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Arkansas will have a club (with live DJ) during games this season

Just about every school in college football is doing more these days to reach college students, and it appears Arkansas will go farther than anyone else to reach its student body.

Beginning this season, the Razorbacks will install Razorback Rooftop, on top of the south end zone of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, in the same place student seating previously existed.

According to the release, the Razorback Rooftop will include "two 20-foot by 80-foot tents that will house live DJs, couches, TVs, high-top tables, with grab-and-go concession items available for purchase." To gain entry to the club, Arkansas will provide 2,000 wristbands available to Access Pass holders. 

This is smart marketing here by Arkansas. The Razorback Rooftop has absolutely nothing to do with football, but this is what students say they want out of their football experience in 2014. 

The Razorbacks open their home schedule with Nicholls State on Sept. 6, and also host Northern Illinois, Alabama, Georgia, UAB, LSU and Ole Miss this fall. 

Read more here.

Video: UAB has new uniforms, complete with dragon scales

UAB has new uniforms, and they have dragon scales on them. When your nickname is the Blazers and your mascot is a dragon, you probably should have dragon scales on your uniforms.

By the way, these are a massive upgrade from the general nothingness the Blazers wore previously.

UAB uniforms

Rich Rodriguez has a new beef with the NCAA. Is he right?

A year ago, Jake Matthews walked on to the Arizona football team. He played in eight games as a special teams player and a reserve linebacker. Not All Pac-12 material, but he still provided a much greater contribution than your typical walk-on freshman. Heading into his sophomore season, head coach Rich Rodriguez would like to reward Matthews with a scholarship. Only, doing so would actually count as using two scholarships for his 2015 class. 

“It’s a joke,” Rodriguez told the Arizona Daily Star. “Jake Matthews is earning a scholarship right now. But because of the silly rules by the NCAA, we have to get a waiver for it or something. I’m talking as a former walk-on who was able to get (a scholarship) my second year. I don’t know who is making that decision.”

According to NCAA rules, a walk-on that earns a scholarship counts only against the 85-man total... as long as he is an upperclassman. Any walk-on freshmen or sophomores that receive scholarships count against the incoming signing class limit of 25. In this case, since Arizona signed a full class of 2015 in February, Matthews would count twice toward the 25-man limit for 2015.

“If a guy walked on for a year, you should be able to give him a scholarship and it not count against the initial number,” said Rodriguez. “It’s ridiculous — the NCAA and all its infinite wisdom of being out for the welfare for the student-athlete. If a guy pays his own way for a year, and he’s a walk-on, you should be able to give him a scholarship in his second year.”

No decision has been announced, but it's a safe bet that Matthews will pay his own way again in 2014.

I'll admit I did not know this rule existed until now. I would like to believe the NCAA has a legitimate reason for this rule, but this is the NCAA we're talking about here. Coaches, what's your take on this issue? Is Rich Rod on to something, or is the NCAA smartly preventing coaches from exploiting a loophole?  

Here's why your athletics departments needs to have a clear social media strategy

Auburn assistant athletics director for digital media Jason Matheson tweeted this chart out on Wednesday morning:

Auburnsocial

First of all, the fact that Auburn even has an assistant AD for digital media shows you how far along the Tigers are in understanding the social media game.

I have no idea how Auburn counted its social media followers, but I'm guessing they added together all of their official social media followings, therefore counting many people multiple times. If you're following the official Auburn football Instagram account, you probably also follow them on Twitter and Facebook, and there's a good chance you're following Auburn football recruiting or Auburn basketball.

Even still, holy cow would you look at the advantage Auburn has in spreading its message. The numbers here almost don't even matter. A newspaper has a one-shot chance to spread its message to you. Social media offers unlimited chances, and it allows you to tailor its message to the platform. And that's on top of the fact that more people per month visit AuburnTigers.com than open the sports section of their local paper. 

A unified front will allow Auburn to spread its message in a way that makes newspapers matter even less than they already do. That's a tremendous amount of power. 

"How do your players and staff like using Teamworks?"

You might recall that a few weeks ago we pointed out that Teamworks, the dominant team management software, was now offering Teamworks Express, a somewhat scaled down version structured to provide D-II, D-III, NAIA & JC programs with many of the features available in the full product offering; but with a pricing structure designed to fit small budgets. 

Well, this morning I noticed an interview that Tom Watts, head coach at Ohio Wesleyan, did regarding how his team and staff have adopted Teamworks Express. Good information and a good read...


Why did you decide to implement Teamworks with your program?

 

A good friend of mine is the offensive line coach at NC State. He introduced me to the product and walked me through how they use it. It intrigued me and so I called up the staff at Teamworks and set up a trial. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best things we’ve done in this past season just as far as being able to organize ourselves and our team. It’s been awesome from the start to the finish right now.

