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Where Was Long While Petrino Hired His Mistress At Arkansas?

When Bobby Petrino hired Jessica Dorrell as the student-athlete development coordinator for his football program, he did more than hire a woman he’d been having an “inappropriate relationship” with… he put his own boss, athletic director Jeff Long, on the hot seat.

A review of the 159 resumes Arkansas received shows that Dorrell was not necessarily the most qualified candidate for the job.  That happens.  If resumes were the only things that mattered, interviews would never be conducted.  However, a review of the hiring process shows that it was actually sped up at Long’s request, despite regular UA hiring procedures.

And that is a big deal.

According to the school’s policy — in accordance with an affirmative action policy — the interview process cannot begin until 30 days have passed from the time a job is posted.  The job Dorrell eventually landed was posted on March 4th.

But on March 9th, Arkansas’ AD wrote to the assistant director of affirmative action at Arkansas, Danielle Wood, and asked that the process be sped up in this case.  On March 12th, Wood asked the human resources manager for the UA athletic department, Carrie DeBriyn, why the process should be fast-tracked.

“Coach Petrino would like to request to interview early due to needing a Player Development Coordinator as quickly as possible,” DeBriyn responded in writing.  “Fantasy Football Camp preparation, Red White Game preparation and all recruiting coordination is falling short due to not having this position filled.”

Later that day, Wood approved the speed-up.  Dorrell — it turns out — was already interviewing for the job by the time the fast-track plan was actually approved.

Sex and motorcycle wrecks and phone records and bikini models make for big headlines.  So do coaching searches and the decision whether to go with an interim coach or hire a brand new man in April.  We get that.

But eventually Long will have to explain how Petrino’s actions took place right under his nose.  And in the case of the hiring process acceleration, with his actual blessing and aid.

Long has done a tremendous job at Arkansas.  He’s raised money, built facilities, and excited fans with his big name hires.

In this case, however, the University of Arkansas could face several potential lawsuits due to the actions that took place in a department that he is charged with overseeing.  Yes, Petrino is the man who tied a noose around the UA department.  But it was Long who gave him rope enough to do so.

At some point you can bet Long will have to address the subject and that he will say new safeguards have been or will be put in place to better monitor the hiring practices of his subordinates.  But that won’t save his department or the university the cost of legal fees tied to the hire Long allowed Petrino to make on a sped-up schedule.

 


11 comments
Hogphan
Hogphan

For Long not to have agreed to Petrino's request would have required him to have assumed there was something fishy going on there.  That's a pretty long stretch, in my opinion.  Are you suggesting that anytime someone in the U of A personnel dept gets such a request, whether in the athletic dept or not, a review should be done to see if there any questionable motives?  On another subject, do I remember that when this story first broke, you worte that you wouldn't be trying to write often about it to exploit it?  If my memory on this question is correct, you've failed.  Except for this criticism, I enjoy you site.

Tracer Round
Tracer Round

Was AD Long ever asked specifically when he first knew about the affair? Was he ever asked if he knew of other affairs of BP?

omahahog
omahahog

I'll give AD Long a pass on this one.  If someone wants to have a secret affair, they can hide it in most cases (until there is a motorcycle wreck).  I suspect AD Long regrets making the exception for the hiring process to be shortened. I also suspect no one under him will get that benefit of the doubt again.  He didnt' have any reason to doubt that BP was being forthright with him when he indicated he needed the job filled right away, and frankly AD Long probably gave him a professional courtesy due to how well UA was doing in football, revenue, donations, etc.  Those things happen, to the best of us....we simply get burned once in a while for being too trusting.  

 

I don't blame Mr. SEC for the article or consider John to be beating the horse, at least not on the Long angle.  Besides, its a slow time of year and something has to be written about.  No one would reason web sites if there weren't new articles.  Now, if we get more article about Petrino stories  that have the same old stuff we've read a million times, that will be beating the proverbial horse. 

redhog
redhog

One thing i'll say for you John......you will beat a dead horse until it's..... well.....dead.   And i'm NO Jeff Long fan, but...if he gets the ax it will be for his next hire, not this. Should have kept CBP....IMHO.

