<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2017 … ng-firing/”>http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2017/nov/15/razorbacks-react-jeff-long-firing/</LINK_TEXT>
Most casual fans, which is what I consider myself, have no clue if an AD is effective or how he stacks up against his peers. There is a lot more to this job than the record of the football team. It has always bothered me to see other casual fans spout so much vitriol against this man. The university athletes, who’s lives he impacts, seem to have a very positive view of Jeff Long. He has kept us in the SEC arms race, out of the NCAA dog house and the academic performance of our athletes has improved. The man has represented our state and university well and is highly regarded nationally. I sure hope this decision doesn’t come back and bite us in the hiney, but I fear that it will.
I’m not going to criticize the board’s decision because I am sure they have a lot more information than I do. However, I do have enough info to question it. I read Clay’s article & I fully understand how Jeff did some things that annoyed the wrong people. I think he made a terrible mistake in firing virtually all the Arkansas/Broyles people in the AD when he came on board in 2007. I also think he might have been too quick to add fees to so many things that had been free or cheaper before he came. Unfortunately, for a program that requires lots of money, fees have to be charged. Ticket prices have to increase.
I don’t know if he glad handed enough. I don’t know if he did enough to keep people outside the big donor circle like they were appreciated.
However, it’s pretty clear the athletes thought very highly of him. It appears the coaches do, too. I know he is highly respected around the country. The few interactions I had with him were pleasant. He listened to what I had to say. He was always cordial.
I’m still perplexed by both the timing of this decision & the substance of the decision. I hope to hear more as time goes on. But I don’t like the idea that he might have been fired because people with influence didn’t like him or didn’t like not having enough influence in the operation of the Dept.