And then there were two. Or, more than likely, one.
Over the weekend, a report surfaced that Texas had zeroed in on three finalists, West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, Arkansas’ Jeff Long and Arizona State’s Steve Patterson, to replace DeLoss Dodds as UT’s men’s athletic director, with Luck serving as “No. 1 and 1A” on Texas’ to-do list.
Sunday evening, Long issued a statement through the university in which he stated he is “proud to be a Vice Chancellor and the Director of Athletics at the University of Arkansas” and is “not seeking a position or engaged in the search process of another University.”
Long, along with Patterson, were expected to be interviewed by the eight-member search committee this week. Luck has already begun the interview process.
It’s believed that the job is Luck’s to lose, with an announcement coming at some point after Saturday’s UT-WVU football game.
Anyway, here’s the text of Long’s statement that not only takes him out of the running but seemingly denies he was in the running in the first place, in its entirety:
“I do not comment on the searches of other Universities or on unsubstantiated rumors. I am proud to be a Vice Chancellor and the Director of Athletics at the University of Arkansas. Further, I am not seeking a position or engaged in the search process of another University.
“We have a tremendous amount of work to do to move our entire program forward and with the support of Razorback fans we will succeed. I have an outstanding team of coaches and staff to work with and have a deep appreciation for their work with our student-athletes.
“Chancellor Gearhart is a tremendous leader and a man of high integrity; it is a privilege to work for and with him. I have also great appreciation for the support of President Bobbitt and our Board of Trustees. Together we have made critically important decisions to advance our athletics program during my time with the University and we will have more important decisions in the future.
“I am excited to lead this program and I am energized by the the prospects of providing the student-athletes and coaches the facilities and resources they need to compete and excel in the SEC and nationally.”