By ROBBIE NEISWANGER
Arkansas News Bureau
FAYETTEVILLE — On the surface it could be a difficult dilemma. But Sidney Moncrief shrugged it off Wednesday.
Nothing will change the fact he’s a proud Arkansas alum and the second-leading scorer in Razorbacks’ basketball history. Or that he’s proud of his son, Brett, who is enjoying his own college career as a wide receiver at Troy.
So when No. 14 Arkansas (2-0) plays Troy (0-1) in Razorback Stadium on Saturday night, Moncrief will be in attendance rooting for success on both sides.
"You always root for the school you graduated from and I root for my son," Moncrief said. "You can do both."
Moncrief will certainly try in Razorback Stadium, capping a day that also includes two local book signings before kickoff. His son, a senior, expects to make his season debut for the Trojans after missing the team’s opener at Clemson with a broken foot.
It’s a game with plenty of importance. Brett Moncrief, a North Little Rock High graduate, grew up rooting for the Razorbacks and said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to play against the Hogs.
"It will mean a lot," said Brett Moncrief, who has tried to secure 30 tickets for friends and family members. "I have a lot of family coming. Dad is coming.
"It’s back in my home state so it means a lot."
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Moncrief didn’t follow in the footsteps of his famous father. Sidney Moncrief finished his college career in 1979 as the Razorbacks’ leading scorer (he’s now second behind Todd Day), went on to become an NBA All-Star, and has recently returned to the NBA as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Basketball, obviously, was in Brett Moncrief’s bloodline. He played the sport growing up. But he began to walk his own path in football during high school.
"Around 11th or 12th grade I really started loving football, so I stuck with it," Brett Moncrief said.
He had his father’s blessing, too. In fact, Sidney Moncrief remembers a conversation he had with Brett’s best friend about following a different path in sports.
"He said, ‘Brett loves you as a father and respects what you’ve done. But he really wants to play football and he wants to chart his own territory,’" Moncrief said. "He kind of was trying to get a read from me to see if I would force him to play basketball. I said, ‘No, I’m not going to force him to play basketball.
"If he wants to play football, that’s OK with me.’"
Moncrief wasn’t academically eligible out of high school and spent two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He signed with Troy and played his first season in its spread offense in 2010, catching 16 passes for 214 yards with two touchdowns.
Moncrief is the team’s leading returning receiver and coach Larry Blakeney said his return should help Troy.
"He probably could’ve played against Clemson," Blakeney said. "We didn’t want to force the issue. ...
"He’s doing well and getting much, much better and looks like the old Brett Moncrief. Hopefully we’ll get him in the game and he’ll be productive."
Moncrief said Tuesday his foot was a little sore after practice, but still planned to play. He said his father hasn’t talked much about the game, but is certain he wants him to simply "play as hard I can."
"I think he’s rooting for Troy," Moncrief added.
Sidney Moncrief said the game will be the final part of a full, but fun day in Fayetteville. He recently wrote a self-help book entitled "Your Passport to Reinventing You" and will sign copies at the Fayetteville Public Library from 10 a.m. to Noon and at the campus bookstore from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday.
Then he’s off to Razorback Stadium to watch his son, Brett, and his Troy teammates play the Razorbacks.
"I like watching him play," Moncrief said. "And I like watching the Razorbacks play whenever I can. ... So it will be a great day. I’m looking forward to it."