Jeff Long

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

With Mack Brown on the hot seat at Texas, talk of potential replacements is constantly swirling around the 40 Acres. Of course, the most desirable candidate would be Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has won back-to-back national titles.

While plucking Saban from Tuscaloosa may seem virtually impossible, a new report from the Associated Press suggests it may not be so far-fetched.

Through an open records request, the AP obtained an email that detailed a call between Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, and UT Regent Wallace Hall and former Regent Tom Hicks. According to the email, Sexton stated that Texas is the only school that his client would leave Alabama for.

Sexton went on to say that Saban is under “special pressure” at the helm of the Crimson Tide as a result of the incredible success he has had in Tuscaloosa.

 

Arkansas AD gets raise

He may not have gotten the job in Austin, but Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long has parlayed the interest from Texas into a raise from his current employer.

Long has agreed to a new contract with the Razorbacks that will increase his annual salary to $1.1 million by next summer. The contract also includes a $100,000 bonus and raises his buyout to $1.3 million through June 30, 2015.

Long, who was recently named the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee, was considered one of the finalists for the Texas men’s athletic director position, prior to Steve Patterson being selected on Tuesday.

 

UNC quarterback out for rest of season

North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner had surgery Wednesday to repair a detached labrum and fracture in his non-throwing shoulder, and will be out for the rest of the season as a result.

Renner, a fifth-year senior, injured his shoulder on a scramble in the second half of last week’s game against NC State. With no eligibility left after this season, the injury means the end of his collegiate career.

The Virginia native has been the Tar Heels starter for each of the past three years, putting together one of the most impressive careers in the school’s history. Renner’s 64 career touchdown passes are the second-most in program history while he sits third in school history in passing yards, completions and attempts.

 

Cal running back injured in locker-room brawl

Cal running back Fabiano Hale was taken to hospital after a locker room altercation with a teammate last week, according to University of California police.

University police officials said the walk-on was injured in a “one-on-one” fight with another player at the team’s facility. Police did not identify the other player involved in the altercation but do have a suspect.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long fields a question regarding WednesdayÂ’s termination of coach Bobby Petrino.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Compared to the tumultuous child sex scandal at Penn State, Bobby Petrino’s wrongdoings seem relatively minor.

But there is no doubt that these wrongdoings are cause for his termination.

Arkansas director of athletics Jeff Long announced his decision on Tuesday and openly discussed Petrino’s various misdeeds and how he misled the University. Petrino unfairly hired his mistress, Jessica Dorrell and then hid their relationship from the University. In addition, both were in a motorcycle accident April 1 and Petrino lied to Long and did not mention that Dorrell was on the motorcycle with him at the time.

Long said Petrino was given “multiple opportunities” over four days to come clean about what happened, but chose not to.

Petrino’s decisions were wrong and he no longer deserves to be the coach at Arkansas. What he did was not related to football and no players were harmed, but his actions are not acceptable for someone who works at a higher institution of learning.

College football players, and college athletes in general, often find themselves in trouble for off-the-field antics and behavior. Coaches and administrators need to be role models for these players who have so much pressure on them to succeed at a high level.

Petrino has failed to act as a role model, and will suffer the consequences.

He will not receive the $18 million buyout that his contract called for because he was fired “with cause.” The 51 year-old married father of four has not set an example for his team. There’s nothing more to it.

His actions are not a poor reflection on the university or his players. His actions were separate from Arkansas and will only hurt his personal reputation. His salary was approximately $3.53 million a year. With that large sum of money, a certain level of responsibility and character is expected out of a coach.

In his four seasons with the Razorbacks, Petrino finished with a 34-17 record. Last season the team finished with a No. 5 final ranking and had a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State.

His departure will be a tough hole to fill for the Razorbacks and Long, with the drop off in behavior came an increase in wins. Long will probably be looking more in depth at the character of the coach who he hires to take Petrino’s place.

Character is a trait that is always stressed in athletics — especially in college athletics when drugs, alcohol and other negative influences are everywhere. Petrino’s actions and then his deception following it were not up to par with the expectations that are given to a college coach.

Printed on Thursday, April 12, 2012 as: Petrino pinched as coach