I was browsing through the new Arkansas Razorback basketball brochure and noticed that , the KATV Channel 7 news anchor alongside Christina Munoz, was lined up to be the play-by-play announcer for all of the ARSN TV broadcasts of Hog basketball in December.
Apparently, that’s changed. Inman will be taking over the radio roll for Hog basketball when the hoop games conflict with Hog football games, where longtime basketball “voice of the Hogs” Mike Nail has been operating as play-by-play man following the death of Paul Eells in late July. That means that Inman will be doing radio on several Arkansas basketball games, starting with Saturday’s game against Stephen F. Austin at 7:05 p.m. (ARSN handles radio as well as TV for the Hogs.)
ARSN, the UA and most especially KATV, which has been the “Razorback Station” since 1966 and of which ARSN is a division, have waited to select a permanent “Voice” of the Razorbacks; the move of Nail into Eells’ football spot was the right one with Eells death in a car accident coming so close to the start of football season. But Nail isn’t expected to be the permanent “voice.” We also don’t believe Inman would move to KATV’s sports department, where Steve Sullivan runs things after Eells’ passing. But KATV would have the “voice” still if it’s chief news anchor, who has the right pipes and plenty of past experience and skill for play-by-play work, was named the football “voice” going into 2007. Nail, we would suspect, would return as basketball “voice,” a role he’s held for more than two decades and that he’d no doubt be welcome to keep until he felt he couldn’t go on anymore.
KATV/ARSN has a contract that runs four more years with the UA to handle its broadcasting, but ultimately the choice for “Voice of the Razorbacks” football is going to come down to UA athletic director Frank Broyles, with KATV’s GM Dale Nicholson no doubt offering his advice. We’re going to get a good listen to Inman in the coming weeks, and this could well be his tryout.
In the meantime, ARSN is trying to line things up for a regular TV voice to handle the six Hog basketball games it will carry in December. Inman will be doing radio in Orlando for a tournament the Hogs play in there, and Dec. 2 is likely a conflict day for football-basketball as well if the football Hogs reach the SEC Championship game.