A couple Jeff Long questions:

Hopefully, we’ll get facts or educated opinions from knowledgeable people….not looking for Long was an idiot posts.

Why was Chuck Dicus removed from Foundation.

Why did Long choose John L Smith to succeed BP? Was anyone else considered?

Question 2…Phil Fulmer wanted the job but he wanted a long term deal…not the one year deal that was being offered.

At the time of hire I thought it was a good idea. It was late in hiring season to find a coach. We had a senior heavy team that all knew their jobs and what needed to be done (or so I believed). We retained most of the previous staff that was 10-2 the previous season I think. I figured we basically needed a place holder as HC and we would be fine for at minimum a 9+ win season.

I was never so wrong…

Was this Jeff Longs take on the situation as well, I have no idea. I do have a feeling he just thought we could tread water that season with anyone as HC and then hire a long term solution following the season.


Long was an idiot.:slightly_smiling_face: just kidding.

Long wanted to get rid of anyone from the Broyles era that may stand in the way of his changes.

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I also thought it was a good idea to start off with - a caretaker for one year or so.

But it obviously went sideways.


I thought the decision to hire Smith was a good one under the circumstances. He had been a moderately successful HC at Mich St. Had worked under Petrino here for a couple of years. Was well liked by those around the program. The firing was done in early April. There weren’t a lot of options. Fulmer was an option but as has been pointed out, wanted a longterm contract. I don’t think anyone thought that was a good idea.

Most of us thought JLS could hold the fort for a year & if he did well, he’d get a shot at keeping the job, but that short of that, we could have a much better selection of talent at the end of the 2012 season. Team talent was there. The 2011 team went 11-2. Nobody expected the total collapse that 2012 brought. Losing a 3 TD lead to ULM & eventually losing that game in OT set the tone for an awful season.

In retrospect it was an awful decision.

I have no idea why Long got rid of so many long-time people in and around the program. I thought that was a mistake at the time. Nothing has changed my mind on that.


As usual, NEA, your thoughts mirror mine down the line on this.

In a small group of less-than-optimal options, the fact that he was known by the team from his stint in Fayetteville under Bielema gave me some reason to think he’d be the best person for that lame duck season. I didn’t expect the total collapse that happened, but neither did I expect as much as most of my Razorback brethren either. I thought we’d go 7-5, while most predicted 9 or 10 wins.

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An awful sad time for our football program. Maybe JLS flat didn’t give a shout and just kept smiling each payday.

Can’t speak to the Dicus situation other than possible he wanted to choose another path. This information came from Mike Nail and his wife later on during the decline of BB on the field performance. His seats are in my section in the Red Zone and early before one game I was able engage in conversation with he and his wife Pam. After thanking them both for their contributions to Razorback athletics I was able to ask diplomatically some pointed questions. I shared first my sense that many things were being done differently in the department mainly the unwritten policy of Long under the auspices of defining his on department under his leadership. I shared my impression it was not going well asked if they thought I should share my concerns with BOT members by letter.
This was their response. Pam who oversaw the Pom Pom squads and cheerleading at the time stated Long made it a point adamantly to state that things would not be done at all as they were under Broyles leadership. He basically said to her I don’t want any semblance of the way Broyles managed day to day activities in the department in any area. He also had an unwritten policy according Mike that any candidates for positions with in the department with any history working for Coach Broyles would find it difficult to be offered a position in his department. You can call that I going to the corporate CEO and this is me establishing my athletics programs with my policy . The corporatization and policy of UA athletics under CEO Long. It is my contention this was reflected in Dicus moving on, Harold Horton being pushed out of the RF. Hiring JL when Tim Horton (ties to Broyles) in my opinion would have been a better choice. The backdrop to this drama also factors in John White chancellor in a power play forcing Broyles to retire in his micromanaging athletics instead of delegating the job to the AD with accountability from his position. Ex. White supervising Nolan personally not allowing the AD to do his job; approving the extension and buyout of Nolans contract against Broyles judgement; then when the lawsuit occurred then asking Broyles to fire him; Then undermining the potential hire of Bill Self by BOT member Tommy Boyer; demanding the hire of Stan Heath ; I point these past issues out in the context of Longs management of our programs not to bring up the past issues of Razorback athletics to be debated. The examples I’ve cited have factual basis that I observed and are the basis of my opinion of Long in trying to give an answer to your questions. A few other key points, on the positive side of the ledger for Longs time here, he consolidated men’s and women’s athletics programs under one banner that was needed; he developed the master plan to upgrade all of our facilities. The negative side of the ledger for me that carries the most weight is his coaching hires overall as we know have not developed on the positive side. Negative hires, Women’s basketball until Neighbors; Football: JL Smith; Track Bucknam; Semi positive Petrino, Beilema; Positive Mike Anderson. When I view these decision through the lense of an AD determined to be corporate CEO but not taking into consideration some of the historical policies that were positive from Broyles regime and adding your policies . That’s how I view the decisions that might answer your questions.
Just another fact regarding Long, he told Razorback Foundation fund raising employees to get used to be average in the SEC in athletics. Imagine trying to ask for your donations to achieve being average. He also took initiative in decisions regarding the North End Zone project without the proper approval of the BOT and we know that has developed. I know I’ve been long winded here. But it’s not in my opinion the best way to answer your questions with out the proper context in viewing those decisions. Just my opinion in trying to answer your questions with as much factual basis for my response. Also the Nails said emphatically write the letter.

