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Ark. Football Can’t Visit Prison

August 24, 2002

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Houston Nutt’s plan to take members of the Arkansas football team to a state prison for an educational exchange was denied by the NCAA.

Nutt wanted to take 38 Razorbacks, by private plane, to the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas state prison system last Sunday for an exchange of information with prisoners. Nutt had hoped some players could encourage prisoners, and some prisoners could show some players what can happen as the result of bad choices.

``We were going to have Raymond House, Jermaine Brooks, Josh Melton, (and) Mark Bokermann talk to about 25 of their guys, and then we were going to have about seven lifers talk to our guys,″ Nutt said.

But NCAA rules prohibit a school from transporting players for any reason other than practice or competition. An appeal was also denied.

``Once you get one approved, it sets a precedent for other schools, and the potential for abuse,″ said Derrick Gragg, associate athletic director at Arkansas.

Gragg said the trip would have been permitted if players provided their own transportation, but school officials determined an eight-hour round trip by car did not sound safe.

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