On his show Monday afternoon, Nick Mason, former Razorback basketball player and current cohost of The Zoo, an afternoon sports talk radio show show in Fayetteville, reported that Bud Walton was flooded
but it wasn't a big deal because the team was comfortably playing in the program's state-of-the-art practice facility preparing for the season that starts in a couple of weeks and the team was practicing at UA's HPER Building, the student recreational center.
You read that correctly. Mason tweeted about it too.
Arkansas needs a basketball practice facility! I am hearing that they are practicing at the hper bc something is wrong with the bud!— Nicholas Mason (@_Nick5000) September 23, 2013
@_Nick5000 how's that gonna look to all these recruits coming in we need to impress?!— Michael (@MikeD_OrBigO) September 23, 2013
Then on Tuesday, the story was confirmed by Robbie Neiswanger, who posted the below picture and received an email explaining the situation from UA.
You can't really see the damage in the picture, but you can definitely tell they're having to do some serious work on the floor.
According to the story, the water damage occurred last Friday and was caused by "water infiltration...following heavy rains overnight."
Obviously, weather-related damage can happen to any building. But as we've said, Bud Walton Arena is no longer a state-of-the-art modern facility. It's 20 years old and anyone who's been there knows not everything about the place has been kept up all that well (who doesn't love the giant faded signs on the concourse?). The place has withstood heavy rain and ice storms and similar events before, but now we're at the point that heavy rain caused this type of damage?!
Jeff Long has made it clear that donors have been hesitant to donating for the basketball program. Obviously, lack of on-court success over the last several years has a lot to do with that. But donating should not be a reward for doing well. It should be an investment in the future. Just like football and baseball, the basketball program needs to be supported in order to grow.
Pretty soon, we won't even be able to point and laugh at the Tad Pad to make ourselves feel better.
Here are some better pics of the water on the court.