Men's Basketball

Yurachek should move Bud Walton improvements to front burner

It is past time for some upgrades to Bud Walton Arena and it shouldn’t take three to five years to make some obvious improvements.

Hunter Yurachek said Thursday at the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce that improvements to Bud Walton Arena were not going to happen immediately.

It probably should, though, because basketball is a sport Arkansas could be competing regularly for SEC and national championships along with baseball and some other spring sports.

Football is probably going to be stuck around 6-7 wins a year on a consistent basis, which is what the Razorbacks are. Sorry, fans, but you are what your record says you are.

The Hogs have won a national championship in men’s basketball. They’ve never won a football title. Don’t throw 1964 out there because that’s something that was a five-man committee of football writers the morning after officials didn’t think Joe Namath was in the end zone in the Orange Bowl against Texas.

Even that little committee was not unanimous choosing the Hogs.

The official ones were handed out before the bowl games were even played. Whether it is right or wrong doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen that way. Central Florida claims the 2017 title using an argument about as flimsy. Claiming a football title for the Hogs in 1964 is creating a myth to what was a mythical official championship.

But Arkansas won the 1994 national title in basketball with no disputes.

That also was the first year of operation for Bud Walton Arena and it has become seriously out-dated. The contrast is not as stark as when they moved out of Barnhill Arena, but there are fan-based things they are seriously behind a lot of other schools with for a home arena.

Yurachek said Thursday it may be three to five years before anything happens at Bud Walton. That’s probably accurate.

Most of it will be politics and that involves forming committees and paying for intensive studies to find out what is pretty obvious if you’ve been to some other arenas built in the last few years.

In basketball this past season, the Hogs finished the year going deeper into the NCAA Tournament than any other SEC team, playing in the Elite Eight.

Football’s best season in the last 40-plus years was a fifth-place national finish after the 2011 season … which was third among SEC West teams behind Alabama and LSU.

That’s probably not going to change.

Basketball has made giant leaps in both men’s and women’s areas and the total number of fans in attendance for the season is going to be higher than a football season.

Playing for championships should get a home fit for champions.

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