Travisty....ESPN to air E. Sutton top games (none include UofA)

CES had his best years at Arkansas, and we didn’t get one game in the four games that they are airing on ESPNU tomorrow.

ESPN didn’t do many college basketball games early on. It came into being in September of 1979. Do they have many Eddie Sutton games from Arkansas in their archives? It might be as simple as that.

ESPN started covering college hoops from its inception in 1979 (yes, the color commentator on the first ESPN game was Dickie V) but didn’t get to our part of the country much in the early years. They carried some NCAA first round games starting in 1980, but a lot of what they aired during the regular season was Big East.

It seems like our Great Alaskan Shootout appearances in 1980 and 1983 might have been on ESPN, but I can’t confirm that. (Trivia note: We didn’t win the GAS either year but we had the MVP both years, Scott Hastings and Joe Kleine).

And before you ask, the US Reed shot against Louisville was on NBC. Sutton’s last game at Arkansas was March 16, 1985, a second-round loss to St. John’s which went on to the Final Four. SJU then beat Kentucky in the Sweet 16, which hired Eddie a few days later.

Some small time syndicated TV network, something like the old Mizlou Network did the 1980 tournament. KATV did the games themselves in 1983, Paul Eells was there. They just did the Arkansas games I assume.

Pretty much all the most famous games in Razorback basketball in the Sutton years would have been on NBC. CBS got the rights for the NCAA tournament in 1982, and they and NBC shared games in the regular season for the next several years. The biggest games until 82 would always have Dick Enberg, Billy Packer, and Al McGuire doing them.

Al McGuire did the games in the 78 tournament and coined the phrase “The Triplets.”

I remember him doing that. Arkansas got sent to Eugene, OR for their first round game as an at large team, playing Weber St. NBC would split the main crew up during the NCAA tournament because of the number of games, so Al got teamed up with a past his prime Curt Gowdy for that regional. Then the next week, Al teamed up with Enberg in Albuquerque for the West regional final vs Cal St. Fullerton. So he got to see them three straight weeks by the time they played in the Final Four in St. Louis. Either your father or one of the Democrat columnists (maybe David McCollum?), had already gave them a nickname, “The Three Basketeers”. History will show that Al’s nickname was the one that stuck.

Am I pipe dreaming or is this for real? Did coach Sutton make a statement when he left Arkansas to coach Ky that he would crawl to Ky to be the coach for the wildcats???

Eddie was fighting some tough issues when that happened. And he has said he is very sorry for those words. He has been forgiven and accepted back by the vast majority of Hog fans. I’m glad I’m not a public figure, I’ve said a few things like that which I regretted.

No doubt most of us have said things we regretted later, I know I have and occasionally still do. Just glad those statements weren’t ever in the spotlight.
Eddie Sutton will always be a Razorback and will be forever remembered as the Coach that brought us respectability on national scale.
RIP Coach Sutton

It was understood that Sutton’s comment was directed at Broyles & not at the UofA. Sutton was battling his personal demons that he failed to acknowledge. Broyles instructing him to seek rehab ended Sutton’s tenure at Arkansas…

Accurate. He finally got there to rehab a few years later. I was told in about '82 that Sutton’s water bottle during games didn’t necessarily contain water. I didn’t believe it then. Now I do.

Yes, I know what was going on … And as for what I wrote, I SHOULD NOT HAVE PUT IT OUT. Life goes on…

I can’t find documentation of ESPN airing an Arkansas basketball game until Nolan’s first year, when the Razorbacks lost at Texas. I’m guessing that ESPN doesn’t have rights to any of Sutton’s games at Arkansas because most of those were on CBS, NBC or regional networks.

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