Blogger elwood points out an article in the Northwest Arkansas Times today (sub. reqd.) reporting an amazing exchange between UA trustee John Tyson and athletic director Jeff Long (pictured). Seems Tyson questioned the UA's proposal to spend $20 million on a "student development center" -- which includes a study hall for athletes. The exchange:
“You want to spend $20 million for 450 students?” Tyson asked. “Is there any way that facility could be used for a broader range of students?”
Long said he has talked to student affairs about sharing the dining facility, but nothing has been decided. He also said the $20 million figure might be high.
But Tyson remained bothered by the potential cost.
“I struggle with that, I really do. I think it’s great. I think athletics are important, but there are a lot of other folks who need help around study hall,” he said.
Long countered, “I struggle with the fact that we have the lowest student-athlete graduation rate in the Southeastern Conference.
“We have not had a commitment to student-athlete academics here, in my humble opinion, and this is a facility we will need in the future.”
PS FROM MAX: Long's spending and the big step-up in commercialization of the Hog "program" -- advertising on the school website, a likely big jump in premiums for better tickets to football games, etc. -- seem likely to cause a little more public chafing before long. There's grumbling in the ranks. Will Long bring transparency to athletic spending? How strongly does Long feel about Title IX? Etc.