LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- There's a small restaurant in Fordyce called Red's. It's where the Fordyce Rotary meets every Wednesday. Craig O'Neill spoke to the group this past Wednesday and to a person, they all showed newfound admiration for Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long.
Jordan Johnson is a communications consultant with the firm of Cranford, Johnson, Robinson, and Woods. He pointed out that Long did something no other AD has done when faced with a scandal or crisis. Long got on top of it quickly, with an early press conference on the heels of the state police report. Long stated that he didn't have all the facts but was on a mission to get all the information he could. Johnson pointed out that even though it seems counter-intuitive, a good leader simply says "I don't know, but I am now going to attempt to find out." That's what Long did.
In his second press conference, Johnson pointed out how Long laid out his case before announcing to the state he was firing Coach Petrino without cause. Long was also emotional but was honest with it. There was nothing manipulative in his choking up when referring to the Razorback team.
Now, according to Johnson, comes the tough part. Long will have to work hard to stay transparent in the entire search process for a new coach. Judging by what we've seen so far, he appears to be capable in meeting the challenge.