Photographs by Flip Putthoff
Jeff Long, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, athletic director, answers questions Wednesday Sept. 6 2017 at the NWA Touchdown Club.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Jeff Long is attempting to move on from the Arkansas Razorbacks' first loss of 2017.
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville athletic director was the guest speaker at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday at the Embassy Suites.
Arkansas lost 28-7 to TCU on Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. The Horned Frogs outrushed the Razorbacks 195-129 and dominated the time of possession, 33:52 to 26:08.
But Long is positive the Razorbacks (1-1), under Coach Bret Bielema, can bounce back in their next game Sept. 23 against Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"Yes, we lost a game last week and it's difficult," Long said. "Nobody feels it more than the team, the student-athletes, the coaches, myself, all of us engaged with Razorback athletics. But we have to pick ourselves up and get after it in the next game, the next event, and the next competition we have, whether it's football or other sports.
"There's a little bit of a cloud hanging over us after a loss. There always is. But we have to shake off that cloud. We have to get back at it, work at it and get better. That's what we're going to do. That's the only formula for success that I know, getting back to work and getting better. I'm going to assure you we're going to do that."
During the meeting, Long was asked by Little Rock Touchdown Club founder David Bazzel what has changed over the past 10 years since Long has been athletic director at Arkansas.
Long said it's the emergence of social media, with websites such as Twitter and Facebook. He admitted he has not used Twitter since Saturday's game.
"It doesn't do me any good to hear that stuff," Long said. "I have to get up and go to work, be positive with my staff and our student-athletes. We all learn from it, but we have to move on from it, too.
"I don't spend as much time on social media after a loss as I do after a win."
At one point, Bazzel was critical of some fans who booed after kicker Cole Hedlund missed a 20-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to TCU. Long agreed with Bazzel, a former linebacker at Arkansas from 1981-1985.
"These are 18-22-year-old young men who are still developing," Long said. "They put their heart and soul into this. Nobody wanted to perform better than they did.
"But you know that, too, when you compete at this level, there's going to be that scrutiny, there's going to be that criticism. You know that as a student-athlete. You can prepare them for it. But nothing prepares you for when your name is in the paper and it's negative."
Monday was the 10th anniversary of Long's hiring as athletic director. He replaced the late Frank Broyles, who served as athletic director from 1976-2007.
Long said he has no regrets about his tenure at Arkansas.
"I'm proud to have served the University of Arkansas and our student-athletes," Long said. "I've had a wonderful 10 years. I hope to have many, many years in this role."
Sports on 09/12/2017
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