it's really nice....and it's not country like everybody says

Greg Brooks reminds us how pervasive the negative recruiting is against us, “it’s really nice out there and it’s not country like everybody says”

I’m upset with our school and AD’s for not doing a better job of dispelling these lies from other schools.

While I understand your frustration, I also believe that your placement of blame is unfair. It is human nature for us to want to blame someone or something when we see an injustice, or if misinformation is being dispensed. But the reality is that “common perception”, right or wrong, is a difficult thing to overcome.

No one wants to be “biased”, but the truth is that we are ALL biased in one way or another. No one can ever have all the information they need to be truly informed and impartial on every subject or issue. Therefore, on many topics, we end up relying on what others have told us - be it family, others in the local community, or media. And until someone we trust dispels a stereotype that has been implanted in our minds (or, we see it for ourselves), we probably will continue to believe them.

I’m certain that all of our prior coaching staffs and AD’s have consistently done all they can to portray NW Arkansas as the growing, vibrant community that it has become. But for someone who grew up out of state, with no ties to Arkansas, it is likely that they default to the general national perception of Arkansas as a rural, “country” kind of place - until they see it for themselves. Those recruits who never visit may still think Fayetteville is a “hick” town. That’s not the AD or coaches’ fault.

Should it really matter to him, he committed to MSU/Starkville…

I think the coaches do the best that they can, it’s just a long-held stereotype and one that opposing coaches try to keep going.

It is country when they first get to the airport, but soon after they realize it is not what they have been told.

I’ll never forget one former recruit - who now is in the NFL - confusing a llama for a giraffe.

It is about Marketing of the area in a visual manner. Even Memphis people are gullible enough to believe that the whole state is like Blytheville.

I’m telling you that both of the last two staffs really concentrated on just what you are wanting.

Most of Memphis would prefer to be like Blytheville, and I know both cities…

I think Hog Treat kind of nailed it in my opinion. More visual such as videos would certainly help and I may have missed some in the past but have been seeing more in the past year. This, along with this new staff, should help to change this over time.

Having grown up 5 minutes from the campus and traveling back there multiple times a year from the DFW area to see family and games I know what my viewpoint and perception is of the area. For others outside of the state who have never visited they are getting stories from the negative nancy’s of the world. I hear it all the time here in DFW from folks when they find out I am a Hog fan and from Arkansas. When it happens, the first thing I ask them is if they have ever visited the campus or town and 9 times out of 10 they haven’t and it is only 5 hours away! Unfortunately, I tend to get very defensive when this happens because of the love I have for the area where I grew up and came from. Honestly, it flat pisses me off and I have unfortunately embarrassed my wife a time or two in front of others when some a hole makes a wise crack about the area. Simply put, I won’t put up with the chit anymore when it happens and she knows it lol.

I am sure DD is right that previous staffs have worked hard at this but my gut tells me that this staff will do one of the best jobs of any staff to come through here to get it changed.

I do have one theory on this lol. The more I think about it, the more I feel coaches at other schools are doing this because they have been there and know for a fact just how beautiful it is and that the opportunities after college are WAY better than many of the schools in our conference or who we compete with due to the businesses in the area. They know as the old saying goes, if you get them on the hill you have a solid chance of landing them. So, continue to tell lies about the area they must!

Sorry for the long post on this but it is a hot topic with me! Go Hogs!

I’m sure if we’re going against Moo U for a kid, we’re telling them what a trailer park Starkville is. That’s how the game is played.

I remember seeing some videos that previous staffs have done, but I believe this staff has the potential to do an even better job at it for two reasons:

  1. This staff is younger and understand the importance of video to the younger generation. TV/Internet/I-phones, etc., have made the next generation dependent upon visual aides (BTW, that really started with this generation).
  2. They have access to better equipment. Drones, for instance, can do a lot when it comes to video creativity. Every day, there seems to be a better way to “skin a cat.” That’s only going to get better over time as new inventions take place. I would suspect the next staff will be even better than this one at it just because of that.
    It’s hard to dispel age-old preceptions, though, without getting players on campus. And as Swine said, every coach uses negativity of the other schools in recruiting.

