Bruce Feldman ranks College ADs

Polling media members and other ADs on SI.com.

Jeff Long was fourth on the media’s list and tied for sixth on the AD rankings. Joe Castiglione of OU was tops on both rankings.

Things people said were important skills for ADs included hiring and retaining good coaches, fundraising, accessibility and communication skills, crisis management, culture building and innovation. The media thought hiring and retention was most important while the ADs valued culture building most.

Jeff has a lot of respect from outside the state. That’s not to say he doesn’t have it from inside the state, but those who view Arkansas through a nationwide lens are always impressed by what he has been able to do here, from the hires he has made to the strides he has made in finances. It’s the reason Texas and Stanford (and likely others) have tried to poach him.

It’s sad that many in the state don’t recognize the job he has done here. I know, they think winning is on the backburner, but I truly think JL wants his programs to win as much as any AD. The problem is he had a very tough act to follow. JFB was a southerner who was ahead of his time in most instances.

I like that he is engaged unabashedly in Razorback
sports.
His day to day performance of his formal duties
as AD is above my pay-grade to judge.

Darn Texas if they don’t screw us on the field they do it off the field, they could have helped us out, moneyed up and taken ole Jeff to Austin.

I think down the road a lot of people are finally going to realize how he dragged us kicking and screaming into respectability. I think he is a great AD and deserving of his ranking.

Top to bottom, Arkansas athletics is on the rise since we hired him.

Trust me we could do a lot worse then Jeff Long. MUCH MUCH worse. Seems like I remember a group of fans who couldn’t wait to fire a basketball coach they thought was past his prime. New coach and we would be back in the final four in a year or two. So how did that work out when we fired Nolan?
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

I would like to see an SEC ranking of ADs by compensation.

That’s often the way with the “it’s time to fire…” crowd. People are so quick to assume any failures are automatically the fault of the person in charge & that replacement is almost certain to improve fortunes. The world is full of examples where that’s not the case. Nolan being just one of them. Fulmer at Tn, Cutcliffe at OM, lots of 'em. Most of the time there’s not so much of a trade down. It’s just not a trade up. Regardless, the trading itself carries a downside. Jeff is a good A.D. I’m happy with him.

[quote=“Neastarkie”]

That’s often the way with the “it’s time to fire…” crowd. People are so quick to assume any failures are automatically the fault of the person in charge & that replacement is almost certain to improve fortunes. The world is full of examples where that’s not the case. Nolan being just one of them. Fulmer at Tn, Cutcliffe at OM, lots of 'em. Most of the time there’s not so much of a trade down. It’s just not a trade up. Regardless, the trading itself carries a downside. Jeff is a good A.D. I’m happy with him.
[/quote]Don’t forget Ken Hatfield/Jack Crowe.

[quote=“WizardofhOgZ”]

Except Ken wasn’t fired. He just went to Clemson sight unseen to get away from Frank, who hired Crowe the next day to try to save the recruiting class. Definitely not an upgrade at the position but it wasn’t because Hatfield was fired

Count me as one of the fans that thinks he has done a good job. I think the critics don’t really understand the trends at play in big time college sports. I think JL is a guy that truly loves college atheletes and does a good job balancing all of the conflicting demands of the position. We, in Arkansas, often have an inferiority complex but there is no doubt that you have to be able to figure out how to do more with less. I don’t know if the average fan that criticizes him could even name an AD that could legitimately do better.

[quote=“SwineFusion”]

It’s true Ken wasn’t fired, but I remember how badly so many fans wanted him fired. I know the story about how he & JFB had issues, but the vitriol by fans against Ken in the late 80’s & early 90’s was awful. There was a lot of fan pressure on Broyles & Hatfield. The lopsided loss to Miami & the last-play loss to Texas in 1987(?) drove some fans into a frenzy. So while Hatfield wasn’t fired, I consider it the fans’ efforts to run him off that hurt the program. It also hurt his recruiting. Ken was miserable those last couple of years here.

Correct on all counts. I don’t know how much of the fan base wanted Hatfield gone at the time but they were certainly very vocal. Just like the ones who wanted Nolan fired 12 years later

NEA responded before I saw your post, SF. He essentially posted my sentiments; Hatfield technically resigned, but that was only due to pressure from ill-advised fans and JFB’s insistence that he get rid of some of his assistants. It still fits with the “watch out what you ask for because you just might get it” them of the post I replied to.

Agreed. Whether Hatfield was fired, left under pressure from JFB, or under pressure from the fans, the change of leadership was not positive for our program.