[VIDEO] Bahn: There's A Price To Pay For Razorbacks Losing To ULM, How Big Is It?

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012 3:00 pm  

Arkansas is still collecting on donations for its $40-plus million football ops project. Will a loss to ULM jeopardize the fundraising? (Photo by Trent Ogle)

Falling out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll and out of favor with many in the college football world is part of the penance Arkansas pays for Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Few outside of the locker room — where the cry is “still undefeated in conference” — consider the Razorbacks a real contender any longer.

Such is the cost of losing at home to a school picked by coaches to finish sixth in the 10-team Sun Belt Conference.

There is also a literal, financial price to pay here.

ESPN’s popular pregame show College GameDay was scheduled to appear in Fayetteville. All that was left to do as last week ended was confirm where the taping would take place on the University of Arkansas campus.

Now the crew — as we learned via Twitter — has been rerouted to Knoxville, Tenn. They should have been in Fayetteville as the town, football program and university reaped the benefits. Instead somebody else gets it.

Losing out on that exposure could cost the program in the neighborhood of $5 million in marketing value. KTHV’s Matt Turner reported on what the cost could mean on last night’s 10 p.m. news.

Honestly, though, $5 million is the least of the program’s worries when it comes to financial impact.

Righting the ship soon could be critical to carrying out the vision Athletic Director Jeff Long has for the athletic department.

Arkansas will celebrate progress on its football operations center with a Friday ceremony. Tying the celebration in with the Alabama game made a lot of sense when scheduled. Excitement figured to be high as the Razorbacks prepared to host a Top 10 matchup with the defending national champions.

Sometime in the near future a new fundraising drive will be launched aimed at getting money for capital improvements. Arkansas feels its venues are suitable for fans, but wants to improve the infrastructure for student athletes and athletic department employees.

Those improvements, approved by the UA Board of Trustees the day before ULM 34, Arkansas 31 (OT), come with a healthy price tag.

When the Razorbacks are winning 21 football games over two seasons and finishing in the Top 10, coming up with the necessary donations to help cover the $50 million-plus needed to fund basketball, baseball/track and academic center projects seems daunting, but doable.

 

 

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