Sitting in Barnhill Arena yesterday, writing about the first scrimmage, gave me pause.
I have a lot of memories of Barnhill.
One is when Darrell Walker hooked it up with Texas’ Ray Harper during a game.
That brought Abe Lemons and Eddie Sutton onto the floor and by the time the game ended Lemons and his player’s needed an escort to their locker room.
The incident forced a meeting with the Southwest Conference brass in Waco. Texas. A meeting in a hotel I happened to be staying in. In a room that I must have passed by 20 times until I finally heard them say no suspension.
Another memory, and why this came to me is beyond me, was when the Razorbacks were preparing to go to Japan for a six-game tournament against international competition.
The best I can remember, as it was told to me, for no reason during practice William Mills, who was red shirting and not allowed to make the trip, blindsided Kevin Rehl with a haymaker and before Rehl hit the floor Alvin Robertson was in Mills face ready to fight.
No one messed with Robertson.
Robertson was about 6-3, 200 pounds (Mills was 6-7, about 220) but Robertson had boxer’s hands. He was incredibly quick and strong.
Once he and Joe Kleine was playing around, wrestling and Robertson managed to throw Joe in the swimming pool.
Joe, 6-11, 260 pounds, climbed out ready to avenge himself, only to end up in the pool a second time.
Anyway, several players jumped in front of Robertson and Sutton was not happy.
He ordered both players to run the steps to the top of Barnhill five times, which is a hike. For those who weren’t blessed enough to ever attend a game there, it seems like it goes straight up, and all the noise came straight down.
No opponent liked to play there.
If it had been a race Robertson would have won easily, but it was when he got to the top of the arena the fifth time the legend began.
According to people who were there when he got to the last row he stopped and waiting on Mills and then offered to finish what had started on the court.
Mills wisely declined.
That was 1984 and I remember that the Razorbacks went 5-1 in that tournament, and would have won it but Robertson and Kleine left early to prepare for the Olympics where they won a gold medal.
Tomorrow, more on yesterday’s scrimmage.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.