Hogitall
Hogitall

Everything that I've read on this subject indicates Jeff Long had no knowledge of the inappropriate relationship between Patrino and Dorrell. I've worked in human resource areas and know that there are times it is appropriate to consider speeding up the hiring process. Given that there is no indication of any improprieties with Long's actions, I would agree with Jason's response. In the future I have no doubt Jeff Long will do a little more investigation into a similar request before approaching the Human Resources department.

Jason
Jason

The Human Resources department is who this falls on.  They are ones with knowledge of compliance and regulations for affirmitave action.  They should have denied the request based on policy. 

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John,

 

You can argue both sides based on unequal environments. Not defending Long, but filling a football position at a state institution may be different than filling an academic or operational position for a state institution that runs on a July 1 - June 30 fiscal year. The football position may be more time sensitive than a non football position, yet the rules were established for a governmental model. If Long was doing it knowing the affair was out there, that is one thing. If Long was speeding up the process just to fit a football timeline, that is another.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Hogphan...

 

First, I'm suggesting that when something this ugly happens in an athletic department, the AD will eventually have to answer questions about it.  That's it.  People can read other things into the story that aren't there if they like... but that's the whole gist. 

 

The University of Arkansas could be on the hook via lawsuits for money, the school has certainly gotten plenty of bad press, and the guy who oversaw the department  in which the problem occurred may well be asked why he helped to fast-track a hire.

 

I'll bet he won't make that mistake again.

 

Second, I said we wouldn't make fun of the story and write five stories a day on the topic -- as I recall.  We don't think it's funny.  It's a sad story.  I feel bad for Petrino and for Dorrell and their families and their friends.  Another girl was dragged into the story last week as well.  All sad.

 

Now, if you don't think our coverage has been much more serious and sensitive than most other blogs and most other sites, that's your call.  I would strongly disagree.

 

But we will cover a news story.  And that's what this is.  We simply don't want to sensationalize it.  And I don't feel we've come anywhere close to doing that.  

 

Again, I would think this story is pretty darn clear.  If I had an employee and he had something in his department blow up that could cost my whole business money and hurt its reputation, I'd ask him a) how'd this happen and b) how can we make sure this doesn't happen again in the future.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Tracer Round...

 

He made it clear that Petrino had kept the relationship hidden from him until the last moment.  Just to be clear, we don't suggest that Long did anything wrong here.  We're simply saying that this was his department and the buck stops with the boss.

 

Long can't be blamed for not knowing of Petrino's affair... but he might be questioned as to how such a mess was made in his department.  Even if it wasn't his fault... how he can try to prevent things like this -- specifically the fast-tracked hiring of a coach's mistress -- in the future.

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

redhog...

 

Yep.  Beatin' the living hell out of this one.  Mentioned the Long angle in one paragraph of a totally different story yesterday and then expounded on it -- to try and make it clear what the issue is -- today.  If that's beating a dead horse, then I guess that's what I'm doing.  One story and one paragraph in more than a week.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Hogitall...

 

My point was this -- Jeff Long runs the UA athletic department.  A bad thing happened in his department.  At some point, someone's going to ask how he didn't catch on and how he can prevent things like sped-up hiring procedures in the future.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Some in the Arkansas media believe Long and others inside the UA athletic department were aware of the Petrino-Dorrell relationship well before the two crashed the coach’s bike.  Anonymous sources have given them that information, but no one has gone on the record to confirm it.  If true, it would mean Long knowingly allowed Petrino to hire his mistress and that he helped speed up the process at the coach’s request. [...]

  2. [...] Petrino scandal takes on new light following the mess at Penn State.  (And don’t forget, AD Jeff Long helped speed up the hiring of the coach’s mistress by getting UA’s HR department to fast-track things past affirmative action [...]

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