There has been a recent groundswell of criticism of Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long recently like the yard in Fort Smith (pictured above) that has several signs telling him — and football coach Bret Bielema — bye.
The guess here is that at the University of Arkansas’ Board of Trustees meeting in early November, he’ll be here awhile.
The prediction here is he gets a contract extension and a raise that will elevate him to near the top of athletic directors. It wouldn’t be surprising if the folks in Little Rock are already working on that new deal.
This doesn’t come with a guarantee, of course, because we don’t even know if it’s on the agenda for the meeting because it’s a personnel issue. The guess here is the vote will be somewhere around 7-3 in favor of the new deal.
Long recently was reported in the media as one of the people in consideration for the Nebraska athletics director position, but that was filled Sunday by Bill Moos from Washington State.
Also look for Long to stick with Bielema, despite a buyout that is somewhere between $5.9 and $15.4 million, depending on which lawyer you want to believe.
At his weekly press conference Monday, Bielema tried to spin the narrative that this is a rebuilding season. Interesting that we just now hear that at the midway point of the season with a 2-4 record and coming off a 41-9 loss to No. 1-ranked Alabama.
Apparently Long is willing to risk the support of a fan base that has started wavering in support of Bielema in a season where the Hogs have been outscored in three SEC losses by an average of 47-25 per game.
Despite that, the guess here is Long will ride with Bielema, obviously seeing something that points to progress which has eluded many in the media and nearly the entire fan base.
Arkansas will continue the rebuilding year in football against No. 21 Auburn in Fayetteville this week.
The Tigers have a defense that Hogs offensive coordinator Dan Enos on Monday put at the same level as Alabama, who held Arkansas to just 27 yards rushing last week.