The staff sends out mailings and tweets educating kids about NWA, the UA and Fayetteville. They have been promoting the livability of NWA for years.

Regardless how well you promote something it’s not 100% effective. Especially when you’re dealing with the attention span of a 17-18 year male.

I like the country. That’s why I live outside of town. :slight_smile:

How many times do we hear of surprised recruits that say they are amazed at how their visit was different than expected. We have to overcome decades of negative recruiting against us. In sales and marketing you have to expand your funnel to more prospects and recruiting is NO different. Currently, we take a narrow band funnel that is willing to listen in spite of the negative impression they have of Arkansas. We then take that narrow band of prospects and try to get them on campus to SEE it for themselves.

The issue is that we are MISSING a large number of recruits that will talk to our athletic or academic recruiters, but won’t give us a visit to see the truth. Some aren’t even willing to take our call, open our mail, etc. because they believe the negative spin. We have to have better videos and tools. We are picking from a small pool for NO reason other than complacency.

I have talked about this with fans and it seems very real to the fans, BUT the previous administrations have been extremely sensitive and defensive. They literally felt that this negative recruiting has always been there and they have done fine in the past recruiting. I do not agree that we have been doing “fine in recruiting” with some of the best facilities and scenery in the SEC. Some in the admin felt that “everyone already knows NWA is great so why spend money repeating it”. We recruit outside of Arkansas so it is sad to hear such a narrow minded response.

If a recruit says that he had heard bad things about Arkansas, then I would love for our coaches to be able to send a link to a video page on our website that is one page with all of the videos, magazine articles and ratings, etc. We need a list of positive rankings for Degree programs, Quality of Life, Jobs, Economic Growth, Hi tech, etc. from Magazines like Forbes, Money, US News and World Report, etc. A smart recruit would think, “do I listen to the Coach at A&M, OM, LSU, etc or do I check out the link they sent me to watch a video with real visual proof and quotes from major magazines saying good things?”

We need to show that our past is in the past, because our competition is telling recruits about the negative image of Arkansas. We need to be developing marketing and advertising tools to combat our competitors. Our image is not good so we need to show that the whole state has things to be proud of yet we still need to improve. Our state and Fayetteville have landed on some GREAT magazine lists that we promote but we need to more AGGRESSIVELY market and emphasize this info.

Our Admin needs to use the new drone video options that are so cost effective. We can show aerial views of the environment at DWRRS, show the campus, show downtown Fayetteville, Dickson st, etc. In the world of drone video we should be commissioning videos of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Eureka Springs, etc. They should have video segments about Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Crystal Bridges, AMP (big emphasis) and recent musical acts, Beaver Lake, etc.

They should have video segments about the national ranking by Magazines of All Arkansas cities for standard of living and job growth. At the very least use the Arkansas Tourism video on the recruiting info.
Later on we could use tourism videos about the rest of the state and Little Rock, River Market, Clinton Library, Heiffer, Dillards, Stephens, etc. We need to remind people that there is something in the water here since we have homegrown giants in Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Stephens, Dillards, etc. We need to show new improvements in Little Rock, Clinton Library, Heifer Int’l, River Market and new downtown developments.

Here are a few links for football and recruits and parents from our website. There should be a landing page with video links and pictures as well as the other existing info. … s-parents/ the UARK visitors guide is the only comprehensive site that shows everything about the community. The Info for recruits and parents need to integrate the UARK visitors guide with it to create a powerful landing page.

It should be set up or linked on the info for recruits and parents page. Otherwise our info is on different pages in the Academic side or athletic side with singular sites views of a few things in NWA, but you have to go hunt for it in the “More” tabs. We need one landing page for recruits like the uark visitors guide.

