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Hogs’ Coach Eric Musselman’s Common Sense View

How the Razorbacks' coach may have most logical view of coast-to-coast conferences
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Eric Musselman deals with whatever happens.

He usually has the clear view of the way things are. Nothing was different when he was asked about the coast-to-coast expansion of college athletic conferences.

After Wednesday's third practice of summer drills, Musselman was asked about his view with USC and UCLA announcing a couple of weeks ago they are joining the Big Ten conference. His California background gave him some insight.

"It's kinda wild for anyone over 50," he said. "My son likes it, though."

Eric Musselman-Practice

As he usually does, Musselman has a practical look at the whole thing.

"One side of me wishes it was geographical because that makes sense for everybody," he said. "On the flip side it's just another sign of how the world is changing.

"Now you've got colleges playing cross-country in the same conference."

Musselman figured out like some other people have said, it's very similar to the way professional sports does things.

"All of the teams in the West aren't just in the National League," he said. "The American League is not just Boston, Detroit and New York. It's all thrown together.

"That's the way college athletics is going."

It really shouldn't be that surprising.

While some college fans don't like hearing this, professional athletics is where the really big money is located. The biggest TV money is there because that's the most viewers.

Last year's national championship game between Alabama and Georgia drew about the same number of viewers as an average Sunday game in the NFL.

When you look at the direction of these conferences, the guess is that's the model they are trying to follow.

"Everything collegiately right now is trending towards how the professional ranks are," Musselman said. "Now guys can transfer and I equate that to free agency in pro sports. Name, image and likeness similar to what goes on with athletes that are able to make income."

Whatever it is, though, he's just always recruiting high school players and transfers.

It takes a mix of both.

Eric Musselman-Practice
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"You don't see any transfer players picked in the lottery," he said earlier. "You don't see very many taken in the first round."

It's the type team he's trying to put together, mixing talent better than Hogs' fans have seen on one freshman class with some experienced players.

It's why expectations are higher than an Elite Eight appearance like the last two years.

Now they may have the talent because Musselman is building the closest thing to a professional team on a college campus you'll find.

Arkansas Divider

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Arkansas Divider

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