 

What were some of the problems or challenges you faced before Teamworks?

 

Being a Division 3 program, you don’t have all of the support staff like a Division 1 program would have. For us, we tried to be as organized as we possibly could as far as saving things on a share drive or trying to collectively keep things organized together so everybody could stay on the same page. That was really the challenge. Everything we had was either on Powerpoint or Word, or we had software we used to text the players, so you were always using different products to do different things.

 

Teamworks tied everything together for us in one place. We were always looking for a way to be more efficient, and to try and rethink the way we did things to be more effective. We tried a lot of different things that didn’t work, but by using Teamworks we’ve streamlined the process in an effective way that we continue to use.

 

What would you say are the top 5 benefits of using Teamworks?

 

I don’t know if there’s really an aspect that hasn’t been a huge benefit to us. The Messaging is the most beneficial for our players. Incorporating that with the Calendar so our players can see their appointments. That’s the biggest thing for us is that players can see when a team meeting is, when practice is, if our head coach needs to move practice to another time.That’s been the best aspect for us as a team.

For the staff, the Travel tab has been unbelievable as far as for saving us time. We actually used it today as a full staff for the first time and everybody was just amazed at how easy this is going to be for us as far as being more efficient. Every week when we traveled, our big travel meeting was always an hour and a half to two hour meeting and now it might be ten to twenty minutes.

Class Schedules is a great feature for us. At a Division 3 school, we’re all wearing different hats, we don’t have a whole department that does class scheduling with our players. At 9 o’ clock on a Tuesday we can see who’s supposed to be where, we can go over there and check really quickly and it makes it so much more efficient for us. The fifth aspect would be the Metrics. Our strength and conditioning coach was blown away at how he can track everybody from freshmen to seniors.

 

Do you have any specifics examples of how Teamworks has been particularly useful?

 

We just had one the other day. We’re getting ready for camp and our check-in day is next week. We put all of the players’ agendas for moving into the dorms, submitting NCAA forms, being fitted for equipment, and everything else on the Teamworks Calendar. Within about five minutes of doing that, I probably got ten phone calls of players telling me how awesome it is to have their schedules on their phones so they can be ready for check-in day. That’s always stressful for everybody, especially for the parents. Now everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. It hasn’t just been great for the players and coaches, but also for the administration and parents.

 

What has the reaction to Teamworks been like from the coaching staff?

 

We have a couple guys here who aren’t tech savvy that were blown away by Teamworks. They think it’s the best investment we’ve made up to this point. There hasn’t been one negative comment about it at all. It’s been amazing. It’s been a lifesaver for us. In a Division 1 program, they might have a DFO as a full-time staff member with a couple assistants who can organize everybody. Teamworks acts in effect as that person. For me, as the head coach, it’s definitely brought down the stress level.

 

How have the players reacted to Teamworks?

 

When they see the product and what it does, they know they don’t have to call us every hour to see where they need to be or what they need to be doing. It’s right there in front of them on their phone. It puts them at ease to know where to be and when to be there.

 

How would you rate the training process and the customer service?

 

It’s been five stars all the way. It’s been amazing since the get-go. We’ve gotten instant feedback if we’ve needed help or advice. It’s been unbelievable. The timely fashion of everything as far as being able to use it, customer service, being able to pass it on to the players and get up and running with it has been awesome. Hands down, it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve had in dealing with another company.

 

What would you say to a program that doesn’t have Teamworks?

 

Coaches get into their own routine. They’re creatures of habit. I think the best thing would be to say to just try Teamworks and see all of the features. It’s so user-friendly that you don’t really need too much teaching. I think within ten minutes, people will realize what they just did in ten minutes would normally take them an hour as far as saving information to a document, updating information in a document, e-mailing it out to all of the players, and then collecting feedback from that e-mail, I think just naturally by playing with the software, it will show its worth.

 

Is Teamworks something that only certain programs could benefit from?

 

I think Teamworks can be used by anybody. I could even see a high school program using Teamworks. I think it’s adaptable to anybody at any level.

 

Would you recommend Teamworks to a peer?

 

Wholeheartedly. No doubt about it, I would have no reservations as far as recommending Teamworks to another program. Every coach is looking for that edge. Every coach is looking for that way to be more efficient. Teamworks is exactly that.

 

Finally, how does Teamworks help you win?

 

It saves us so much time. It allows us to be organized. We want to have organized and efficient practices and we want the same thing off the field. There’s a correlation between the two and the players see that too.


To find out more about Teamworks or Teamworks Express (or to begin your free trial), you can contact Teamworks here

Disclosure: Teamworks is a sponsor of FootballScoop.

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