Campbell completes UCA football staff

Ron Carpenter and Harland Bower are the final two pieces to the University of Central Arkansas football coaching staff puzzle, new head coach Steve Campbell announced Wednesday.

Carpenter, most recently the cornerbacks and special teams coach at Miami of Ohio, played six years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams, where he won a Super Bowl ring in 1999.

Carpenter, who will coach the safeties at UCA, was a standout for the Miami Redhawks, earning first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors three times.

"Ron has a lot of experience recruiting in the St. Louis/Kansas City areas," said Campbell. "He played in the NFL for six years, so he brings a lot of experience, playing and coaching, to our secondary."

Bower, who will coach outside linebackers, is a former Georgia Southern player and was at that school when UCA beat the Eagles, 34-3,1 in overtime in the 2006 season finale in the Bears’ first year at the NCAA Division I level. Bower spent the past season as a graduate assistant at Troy University, and also spent one season on the Rutgers University staff and one on the Murray State staff.

"He also has some solid recruiting ties," Campbell said. "He is an excellent young coach that we’re really excited about. He has a lot of enthusiasm and energy and a wealth of connections in recruiting."

Campbell’s staff consists of three coaches retained from the previous staff (Nathan Brown, Dan Austine and Robert Cunningham) and eight newcomers.

"We have outstanding men of character, which was one thing we wanted to do, to hire good people to work with our football players," Campbell said. "I feel like we were definitely able to do that, and at the same time get a great deal of football experience, with championships and success, to go along with that."

There will be a meet-and-greet reception featuring Campbell and his staff at 6 p.m. Monday at the Centennnial Center at Centennial Valley Country Club. There is free admission and refreshments.

ORU forfeits 2 because of scheduling error

Oral Roberts University will forfeit two upcoming Southland Conference men’s basketball games, against Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word, in order to remain in compliance with NCAA rules related to not playing more than four non-Division I opponents in a season. The Southland’s Executive Committee has reviewed the issue, and agrees with ORU’s

ORU has played four non-Division I teams this season, exhibition games against Northwood (Texas) and Rogers State (Okla.), and then regular-season games against Cameron (Okla.) and Dallas Baptist. During the 2013-14 academic year, Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word are not Division I schedule-counters as the new Southland programs transition from Division II.

The forfeits will be recorded in the Southland standings, be utilized in the seeding process for the 2014 Southland Conference men’s basketball tournament, and will be documented in the conference historical records.

The NCAA will not recognize the forfeits, but will instead view the cancelled games as no-contests, thus preventing any violation.