There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Hey, Jeff Long whips out a can of righteous indignation on Bobby Petrino’s ass!

… The termination letter Long sent to Petrino was released by the school Friday and it had more specifics.

”(Y)ou deliberately failed to tell me that you had engaged in an extramarital affair with Ms. Dorrell over a period of several months leading up to your recommendation to hire her,” Long wrote. ”If you had been forthcoming with me about the true nature of your relationship, I would not have approved the hiring.”

Long also said Petrino ”admitting giving $20,000 cash to Ms. Dorrell as a ‘gift.’ Ms. Dorrell used the money to purchase a black Acura during the first week that she worked for the football program.

”Among other concerns relating to this ‘gift,’ you should have disclosed this fact to me … but you failed to do so,” Long wrote.

The athletic director ripped Petrino for ”poor judgment” and said that by lying to his boss and the public he had left the school with the task of ”restoring the reputation of our institution and our athletics programs.”

”I recognize that you are a very talented football coach,” Long wrote, ”but the university may not disregard your conduct or sacrifice its integrity, reputation and principles.”

Methinks he doth protest too much.

If you take a look at the gory details surrounding Dorrell’s hire (nicely catalogued here), this is what you find:

  • Petrino sought a waiver to circumvent a university affirmative action policy requiring that the job be posted for at least 30 days before interviews could commence.
  • Dorrell’s first interview was scheduled even before the waiver was granted by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance.
  • Jeff Long pushed along a request from Petrino and sent a memo to Danielle Wood, the school’s assistant director of affirmative action, asking if interviews for the position could begin even though the job had been listed for just five days, not the required 30. “We feel that flexibility is needed,” Long wrote[Emphasis added.]
  • From 159 applicants, three finalists were identified: Ben Wilkerson, Tiffany Fields and Dorrell. According to the resumes they submitted to Arkansas, Wilkerson and Fields had football backgrounds. Dorrell’s resume did not mention football.
  • The job description also listed “master’s degree in related field” as a preferred qualification. Again, Dorrell was the only finalist not to meet that standard.
  • Dorrell’s resume, unlike the other two, makes no specific mention of the job requirements, but does mention other traits, like “fundraising skills” that are not part of the Arkansas job listing.
  • On March 19, Long requested a “variance to the affirmative action hiring process” (requiring the job to be posted for at least 30 days) from Wood, the assistant director of affirmative action, so that a candidate could be hired immediately. “Any delay could result in missing a critical recruiting period,” Long wrote in the memo.  [Emphasis added.]

Taken as a whole, that chain of events is more damning for Long than it is Petrino.  The coach was just acting like a horndog on a mission.  Long doesn’t have that excuse.  There are only two explanations for his conduct:  he’s either incredibly stupid or he was Bobby Petrino’s enabler.  You tell me which makes more sense.

I’ve been involved in personnel decisions for more than two decades.  It’s crazy to think you can bypass the process, allow a clearly less qualified candidate – particularly a young, attractive one – to grab a job and not expect anyone to notice.  Fact patterns like this set tongues wagging all over the office.  They’re just too blatant to ignore.  You can bet there was plenty of loose talk going on about Petrino and Long.  Even if there hadn’t been a motorcycle wreck, this would have gotten out at some point.

So Jeff Long is either kidding himself or kidding us.

24 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

24 responses to “There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  1. Uglydawg

    “Lack of institutional oversight”, comes to mind. Petrino was obviously given free reign and took it to an amazing level of abuse. He must have believed he was untouchable. I guess the most important thing is that Long ulitmately did the right thing, but one wonders if it’s only because he had no options. If he was purposly turning a blind eye to BP’s misconduct, then the state may be interested in exploring Long’s culpibility in all of this.

  2. What fresh hell is this?

    Wow. The process of hiring Dorrell was even more brazen than I imagined.

    Senator, what are the chances that one of the many more qualified candidates for this position files suit against Arkansas?

    Jeff Long may soon find himself about as popular as a North Korean rocket scientist.

    • Chuck

      I wonder the same thing about a lawsuit. I do not practice in this area, but in general, from an individual applicant stance I would think that showing the process not followed would be easy, but showing that you would have gotten the job if the process was followed is much more difficult. Not sure what the standard is here. I suspect one first has to file a complaint with the feds and then there could be a can opened up on Arky and Long.

