Arkansas Gives Its Colleges a "C"

Jonesboro, AR - Arkansas has given its four largest universities a "C".  That's according to a recent survey of over 400 registered voters.  The study was conducted by Arkansas State University's Center for Social Research.

The University of Central Arkansas was given the highest marks, residents gave it a 3.102 grade point average.  The University of Arkansas was second with a 3.094 G.P.A.  Arkansas State University was third with a 2.9 and the Unveristy of Arkansas at Little Rock was fourth with a 2.7 G.P.A.

"Part of the study is to really show where higher education is in the minds of people but also considering sports as an important factor.  It's an economic development factor," said Co-Director for the Center for Social Research at Arkansas State University, Dr. Patrick Stewart.

In an overwhelming win the Razorbacks are the favored team for Arkansans with ASU coming in second with 14% of the vote.

Arkansans were also asked about college athletics.  The Razorback was the most recognizable mascot at 94%.  ASU's Indian came in second with 61.6%.

"I'm an ASU graduate student but I also attended U of A for my undergrad as well, so I see it both ways," said Kyle Coleman.

Coleman is one of the graduate students who helped with the survey and he is even torn over the two primary teams.

Another hot button issue is whether or not the razorbacks should play other Arkansas teams including ASU.

The survey shows overwhelming support with over 70% saying all Arkansas teams should play each other.

"I wouldn't say required, but I think it would definitely be good for the communities for the economic standpoint.  All of the money that would be going out of the state you could keep it right here," said Brad Dial.

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has a longstanding policy not to play in-state schools.  Most sports fans in Arkansas disagree with that.  Seventy-two percent say they would like to see the Hogs play Arkansas' other schools.  Twenty-seven percent said they would not like to see them play each other.

There's already proof this year of the support for a close "rivalry" bringing in more fans for ASU.

"At the game between ASU and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette there were 18,242 people there.  At the University of Memphis game there were 27,774 people there.  That's nearly a packed house," said Stewart.