I think Long will do a good job at Kansas

Frankly I thoubht he did a good job at Arkansas under the circumstances, but I notice a lot of Hog fans who hated him.


With all due respect, I don’t care what Jeff Long does at Kansas and I don’t “hate” Jeff Long. My problem with Long is that he changed to culture from Frank Broyles’ “winning is habitual” to “if I build it they will come”. When Eddie Sutton came to Arkansas back in the 70’s, Broyles made him a promise that if Sutton put a winning product on the floor, he would transform Barnhill Fieldhouse into Barnhill Arena. When Nolan Richardson got the basketball program winning at elite levels, Broyles got Bud Walton Arena built for around 36 million dollars. When Houston Nutt’s team smoked Alabama in 1998, Broyles realized that Razorback Stadium needed expansion asap. He got it done after the product on the field or court was at least compelling if not excellent. And, by the way, money was a lot harder to come by in those days because there was no SEC network.

Jeff Long, on the other hand, didn’t understand two things. First, the rank and file Razorback fan will not spend hard earned money to watch mediocre to poor performance by our teams. If we have a winner, we will do whatever it takes to support our team - including maxing out a credit card(s) to get there (see College World Series). Second, nice facilities don’t create demand amongst tried and true Razorback fans. Winning creates demand. Winning commands new facilities. New facilities enhance interest but winning is the foundation.

The latest expansion of Razorback stadium to cater to the corporate class of fan was a colossal misstep to the tune of 160 to 180 million dollars. Maybe Chad Morris can revive the program to the point where that expenditure will work out but right now, it appears to be a huge boondoggle that benefits only the deep pocket crowd - many of which could care less about Razorback success. Let’s face it. His unilateral hiring of Bret Bielema was a slow moving catastrophe. Long brought in a good guy who never felt the urgency or had the competitive fire to win for us. Long never pressured him - Frank Broyles would have.

I think Jeff Long has some strong long range planning skills but his inability to feel the passion and urgency Razorback fans feel when it comes to building a winner and at least being competitive and relevant are why he leads the Jayhawks and not the Razorbacks today.

Jeff Long was and is the CEO of a multi-million dollar business that just happens to turn out sports teams instead of widgets or cellphones. But so is every other Power Five AD. So was Frank, but instead of doing what really needed to be done he kicked the can down the road for Jeff to deal with. He has to try to win, but he also has to try to pay the bills in an ever-escalating battle of deep pocketbooks. Especially in the SEC, where Bama and A&M and Florida seemingly have endless supplies of money.

I think you miss the point of the RRS expansion. There is not an untapped reservoir of fans waiting to get into the general seating areas in any of our sports, with the possible exception of Baum. But there are people with large bank accounts who wanted and couldn’t get premium seating. So JL provided it. Which makes perfect sense. If you’re a GM dealer, and demand for Chevys is slow but demand for Cadillacs is strong, you order more Cadillacs. It would have been insane to add 10,000 general admission seats now because nobody wants them. But those premium seats are pretty much gone.

Wait until the demand increases for the general seats? Why? And give up the extra revenue from the deep-pocket crowd for a few years until you’re ready for a general expansion? That makes no sense. Sell those Cadillacs now. When they’re ready to buy Chevys, give them Chevys then.

I have no problem even now with the decision to hire Bret Bielema. He had a strong record of success in the Big Ten. So did Nick Saban. No, scratch that. Bielema’s record in the BT was much better than Saban’s at Michigan State. There was zero reason to think it wouldn’t carry over to the SEC. And for a time it did. We were in really good shape on Thanksgiving Day 2016. A 7-4 record, a very winnable game at Mizzou the next day, and possibly a very winnable bowl game. A 9-4 record for that season and Bielema’s seat would not have been even slightly toasty. But we blew the lead at Misery, blew the lead in the bowl, and it’s dead coach walking.

You have no idea whether JL put any pressure on BB. You weren’t in their meetings, and he wasn’t going to let any of that leak out. What we do know is that JL seemed to be willing to give BB one more year and the trustees weren’t going to stand for that. So now they’re both gone.

Plus I would hate to think that Hog fans only support winners. True Hog fans are there every time they can be.

The Masterplan to expand RRS was in place in 2011 before Petrino rode a motorcycle in a ditch. The winning was happening because Petrino was a good coach whose off-the-field antics cost him his job (whether it should have or shouldn’t have is not the point of this post). So, your idea that JL didn’t wait until there was winning to plan the expansion is wrong; there was winning. He couldn’t foresee the events of the Spring of 2012 and the effect it would have on football. Then he hired Bielema, a good hire that just didn’t work out in the SEC, and even with the way his tenure ended, when the university announced plans to go ahead with the expansion in January of 2016, the football program looked like it was on the rise, as Swine pointed out in his above post. It just didn’t happen, and the team imploded last year.

Swine’s right. The corporate money is necessary to keep up with the Bamas, Floridas and A&Ms. JL needed to be more in touch with Arkansas fans and should have embraced the tradition more. He made his mistakes, but overall, he was good for the athletic program. He has his hands full with the Kansas program, but I hope he does well.

