Long follows Morning Rush into rules discussion

Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long just can’t resist sometimes.

During Tuesday’s statewide Morning Rush radio show, host Derek Ruscin threw out that he was ready for Arkansas to stop worrying about the rules and get in the game to win now.

“Why do we have to be the moral authority on all this crap?” Ruscin asked live on the air. “Why can’t we get in the mud with everybody else? If everybody else is cheating, then it’s not cheating if you do it.”

That will pretty much take care of wondering what people will call about for a couple of days, I’ll bet.

“Why is this the only school on God’s green earth that won’t cheat?” Ruscin asked. “START HANDING OUT SOME CASH!”

» Listen to the podcast of the show.

Long, who listens to the Morning Rush apparently was listening Tuesday morning.

Long apparently feels in football not coming close to competing for a conference championship during his 10-plus years on the job is okay as long as “doing things the right way is who we are.”

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Don’t throw out 2010 and 2011 … the Hogs ended up finishing FOURTH in the SEC West in the final rankings in 2010 and THIRD in the West, despite a No. 5 overall finish.


History tells us Ruscin may have a valid point.

In the winningest three years in Razorback history (1964-66), the football program was on NCAA probation for recruiting violations.

There were no sanctions. The penalty was handed down in 1963. Yes, the violations were more than what we call “minor” in this day and age.

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In that time, if you had the political pull and clout with the NCAA there were no sanctions. They didn’t run around handing down much more than a bowl ban.

The television ban came as a means to get Oklahoma off TV in the early 1970’s. Darrell Royal down at Texas had more pull with the NCAA and he needed anything he could get to slow down Barry Switzer’s annual haul of players in Texas.

Yes, during a time when the Hogs won over 90 percent of their games (29-3 over those three years), they were on probation for two of the years for recruitment of some of the players on those teams.

In case you’re wondering, Royal’s Longhorns were also on probation following their national championship year of 1963.

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Now that doesn’t mean you follow Ruscin’s method of just blatantly handing out cash as the players come out of the football facility.

Nah, there are other ways.

But Long needs to understand — and the guess here is he better get it sooner rather than later — that the football team winning is important to the fans in this state.

After all, he likes being in the SEC. He’s stated the advantages of being there over and over when people start speculating about a move.

And in the SEC, one school over a period of three years fired the coach, the athletic director and the president of the university … all because the football team wasn’t winning enough games, despite a 72.2 percent winning margin all three years.

Yeah, that was Alabama.