ADG report from the trustees meeting

In executive session for 3+ hours, which ended a few minutes ago. Jeff Long sat outside.

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GSD would not be an executive session issue. This had to be personnel related. Yet no athletic-related votes after they get out.

My guess, and this is merely a guess, is that one or more trustees are either personally upset with Long or have heard enough complaining from boosters that they thought it needed to be discussed in ES. But there wasn’t enough fire under all the smoke to proceed to a vote. Now, of course, something may well happen this afternoon to prove this guess wrong, but with the available info as of 12:30, I’m sticking to that for now.

The BoT can not fire Jeff Long correct?

They can only fire the Chancellor, who is the one who can fire Jeff Long, right?

Was this meant to just be a hey, things need to happen, session, directed at Dr. Steinmetz?

To either pressure Jeff into changes or, go over his head essentially to ensure it does.

If so, not the classiest way of doing things, but change is needed one way or another.

Could it have been a discussion about the football program direction and Long was there to offer his opinion if asked? Why the assumption that Long was the target?

Not sure how that works. When Joe Steinmetz was hired, the BOT voted to accept the recommendation of Don Bobbitt (UA System President) to hire him. I’m guessing they could direct Bobbitt to let Joe go.

I get that people are unhappy with JL for firing BP and hiring BB, although the Petrino worshippers seem to give JL zero credit for also hiring their idol. GSD doesn’t help either. And maybe the athletic department isn’t the good old boys club it once was. But it’s also got 10 times the budget as it did in the GOB days. You’d better have someone capable of managing a $125 million business, because that’s what we have, and that number is just going to keep going up. Or it had better keep going up if we’re to have any hope of competing in the SEC. We have a top-20 athletic program, per the Directors Cup, without the resources of many of the other SEC schools and other national powers. Basically, it seems to me that people are upset about one sport and the other 18 under the UA umbrella don’t matter.

So exactly what are you hoping to change, or hoping they will change?

I think you are mostly right, although I disagree with the assessment about being classy. The trustees have an obligation to look after the good of all aspects of the university system. That might mean lecturing or grilling university leaders in closed session.

I agree, 100%.

It is certainly their job.

I guess the classy part was directed at how they would basically hang it over Dr. Steinmetz head to get things done in a hypothetical situation. (Since we do not know)
If that would be the case it sounds like a hey, do this or you’re gone. Which would just be the trickle down effect going after Jeff Long.

Either way you are right, it’s their job to make sure the best interest is being put in place for the football program.

At this point it doesn’t appear Long is in serious trouble. I’d have been very upset if he were fired. First, I think the timing of such a thing is terrible. If CBB is fired, we don’t need to be starting over with a new AD as well. Second, I think Long has done a good job. He’s done some things I don’t like, but that’d be true of any AD. And, frankly, some of the things I don’t like are probably nonetheless necessary or at least the best of bad options. While he seems too money conscious & has overcharged for things that have been free or nearly so, I also know we can’t compete without money. Lots of money. He’s in a tough position.

That’s a fair question. FWIW, though, Max Brantley reported earlier in the week that he’d heard the board wanted to talk to Long. He implied someone wasn’t happy. But there are 12 members of the board so all it takes is 1 or 2.

Not sure how he couldn’t…if the BOT is discussing the “direction of the football program” that’s a pretty serious indictment. If they simply wanted his input and advice he could have issued a written analytical report they could read at their leisure and not spend 3 hours in ES…it is never a good thing if any board is discussing something you are responsible for when things are not going well

There is nothing unusual in a committee/ board/executive group, etc keeping technical experts/managerial types/lawyers hanging around at their beckoned call while they discuss an issue. Those people get summoned in and out of the room whenever the group wants something from them. In many, many cases a memo, report, recommendation has already been made, but the group or someone in the group wants the author(s) available if needed.

It may or may not have been a party where JL was asked to bring his own rope. But you can’t assume anything other than they told him they might need to talk to him in person.

It wouldn’t be unusual for the BOT to want to ask specific questions. A written analytical report can’t answer questions. Answers lead to other questions. While it’s possible Long was in some sort of trouble, I see nothing at all unusual about having him available for a question & answer session. Such a session could have involved any number of things that touched on personnel that required an executive session.

That would make a lot of sense.

But it’s still not confirmed that he ever stepped in front of the Board, so did he ever get to answer questions? Talk to the board?

Apparently he never made it into the ES, just sat in the hall.

That’s what’s odd.

Appears to be “much ado about nothing”.

Yeah. That is odd. I guess they wanted him available then decided they didn’t need him. Since the meeting was held in N.L.R. rather than Fayetteville, that seems like a waste of his time. Odd at best. (But I’m still not certain if he went in or not. I’ve seen it said both ways.)

We have it confirmed with board members and the UA system - he did not go into the executive session.

Steinmetz was in the executive session, but Long was not.

A 3 1/2 hour executive session is usually about something. I wouldn’t dismiss it as “much ado about nothing.” I’m sure we will know more in the coming days.

I agree something they considered important was hashed over pretty well. However, they may have hashed over a lot of different things. Regardless, it still might come to nothing. If you had 2 or 3 board members who felt strongly about something & raised many issues that had to be discussed and/or voted on, if they didn’t prevail, then no one is getting fired & we won’t know about what was said. If the 2-3 became 7-8 or 10, then we’ll know more in coming days.