Why is UALR playing so many guarantee games?
UALR’s schedule isn’t a result of anattempt at fund-raising for the university. It’s simply a matter of who was willing to sign on the dotted line and UALR’s desire to go on a preseason trip.
Yes, UALR is playing road games at Florida, Middle Tennessee, Southern, Memphis, Oklahoma and Tulsa. But these games aren’t all the same when it comes to how they were scheduled.
First, the Florida, Middle Tennessee and Southern games were scheduled (along with Monday’s home opener vs. North Florida) as part of a “tournament” of sorts. This same deal allowed UALR to play three games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, over the summer. UALR was paid a flat rate for its participation and received seven games (3 summer games and four regular season games). This allowed UALR to do the Canada trip for free.
The Tulsa game is part of a continuing home-and-home series. The Golden Hurricane will visit Little Rock next year.
And the Oklahoma and Memphis games are the two straight guarantee games. The bonus is that both are able to be played via bus travel, further saving on expenses.
As for home games, they were difficult to come by. Regional schools who have been willing to play home-and-home series in the past (Louisiana Tech, Oral Roberts, Northwestern State, Missouri State) were unwilling or unable to play this year. We've even heard that UALR and UCA talked about some games but couldn't work out the dates. Perhaps next year.
Next year's home schedule already appears to be more attractive than this year.