by Max Brantley
I just saw a release announcing an 11 a.m. press conf. in Fayetteville today at which UA Chancellor John White will announce "significant future changes in the structure of the men's and women's intercollegiate athletics administration." He'll be joined by incoming men's athletic director Jeff Long and Bev Lewis, director of women's athletics.
With Frank of the Ozarks (retiring A.D. Frank Broyles) just about out of the way, it's now safe to do what other schools did long ago, merge the men's and women's athletic departments. Of course a man will be in charge. They could eliminate some duplication in jobs in the process.
Now, ALL of the athletic department will answer to the chancellor. In the Broyles era, that never was so. The chancellor had to be content with overseeing the gals.
If White's handling of E-Mailgate is illustrative of his potential for leadership of this particular department, however, the change might not be a good thing. Also if it turns out he signed off on the midnight contract extensions for the football staff.
UPDATE: As predicted, one department, headed by Long, as of Jan. 1, the minute Frank is officially out the door. (The release is mostly chancellorspeak.)
UPDATE II: Ch. 40/29 has a film clip of John White, who said his "thoughts and prayers" are with Houston Nutt and his family. He also remarks on the "trash" you find on the Internets. "It makes all of you stand much taller," he says to TV man. Urp. Last time I looked, UA was getting a pretty good hammering from mainstreamers, too.