Thanks to those who have found us. I first want to say I appreciate everyone working to make the transition, just in logging in. It required work on your part and I thank you.
I want to explain a little about the thought process behind leaving Scout. Number one, I didn’t like the direction of the network. What we got from the network had gotten less and less. The money that has been paid by subscribers and was stripped off the top (just over half) was supposed to go for technical support and recruiting coverage. As it turned out, our staff at Hawgs Illustratged (me and Dudley) had to do all of that. The network threw it all back on us.
Recruiting coverage had been stripped away in man power by about 80 percent. In other words, 80 percent of the recruiting staff for Scout had been let go. It affected what we got from the network side on recruiting and evaluation especially hard in Arkansas. Scout was not evaluating Arkansas players. Montaric Brown from Ashdown did not get evaluated for months after the other services. We had him in the Hawgs Illustrated rankings as the number one player in the state three months back. Scout ranked him two weeks ago – after I pleaded with them.
Scout told me last summer that they didn’t care if I wrote any stories. They wanted only videos that were 30 seconds long. I did a few and they put footage of other schools from practice. The first one had Ohio State practice footage. Dudley prepared several and they disappeared never to appear on our site. We could not rely on them to get us what we needed from an Arkansas perspective.
It made much more sense to put our stuff at Whole Hog Sports, a website already run by our company (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) and to combine recruiting coverage with Richard Davenport and Dudley. They are the two best recruiting writers in our state and over the past few years have been writing the same stories. They often interviewed athletes at camps at the very same time and the content was similar. Now they can branch away and do different stories and double our recruiting content and look for more angles. Dudley will also get into other areas of recruiting that have been untapped because there is a lack of time.
We also wanted to add coverage of the women’s basketball team and other UA sports like gymnastics, golf, volleyball, etc. We have added a very talented feature writer in Jimmy Carter. That frees me up to write columns on different sports and also see events (like gymnastics) that I’ve never had the time to cover. It’s going to let us be Whole Hog Sports, everything Razorback that you could ever dream about.
In short, these things could have never happened with the resources we had at Hawgs Illustrated as long as we were tied to Scout. Now the monies that were being stripped away by Scout for (expenses for recruiting, that were used to cover recruits that were not on the Arkansas radar) can be used for our site, both for manpower, travel and coverage. It’s a great thing to be free of that burden.
Again, this was my idea because of what I perceived as a bad network. I saw the look of the Whole Hog website and wanted that, not Scout.
Scout was in the process of raising prices. They had actually tried to raise the price of Hawgs Illustrated twice and I refused. I didn’t think a website that was nonfunctional (Scout) as far as the message boards and front page could raise prices.
We are in the process of changing the initial price structure for the new website at Whole Hog Sports. I hope to offer an annual fee that most will think is appropriate that gets you Whole Hog Sports, Powered by Hawgs Illustrated as well as the Hawgs Illustrated magazine. I’ve been told this morning that will happen.
It’s an exciting time. Change is tough. But again, I want to thank everyone for working to find us at our new spot.
We are working hard to work through the issues that may have been created with individual accounts. If you are having technical issues, please email Matt Jones at email@example.com. He is personally calling subscribers to resolve their problems.
Clay Henry, Publisher