by Max Brantley
Here's a copy of UAF Chancellor John White's letter offering the job of athletic director to Jeff Long. No formal contract has been prepared or signed yet, university officials say.
Not much new in the letter beyond what has already been revealed. Long will have a five-year contract, with a rollover provision, for $450,000 -- $250,000 from the university and $200,000 from the Razorback Foundation. The letter promises pay enhancements for academic and athletic achievements, but only in general terms, not specifics.
White said he expects athletes to be winners in the classroom as well as in athletics. But he also makes it clear that winning games is of statewide importance.
You will recall our discussion of the special role Razorback athletics plays for the State of Arkansas. Arkansans consider themselves to be "winners" when the Razorbacks win. When the Razorbacks are not successful athletically, the effect on the citizens of the state is palpable. Arkansans take enormous pride in the accomplishments of the Razorbacks.
Call me crazy, but I suspect there are one or two Arkansans who don't evaluate their personal winning/losing status based on the scoreboard in Fayetteville. Just a guess.