Sports

Bears, Red Wolves face each other in 2011

The Bears football team will face the Arkansas State University Red Wolves for the first time since 1997 in Jonesboro on Sept. 24, 2011.
Athletic Director Brad Teague said although he wishes UCA could play ASU consistently, it is only a one-year deal for right now.
“Our schedule is completely full until 2014. Scheduling goes out pretty far, which is why it is so difficult to play,” Teague said.
Teague said ASU offered UCA a $150,000 one-year contract to play in Jonesboro and UCA accepted.
He said: “ASU can’t play an FCS program, which is what we are, every year, but they told me that when they are able to do it and have the funding, they will offer the contract to us.”
Teague said UCA signed a two-year contract with ASU in 1996, but the two teams haven’t played since. The teams played each other a lot in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but it wasn’t until 1996 and 1997 that they played again.
“At that point we were D2 and they were D1 and they wanted to play a D2 school. Now we are both D1 and I hope we can find a way to play more consistently,” Teague said.
This will be the first time the Bears have played another Arkansas school since playing ASU in 1997. Teague said the Bears signed a contract to play the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff two years ago, but they broke the contract.
ASU beat UCA both times they played in the ‘90s, 17-7 in 1996 and 36-35 on a touchdown pass in the final minute of play in 1997. The history dates back to 1916, and even though UCA lost the most recent games, they lead the overall series 12-9-2.
Teague said UCA won’t be available to play ASU again until 2014, but ASU may not be willing or available to play then.
“They may have a full schedule at that point,” Teague said. “You have to play your eight conference games and eleven total games, so you have three to fill and our openings may not match theirs. That’s why we try to solidify it early.”
Teague said there are as many graduates from ASU as UCA and they are about the same size, so the in-state competition between the two universities should really cause excitement throughout the state.
“There are a variety of reasons why in-state competition makes sense. First of all it deals with economy, budget, and expenses and the proximity saves money,” Teague said. “There are a lot of UCA and ASU alumni that live in the state and it creates excitement and conversation.”
Teague said UCA is always interested in playing other Arkansas schools in every sport.
“We’re always interested in participating with other state institutions, our schedules are just so full.”
In addition to playing ASU next season, the Bears will play the University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils in Conway Sept. 10, 2011.
The Bears’ game against ASU will be the fourth game of the 2011 season and they will begin Southland Conference play the previous week against the Sam Houston State Bearkats in Texas.

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