      • gastr1

        Probably just the state, and you’re not suing to be hired, you’re waging a complaint that the process was unfairly skewed; not following the process would nullify the hire and cause the job to be re-opened. I don’t think it would even go to court if the complaint were brought.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    You know Georgia has the same position open as Dorrell held at Arkansas ……. nah, probably not a good idea.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    Petrino is like a ebola virus. Dangerous to be around at any distance!
    “Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident is already etched in Arkansas football
    lore – it ended up costing the coach his job – and the collateral damage has
    begun. The girl who was riding on the motorcycle with Petrino, Jessica Dorrell, was engaged to the Director of Swimming and Diving Operations at Arkansas, Josh Morgan. According to one report, Morgan, has left that position.”

  5. Mayor of Dawgtown

    “Methinks he doth protest too much.” Yup. The rhetoric from Long is less about high-mindedness and more about trying to protect his own job.

  6. Saint Johns Dawg

    To me it looks like typical top-down leadership for a Div I winning football program … I’ve got your back, coach, so long as you’re winning football games and not bringing negative publicity on our program or me. If you start losing or bring the heat, you’re on your own.
    Hell the contract ought to be that simply stated … except add “and for this you will earn an obscene amount of cash … and a cell phone (use it wisely).”

  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    Employment law is a lawyer’s dream, even if you disregard affirmative action. I’m sure colleges and government offices just love to fine tune it to their notions of fairness by piling on more procedure. There’s probably a policy and procedure for taking a dump at the U of Arkansas. No wonder business owners are scared to hire anybody.

  8. GreasedStar

    Senator,

    You nailed it.

    If the President of the United States isn’t fired for having an affair and lying about it (Bill Clinton), why is Mr. Long holding a football coach to higher standard than that?

    • Cojones

      Maybe it was because the House Ldr(GOP) and his replacement(GOP) were having or had had an affair at the same time as two other Gop members being outed for the same reason. Looks like the final score wasn’t even worth the effort. The hypocrite brand burns brightly above us all. Just when you think you are powerful enough to get away with sin, a free society asks questions, gets answers and shows you how powerful you really are. Ain’t this a great country?

      • OKDawg

        Cojones, I have grown fond of your zany comments. Thank you for calling ‘em like you see ‘em. This one is my favorite over the past weeks and perhaps months. 4 alleged wrongs make 1 certainty right? The context of the president makes this an example on the highest order of using bad behavior to excuse bad behavior. If we expect our president to constrain himself only to the moral level displayed by the most immoral members of Congress (whether Republican or Democrat), then we can expect no more than a philandering, corrupt whore in the oval office. That about right?

        • OKDawg

          Full disclosure: I believe Clinton was a very good president and remains a brilliant politician.

          • NRBQ

            You mean you liked not fighting two wars, and most folks having money in their pocket? Heretic!

          • Cojones

            Me too. And that doesn’t excuse him from taking blow jobs offered in the White House. Especially since she didn’t swallow.

        • Cojones

          Nah, the wrongs and rights weren’t the point. It was the hypocrisy of mentioning one guy and not mentioning his birds of a feather, that’s all. When casting aspersions, I don’t mind at all if you get’em all in your net.

    • Hill Dawg

      If we don’t hold football coaches to a higher standard than politicians we would really be in a hell of a mess.

  9. Matt

    Horndog on a mission indeed.

  10. Cojones

    I wonder how many other documents Long has or did deal with at the same time as giving the pass on the 30-day waiting period? What is the level and number of administrative docs to cross his desk every day? I don’t gravitate immediately to imagining him vetting the request or colluding with Petrino. Sounds like normal administrative requests to me in a trusting environment.

    You could indict Long for : 1) Trusting the slimy bastard in the first place when he had every indication the man was not to be trusted as his work history had pointed out; 2) not making him resign to further stop embarrassment to UA. You do that by confronting him, demonstrating no way out and asking him to spare the U and his own professional life. I think that “There are none so blind as those who will not see” applies to Petrino who committed professional suicide rather than do the right thing by resigning. His arrogance did not let him see that he could and would be fired with a winning coaching record.

    • Castleberry

      I agree. Petrino may have sold her as an ace hire with other offers on the table. I’ve definitely seen expedited hiring processes when that story comes up. Maybe Long wasnt complicit and made the mistake of trusting Bobby.

  11. Hobnail_Boot

    If yoy ask me, “assistant director of affirmative action” is the operative phrase.

    Why is there a director, let alone an assistant? Sickening.