Arkansas Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Long has been asked to resign from his position, effective immediately.
Multiple reports started circulating after the Board of Trustees met in Little Rock last Thursday at UA-Pulaski Tech, that Long would either be fired or asked to step down from his position. The UA made it official just before noon on Wednesday.
“The decision to change leadership in our Athletics Department is not an easy one, and was made after great deliberation, discussion and thought, after consultation with the Board of Trustees and President Bobbitt,” Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz stated in a release. “Since coming to Fayetteville in 2008, Jeff has led our department with character and integrity and helped move us forward in so many ways.
"However, over the past year, Jeff has lost the support of many of our fans, alumni, key supporters, and members of the university leadership, support that I believe is critical in our pursuit of excellence. I want to thank Jeff for his commitment and service to our University and to the State of Arkansas and, on behalf of the Razorback Family, I want to wish Jeff and his family all of the best in the future.”
The UA will honor provisions in Long’s contract, which run through June 30, 2022. Julie Cromer Peoples, who serves as associate vice chancellor for athletics, senior associate athletics director for administration and sports programs and senior woman administrator for Razorback Athletics, has been appointed to serve in the interim until a replacement is named.
“I walked out of a staff meeting about half hour ago. We were in Wednesday morning, so that's kind of standard, usual around here. People prepped me before I got on the phone call that there might be a question. But no, I haven’t received any official notification, just a lot of hearsay," Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema said at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Long was hired at Arkansas to replace legendary coach and athletic director Frank Broyles in 2008 but made the hire of former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino in 2007 before officially taking the position.
He since served as the first chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. Nationally, Long has been regarded as one of the top athletic directors in the country, and his name is regularly mentioned when there are openings at other major institutions.