Arkansas, South Alabama Likely To Play

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas' challenging nonconference basketball schedule for the 2008-09 season continues to take shape. With games already scheduled against Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Missouri State, the Razorbacks have added another quality foe to their slate.

The Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register reported in its Thursday edition that Arkansas and South Alabama, coach John Pelphrey's former employer, had agreed on a four-year series. The Razorbacks and Jaguars, according to the report, will play twice at South Alabama and twice in Arkansas, with the series starting on Nov. 26 at the Mitchell Center in Mobile.

South Alabama athletic director Joe Gottfried told the Press-Register that there was a clause in Pelphrey's South Alabama contract requiring him to schedule the Jaguars whenever he left Mobile.

Pelphrey released a statement Thursday through Robby Edwards, Arkansas' sports information contact for basketball.

"We are going to get it worked out, but it is not yet finalized and there is no signed contract," Pelphrey said. "For me, it's the right thing to do because they gave me a chance. We already have a date, so I fully anticipate it working out."

Pelphrey spoke with the Press-Register on Wednesday and expressed his gratefulness toward South Alabama.

"It's out of gratitude for Joe and President (Gordon) Moulton and the people in Mobile," said Pelphrey, who went 80-67 in five seasons at South Alabama. "I understand at that level how hard it is to get home games. If it weren't for them, we probably wouldn't consider it. I don't know how many (SEC) teams would play a Sun Belt team on their home floor."

South Alabama posted a 27-6 record last season under first-year coach Ronnie Arrow and won 17 of its 18 games in the Mitchell Center.

The Jaguars earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament and lost to Butler 81-61 in the first round.

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