This is what our competitors are doing to give an easy video tour of the facilities and campus.
Virtual tour…impressive … fornia/rt/ … ompletion/

LSU 360 videos … =205139246

360 athletic campus tour video … M_ID=31000 … M_ID=31000

Ole Miss

USCe forever loyal to thee video 5 part series … .yqxz27762 … .2xuqhvn8v … .uaa4z1p4e

Florida State … M_ID=32900

Texas … h=football … ture=watch

I think that one time Lou Holtz said of Fayetteville, “It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.” He was surely joking, but those kind of things do stick if that’s your going in perception anyway. However, I’m not sure that this matters that much when it comes to recruiting. I would seriously doubt that the average out-of-stater has a real metropolitan perception of Tuscaloosa, and certainly not of Oxford or the West Virginia schools. Start winning big games and it probably won’t make much difference what they think of the area before they actually come to see. Build it (the program) and they will come. If the starting point is with less highly ranked recruits, so be it (however, I do love what I’m hearing about how this staff is trying).

You really don’t think we do any of this stuff? Seriously? Just because you can’t find it by Googling doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Given this staff’s use of Twitter, I bet they direct-message everything like this and more straight to the kids.

What is wrong with Country? I would hate to live in town stacked on top of each other like rats. I have room to roam. I can and do see the stars at night. What is the matter with that? I leave keys in the trucks and car a lot and do not worry about them. Hey, my neighbor (and they are not “next door”) may need them. If so, they come get them and use them and bring them back better than they found them. I do the same. Try that in your “great cities”.

This has always been a sore spot for me. I have always asked what the knock on Fayetteville has been. No one can ever tell me. I have stated this before on this site, but what really annoys me is the fact that we get this image painted of us as ignorant, illiterate, poor, barefoot and pregnant. Or we have all dirt roads and trailer parks.

But the fact is that there are a lot of places that are rural in all programs’ states. There is no comparison with NWA to Starkville. That place is awful. Auburn? Really? It’s terrible. Tuscaloosa? Are you serious? Oxford is ok, but its still not very great off the campus. Baton Rouge is a nice place, I don’t mind it there. Knoxville is nice. My friends kid plays baseball for UT and he loves it there, even though he really wanted to play for Hogs. College Station? Come on man. SE Texas smells like sulphur from all the oil depots. I lived in Bryan. It’s not nice.

Outside the SEC, Norman is awful. Go away from the campus, and its Oklahoma. Stillwater? No better than NWA. Memphis is a violent and crime ridden city. Austin is a great city, no matter if you can stand the Horns or not. Have you been to South Bend, IN? ND is an amazing place to play and get an education, but it is cold, and in the middle of nowhere. Lincoln, NE? Another nowhere place full of meat packing plants.

My point to all of this is that most schools are not in a big city. A lot are in small towns. But there is a reason that there is more growth in NWA than there is in LR. Those old stereotypes that keep getting promoted to kids will keep happening. We have a fine school, facilities, and supporters. It’s in a great town that has many more opportunities than many of the schools in the so called “4 hour circle” the we compete against.

But we have this image problem that has been going on and misrepresented for decades. I detest it. I guess if we can start winning then we may shake that. Only time will tell.

Ok. Rant over. LOL.

NWA regularly makes the “Best Places to Live” lists maintained by various media sites, but I think those article are aimed at 25-40 year olds.

Some of the recruits, at 17 or 18, are more interested in whether there is an Urban Radio station in the area, or barber shops than can maintain an Odell Beckham, Jr. hairstyle, or sufficient night life (Dickson Street is a resounding “Yes”).

I agree that Fayetteville is no worse than Tuscaloosa or Starkville or Norman on these counts, and that once recruits get to campus and interact with current athletes the problem should be taken care of. I post only to point out that the negative recruiting for all of these places is directed to teenagers, and much of the appeal of NWA (what a great place to raise kids) is directed to adults.

Good lord. This again .

How do you know that recruits won’t open our mail, or take our calls? And if there are some, how do you know what it is attributed to? It could be that they want to play for a contender, which we haven’t been in years.