If you’re a college football fan, you’re about to become very familiar with the Central Arkansas State Bears.The FCS team known as “UCA” will be playing on ESPN in not just the first college football game of the 2020 season Saturday night at 9 p.m. when they face Austin Peay, but also the second game on Thursday, September 3rd at UAB. And if you love The Best Sport, it’s likely you’ll be tuning in to see them twice.
But who is UCA exactly? What is your favorite new school known for? And what do you need to know about your now-favorite academic institution you never attended?
Founded in 1907 in the city of Conway as the Arkansas State Normal School, the total enrollment at UCA as of 2020 is 10,870, with an average ACT score of 24. Wikipedia says as of 2015, and the acceptance rate is 91% for undergrads. The university endowment was about $48.6 million according to Wikipedia in 2015, but there should be someone in a university communications office or in development updating said Wikipedia page with new and often misleading facts and/or points of pride. This one hasn’t been touched in years. Let’s go UCA! Get it together!
Is UCA any good?Central Arkansas is a 3.5-point favorite against Austin Peay at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Bears made the 24-team FCS playoffs last year, and actually got a bye in the first round as the #8 seed in the tournament, but fell 24-14 to Illinois State at home.There have been some big wins in UCA’s history. In one of the stranger footnotes in college football ever, they actually tied in the NAIA national championship game two years in a row (1984 against Carson-Newman, 1985 against Hilldale), before finally winning it outright in 1991 19-16 over Central State.
The Bears joined the NCAA’s Division II in 1993, well after Scottie Pippen was a four-year letter winner for the NAIA basketball program and two-time NAIA All-American. He’s still the only UCA hooper to play in the NBA. While in D2 they made the playoffs twice before heading to FCS status (then Division I-AA) and the Southland Conference in 2007.Former Notre Dame receiver Bobby Brown, who played under Coach Holtz, stated on his web show: “We feel as though the hero we loved and adored, that we would run through a brick wall for, died in front of our eyes on Wednesday night … We have literally shed tears because of it. It seems as though you’ve abandoned us based on your alignment with a man who is at least very sympathetic to racists, if he’s not a racist himself (per a column in the Chicago Tribune).”And there you have it. Disagree with a single thing that the left embraces, be it the actions and demands of protestors, or opposing kneeling for the National Anthem, and one is automatically branded a bigot. Translation: Your opinion is only valid if it fits with the left’s agenda; otherwise, it’s “racism” time.
This author is by no means an apologist for Donald Trump. But in four years, the president has done nothing that can be reasonably construed as “racist.” Here’s a news flash: Supporting a border wall isn’t racist. Nor is issuing a temporary travel ban on terrorist-laden countries. Calling COVID-19 the “China virus,” while not necessarily politically prudent, is not racist. Neither is saying there were bad people on both sides in Charlottesville (as this column explained in a multipart series). And no, it is absolutely, positively not racist to defend police (as 99.9 percent are not racist and don’t engage in brutality) or oppose taking a knee.
This author disagrees with kneeling for the Anthem, but would never state that it’s unpatriotic to do so. In the same way, for the sake of consistency, the left muststop demonizing those with whom they disagree by invoking race when it isn’t warranted.If it doesn’t, there will be a lot more than just Irish who are fighting