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Dr. Saturday

Arkansas players know the difference between a salad and a dinner fork

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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When football players leave Arkansas, they aren't just good student-athletes, they're good people.

At least that seems to be the mission of the Arkansas athletic department and coach John L. Smith, who tweeted pictures from the team's "etiquette team dinner" where players learned — among other things - the proper way to set a table, which utensils to use in a given situation, how to use a fork properly and the proper way to get soup from a buffet. The players also were taught how to make conversation and network during a meal.

After a little research, it seems this dinner actually started under former coach Bobby Petrino and Smith has continued the tradition, which is now in its third year. The student-athlete development staff sets up the dinner, and DeNita Turner, the president and founder of a Maryland-based company called Image Builders, Inc., also attends to help coach players on the do's and don'ts of dining in a business situation.

This is a fantastic idea. Several of these players are going to find themselves in a dining situation for an interview or other important meeting, which will probably require these skills. And linebacker Jarrett Lake definitely has a leg up since he was the first player to master creating a perfect place setting.

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