Long walks into two huge messes up there. One, KU football is a dumpster fire. Second there is mounting evidence that the FBI has Bill Self in its crosshairs. The NCAA will piggyback off the feds. Probation and a coach going to prison? Jeff has his work cut out for him on that one.

One more point about the stadium project. It’s about a lot more than 4,000 premium seats. It’s about a new athletic administration building, and concourse revisions, and security improvements, and improved access to the upper deck on both sides. He decided to do all that at once, paid for by those deep pockets, rather than piecemeal it without a dedicated source of money to pay for it all. The cost of those new seats is far less than half of that $160 million. And, by the way, despite constant rumors that it’s over budget and behind schedule, the stadium work is neither one.

What is the deal with the open space at the north end zone? It looks weird. Why was this expansion not extended to meet the east side? I am just asking…does anybody know?

I appreciate your insight and I am sure I don’t know the whole story. I doubt anyone does except Jeff Long and the Board of Trustees. But from the outside looking in I still say that the life blood of Razorback athletics is its rank and file fan base and not corporate donors. I do business with several Walmart vendors who have leased suites, bought tickets and made donations to Razorback athletics in some form or fashion in order to show they are good corporate citizens wanting to curry favor with Walmart. When you have conversations with them, they want Arkansas to do well but aren’t heartbroken if it loses. I know we need them to pay bills but there is more to it for a fan like myself.

As for Bret Bielema, he was given five full years. For whatever reason (and there are a few of them according to Clay Henry), he simply could not recruit anything nearly as good as his first class here. Why? He could not replace the assistants (who were good if not excellent recruiters) he lost with assistants who could recruit as well or better. Furthermore, when Bielema was first announced, I talked to Wisconsin people who told me that as long as Barry Alvarez’ is around, Wisconsin will be formidable. At Wisconsin, Bielema was merely the head coordinator and not the head coach. Alvarez wanted a guy to carry on the day to day stuff - not to make whole sale changes to the offense or defensive philosophies.

At Arkansas, I have to believe that Jeff Long simply did not have the knowledge or experience to push Bielema. He gave him the keys to the building and completely got out of the way. He did that with Bobby Petrino too - and we saw what happened. I am still baffled why he had no inkling that all that was going on. If I am operating a 100 million dollar enterprise, I have a fiduciary responsibility to know something of how my highly compensated employees are managing their departments - but that’s a debate for another day and it’s also settled history.

As I said, Jeff Long was a pretty good long (no pun intended) range planner. But I will argue that winning (without cheating) at Arkansas sells more seats, more suites and more eats than lavish facilities any day.
Somehow Jeff Long never quite grasped that concept very well.

The view into the stadium from the hill on Maple Street was deemed to be something worth preserving. So they preserved it.

Lots of modern stadiums are built with gaps in the seating. The Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, for instance (top left corner in this view). And there was no existing view to preserve; Gillette was built like this from scratch.

Long is respected by coaches and athletes. He has to do a better job of communicating with the big money people. He upset many of them with a dismissive attitude.

That’s an interesting “take” Mr. Davenport. As an passionate (but average in every other way) fan, Long always impressed me as a guy who was fairly adroit at dealing with well healed boosters. Without naming names, could you give an example of how Long ticked off some big moneyed people?

Let’s break this down very simple.

When Jeff Long came in and replaced Coach Broyles, he didn’t keep around Coach Broyles’ people and that alienated people right away.

He was also viewed as a $ first guy even though he pushed Arkansas into a situation where it thrived financially.

He went about that in a different manner than Coach Broyles did and that ruffled the feathers of many.

I certainly think he could have gone about it a different way at times.

But he lost his job because of two things - the buyout contract given to Coach B and Coach B’s last two seasons.

If those last two things had not happened, he would still be here regardless of that stuff up top.

One other thing to add, there is a lot of false information out there - disseminated by both sides.

Don’t take something someone tells you as the gospel truth. Many times it isn’t. It’s just a ploy to try and get you to push that false information and change the narrative.

Thank you Dudley. I don’t take things as gospel and I don’t want to push a false narrative but if I (and other posters) don’t write we hear on the streets or give our misinformed opinions, we really don’t learn what the facts are. We certainly don’t learn them in the “official” media. I have learned more in this thread about Jeff Long and the inner workings of the athletic department he ran here than I ever did in the ADG or any publication dealing with Razorback athletics. So, I will keep giving opinions (right or wrong) and hopefully provoke reaction from those in the “know” (like yourself) who can set the record straight.

Two board trustees and a “well heeled booster” from east Arkansas met with Long prior to breaking ground on the new expansion to ask him to delay (not cancel the expansion plans), just delay the start for a while. Reportedly Long disagreed or was non-committal regarding the “request” and as we know went on with his plans for the expansion. Needless to say it didn’t sit well with the three. And enemies will verbalize their displeasure whenever the chance arises. And apparently did.

When the 5th Bielema season went down the drain fairly early (TCU loss in Razorback Stadium), and a virtually complete collapse after the New Mexico win, Long refused to fire his head coach and reportedly lost any remaining support he had with the board of trustees.