Monday begins with a fresh batch of "David’s Appetizers," assorted musings and observations from the sports scene:

The University of Central Arkansas football team escaped major injury during the recently completed spring drills.

Then, misfortune hit on the softball field.

While watching a softball game, Punter Kevin Buford was hit in the face by an errant ball, breaking his jaw. His jaw will be wired shut for six weeks.

In one sense, he was lucky. If he had been struck a few inches higher, the injury would have likely be much more catastrophic.

Knoxville media report that at least 30 University of Tennessee football players — and possibly 24 scholarship athletes — are on academic probation. The exact number is unclear because of privacy laws.

The Vols continue to have major problems — on and off the field.

Some Arkansas fans note their greatest concern, with Derek Dooley obviously one of the coaches under heavy fire going into this season, is that Bobby Petrino will be the next UT coach.

Another guess is that Petrino may next surface as the next head coach at the University of Montana.

As noted in last week’s column, Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O’Day were fired earlier this year for unstated reasons related to off-field issues. Mike Delaney, 69, was brought out of retirement to coach the Grizzlies next season.

The Montana job will be open after this season. Petrino grew up and initially made his name at Carroll College in Montana, where his father coached.

After a season away from coaching, Montana fans could be more forgiving about their native son.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 501-505-1235 or