Jeff Long's Speech: Crafting the Words That Persuaded Razorback Fans

by Chris Bahn  on Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 11:00 am  

Jeff Long

“It was clear that, no matter how it played out, this would be a national story,” Diamond said. “When the first satellite truck arrived, it really underscored that point.”

So Long frequently met with Diamond, Athletic Department spokesman Kevin Trainor and other UA administrators to update them on his investigation. When it came time to craft the speech, Long provided the general ideas of what he wanted included and Diamond and his staff handled the wordsmithing.

“We were able to give him feedback, especially on the points that were most salient. He had given us all the elements,” Diamond said. “All we had to do was structure it in a way that presented it as succinctly as possible.”

In the end, Long earned national praise for how he handled the situation. And there were other benefits. The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation gave the Athletic Department a $1 million donation, citing Long’s “courageous leadership.”

And perhaps most importantly, the incident indirectly led to the hiring of Petrino's replacement, Bret Bielema of Wisconsin. Bielema had written Long last year complimenting the athletic director on his handling of the incident. Long has credited the note for putting Bielema on his radar as a possible option to replace Petrino.



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