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Arts, Walmart AMP, and NWA Razorback Regional Greenway. Fayetteville was ranked 8th on Forbes Magazine’s top ten best places in America for business and careers in 2007. Business insiders named Fayetteville the 2nd best place to live in the south in 2016. Wrong perceptions; the reality is people who come to visit, usually love the location with Boston Mountains, Springfield Plateau subset of Ozarks, its beauty and all it has to offer. You can’t recruit here is a sorry and unfounded excuse.

I’m sorry, but despite everyone’s touting of Wal Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt — and the WM vendors — NWA is hardly a central business hub. We all know those companies, and that’s why we tout them. However, there are probably 30 areas in the country that have 3 to 5 times that many good size businesses or companies. Still, NWA is not the boondocks it arguably used to be. The excuse that athletes will not go to school there is growing more meritless all the time. That said, Dudley’s points are still valid. The hillbilly stereotype is an easy one to shock young, urban kids.

I’d say the corporate home of the WORLD’s LARGEST retailer would be a big deal if it was in NYC. But, I get the general theme of your post and don’t disagree. Walmart isn’t just any large company though.

Go to Lubbock, Texas, Lawrence Kansas, or Stillwater Oklahoma in those places you will see what a whole lot of nothing looks like! NWA is beautiful and once people see the natural beauty they know the truth.
The recruiting problem has nothing to do with NWA it’s all about $$$$$. As long as the cash cows are allowed or enabled to pay player and their families it will continue.
Hold your heads high and be proud that our program competes with integrity. Players have to make plays no matter what the sport is. CMA has a young bunch that will eventually grow up and learn to win. I’d rather have our current team than the cash cows teams like Kansas, Miss St, Auburn, or Kentucky.
We should all be proud of our “Hogs”!

I’ve never seen or heard a bad word out of your mouth/fingers about NWA. We disagree over our fans’ passion, but I think we agree on just about everything else.

Gay is the one who keeps posting ahout how “you can’t recruit to fatettevile” or however he puts it. And I really can’t tell if he believes it or just enjoys stirring the pot!


I spent 23 years in the military all 23 outside the state. When I would tell people that I was from Arkansas they would mention all the little stereotypes. It really didn’t matter if they believe them or not, they thought them. As an ambassador of the great state I would always try to crush those little stereotypes when they were presented to me. Once I retired a few years ago l decided to move back to the state. Every time I would tell someone I was moving to Arkansas they would look at me as if I just told them I had some type of incurable disease. I would tell them it’s ok I’m from there I’m moving back home. Unfortunately I will say, for many people out side the state their “perception is their reality”. One positive thing people would always mention was - so you’re a “RAZORBACK” I would say yep!!

I think this sums it up. You can come up with marketing campaigns with videos, photos or whatever, but the only way to overcome is to get the kids and parents to Fayetteville.

I’ll say the same thing as others a different way. For the demographic of basketball and football prospects, Fayetteville and NWA is a disadvantage. Having grown up around Memphis, lived out of state, worked for a international company and followed basketball recruiting very closely for the last 15 years, I can say that with confidence.

A lot of folks like to point to all of the awards NWA is winning these days like being on the best place to live list. Or, the fact that there’s more than 500K people in the metro area now. Typically, these things don’t matter as much to a young black kid that have grown up in places with a lot more black folks around them or in a more urban culture. Psychologically, and I’ve studied this extensively, people like familiarity. All of the stuff that makes NWA great is more attractive to young adults. The growth, the economy, the beauty, the things to do outdoors.

Then, of course, you have the proximity to prospects. Draw a circle around the region. You’re just not as close to other big cities with a bunch of prospects.

All that said, like RD said, you have to have gifted recruiters on staffs here so that they can convince them to visit. That way the backwoods stereotype can be debunked and we can show them all of the amenities we have, which stack up nicely. Also, they’ll get a feel for our top level passionate fan base.

We’re at a disadvantage, though.

But did you know the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas!?

I think the perception is changing among some, but maybe not the demographic we need for recruiting.

As a physician practicing in Bella Vista, I am surprised at the recent influx of a surprising number of patients who have decided to retire here from…

California. Yes, California, that supposed paradise of dreams.

There are a huge number of retirees from points north of here, but the move from Cali is something new.

Folks leaving California in droves. First I have heard Arkansas being a designation. Most are Texas and Colorado. Maybe they don’t screw us up like California is.

Having just moved to NWA from San Diego I can tell you a lot of people are getting tired of both the continued taxation and the toxic political environment. I agree that I didn’t hear anyone talk about moving to AR but there are more people leaving than coming in.

I do miss the weather and the beach… a lot.

Hopefully people will believe you on this.

Some just simpky refuse to do so when I say it.

Just having fresh (clean) air to breathe is priceless.

It’s fine and justified to say that recruiting for basketball at the University has it’s disadvantages, but it’s not fine or justified to use it as a crutch. Nolan was able to be successful here. On previous staffs, the Head Coaches tolerated assistants who either didn’t like recruiting, or flat out didn’t recruit at all. Hopefully Coach Anderson doesn’t have any of those on his staff.
If he does, they either need to be replaced, or Anderson needs to hire another assistant who likes and is successful in recruiting.

Your answer lies within this thread. It’s obvious by the responses who lives here and who doesn’t. It’s obvious who has traveled here, or once resided here, but currently doesn’t. I moved here for 7 years of college, moved away for 5, and moved back to build my own business. I travel fairly often. It’s obvious to me. You have to come here and spend time here to appreciate it. Or… you have to know someone close that lives here. Unfortunately many players we recruit have no ties here and don’t really know anyone that does. That’s why pipelines matter. We have had them in football and basketball, but currently don’t.

And if the person who invented it had more than 1 tooth it would have been called a teethbrush?