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Jean Nail is an underappreciated part of UA athletic lore.


Long got a boatload of push back early on. People were upset that one of Frank’s underlings or proteges was not given the job. Lots of doors normally open to UA boosters were closed. Long lacked the political savvy to get those doors reopened. He did make new alliances, eventually, but that put him out of sorts with a few well-placed, terribly important people.

Fundraising dried up when he was named AD. Bobby P wanted changes made to RRS (turf, not grass? I don’t recall) and the $$ didn’t exist. Literally, $1M or less and we did not have it.

That he made it a year before bailing is something else.

Never be the guy that follows a legend. The guy that follows that guy might have a fair chance. Long made it ten years? Amazing.

Long’s biggest drawback was he lacked the charisma to be a political player for UA. Or AT UA. Lots of important people went right past him to underlings or secondary figures. And, he kfailed to open a few doors that concealed the real big $$ UA athletics needs. That is changing.

Yurachek is a superior AD, by far. If given the chance to stick around Hunter will earn a statute somewhere for his brilliant management of the athletic department.

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Bucknam was a negative hire? No, he didn’t win nattys like John McDonnell did but John wasn’t winning nattys either by the time he left. That level of success was unsustainable. And CB does have one NC and a boatload of conference titles. Sorry, I can’t agree with you on that one,

Interesting read. I knew Long wasn’t keen on keeping Broyles people but didn’t realize the extent of the antagonism. He should have emulated Broyles more, not changed things. Broyles was much more successful

Your right . I think that a better approach would have been adopting some of the successful principles that Coach Broyles had implemented and adding to them with your own. As has been mentioned above Long must not have the greatest people skills regarding donors once alienated from his actions. I received that feedback from Razorback foundation employees when fund raising definitely declined. Add in his communication get used to being average then you get negative results in that area. Now looking at his body of work at Arkansas and Kansas his true character has been exposed. Just the demeanor of Mike and Pam Nail when asked questions about Long was very telling to me.
We are moving forward with Hunter Yurachek and he’s done a good job so far of overcoming some difficulties not just from what he inherited from Long but the pandemic as well. While I still disagree playing ASU in football decision. His actions and decisions so far are a net positive IMO.


Always questioned whether playing ASU was HY’s decision or dictated from elsewhere. Otherwise, believe HY has proven to be a great AD for Arkansas.

Assumed JL’s refusal to embrace or build on the JFB legacy was perhaps due to his insecurities as an AD. Unlike JFB, JL refused to acknowledge & address his bad hires & make changes unless forced to do so. In the end, his failure to fire CBB until the BOT forced the issue was apparently the final straw. No doubt his weak people skills, decline in fund raising, & his either being oblivious to activities within the athletic dept or simply refusal to address problems, contributed to his ouster. Overall he proved his inability to be an effective AD.

The BOT had to sign off on everything with the NEZ, fact.

I understand that Ricepig but after approval costs may not have been presented as they actually were and after reviews by Tommy Boyer looking into the situation it was one of many factors that contributed to Longs eventual firing. That and his ridiculous buyout he gave to BB after going 7-6 and was not a hot commodity to be pursued for another coaching job

We came in under budget, so something went right. Now, people can debate on whether it was the correct decision or not, but we sold all but 150 club seats the first year of it. Horrendous football has led to many not renewing, winning cures all ails, lol.

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I think HY consider costs of playing other sports such as baseball in State. As far as the football game with ASU his friendship with Mohajir played a major factor and political factors within the state. John Barnhill started the policy of not playing in state schools in football. Arkansas gains nothing playing them in football. ASU gets creditably and if they beat us will give them more credit in the eyes of donors in a state that has a limited donor base statewide. Broyles carried on the policy. Take into account ASU is one of the most subsidized athletics programs in the state on the backs of students and their families by assessing additional hourly fees in addition to tuition and diversion of general funds monies from all state taxpayers I see no need to subsidize them further by playing them. Just my position and opinion and expressed that to Hunter via email.


Well said. I think playing ASU was HY’s decision. I wish he’d have gotten more pushback from the board, but I’m confident he instigated it. The decision doesn’t bother me much in baseball or the nonrevenue sports, but it was awful for basketball. Even worse for football.

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