Presenting another series of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings on the sport scene:
The answer for why the availability of Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson was classified as day-to-day for the Alabama game was ... it’s a day-to-day process.
Granted, the UA coaches used some gamesmanship and didn’t want to show their hand to Alabama, but a player sustaining a concussion nowadays involves a process involving neurologists, team doctors and the athletic training staff.
After a concussion or a head injury, a player must go through a daily series of baseline assessments that include balance, memory, coordination, dizziness, possible MRI’s and cognitive skills. To be cleared to play by a medical staff, an injury player must pass all the baseline assessments, which can take a week or more.
A similar situation happened last year with UCA quarterback Nathan Dick, who sustained a concussion in the first half against Sam Houston State, then was not allowed to play against Arkansas State before being cleared to play the next week.
Every player is different. Every injury is a little different. When a player initially sustains a head injury nowadays, the prognosis is as fuzzy as he feels.
The University of Central Arkansas received $375,000 for playing a football game at Ole Miss. Next year, the Bears will earn a check for $400,000 for a game at Colorado. The going rate for an NCAA FCS team to play an upper-level FBS team from a BCS conference usually ranges from $375,000 to $425,000 depending on the method of travel. UCA bussed to Oxford. The Bears will fly to Colo.
Bacone College received $40,000 to play the Bears at Estes Stadium Saturday, which is the usual payout for an NAIA team to play on the home field of an FCS team. For an NCAA Division II team, the rate is generally between $150,000 and $200,000 again depending on the method of travel.
Football scheduling will eventually get more complicated in the Southland Conference, whose athletic directors have recommended a nine-game schedule once the league expands to 11 football-playing schools.
UCA, for example, has future contracts with BCS conference teams Colorado, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and multi-year, home-and-home arrangements with Missouri State and UT Martin.
What gets complicated is one SLC team may only play eight conference games in a season instead of nine, likely on a rotating basis.
In certain years, teams are allowed to play 12 regular-season games.
It will take both humans and computers to work it out on a longterm basis.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)