…I think he went on to say he would wait for that coach (who had no chance to meet everyone’s expectations) to fail and then he would want the job. Is that what happened to Long? As soon as he began to do things differently with different types of people than his legendary predecessor had hired, resentment began to build. The fact that Frank vigorously supported Long probably held off the Long Haters and the timing of Frank’s death AND the bad season and a half in football just “unleashed the hounds” after Long’s head. If the Springdale powers were also getting messages from Malzahn that he would be open to coming, that would have given them the will and the way to exploit the unleashed Long-Haters. Based on reading between the lines of official and unofficial statements so far, this kind of makes some twisted sense. That is if firing one of the top five Athletic Directors in the nation can make any sense at all.
Long has left the athletic department and facilities in much better shape than they were when he arrived. A less qualified AD with more local political skills can probably do OK if the football team can play better.