A few tidbits with a University of Central Arkansas slant as the sports seasons start to overlap:
BUSY: The University of Central Arkansas has 17 athletic teams. Nine will be in action this weekend, including baseball’s home opener and a home televised men’s basketball game.
GOOD NEWS: UCA coach Rand Chappell has received good news about two injuries in his basketball program. Guard Mike Pouncy, who severely injured his foot for the second straight year, has consulted with a doctor in his home town in Dallas and has received a positive outlook for a new surgery to foot and a prognosis for recovery so he will be able to play next season. The injury to Arkansas-Pine Bluff transfer Terry Tidwell’s ankle was not as bad as originally thought, and he is expected to be able to return to the basketball court by this summer. He is eligible for the second semester next season.
THE AUCTION: UCA got a double-dose of good news in the online auction for an autographed Scottie Pippen No. 33 jersey. There were two high bids of $850, so UCA officials are giving each a jersey, resulting in $1,700 the athletic department. They had hoped to at least get $500 from the auction.
HERBERT MARKETING: In an effort to get freshman women’s basketball player Megan Herbert on the national radar screen, UCA officials have begun a marketing campaign to get her recognition on Women’s Basketball Coaches Association all-star teams.
Herbert, who recently had a string of double-double games end at 23, leads the nation in total rebounding and is in the top-10 in scoring. She is one of three players in the nation and the only freshman to average 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
UCA officials have created coffee mugs with Herbert’s picture on it and pertinent stats to be sent to sports writers who cover women’s basketball in the 50 largest markets in the country.
They are also sending a deck of playing cards with Herbert’s picture on it and similar statistical breakdowns to every women’s basketball coach in the country who votes on All-America teams.
Future mailouts to voters include fake money and poker chips promoting Herbert claiming, "it is time to ante up."
TO WATCH FOR: When the Bears played Texas-Arlington on Saturday afternoon in a televised game, Conway fans will have a chance to watch the Mavericks’ Marques Haynes, currently the third leading scorer in the nation.
NO IMPACT FROM FRESHMEN: During a long bus ride home from a game one evening, Chappell looked at the starting lineups of every Southland Conference men’s team. Only two or three freshmen have accumulated significant playing time in reserve roles. No SLC starts a freshman player.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)