Mark Zinno: One Wild Ride
Bobby Petrino was fired as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. Athletic director Jeff Long cited that he “knowingly misled” him about the details of his motorcycle accident, in which he had 25-year old Jessica Dorrell on the back of his bike. Razorback fans will be split down the middle on this decision. Some want wins and some want the moral high ground. Jeff Long will be applauded by some and chastised by others. In the end, this decision make cost Jeff Long his job. If Arkansas, which was a top five program last year, goes 4-7 this season, Long will be the scapegoat. If the losing persists in consecutive seasons, alumni may be calling for his job. Jeff Long still did the right thing.
Even if it goes the other way and new head coach keeps the Razorbacks in prominence, no one will really care either way. Jeff Long did the right thing. What will be lost in this whole fiasco is just that. Doing the right thing. See in America nowadays, that is a relic of times long ago. In just a few short weeks, people will forget the name Jessica Dorrell. They will probably even forget Bobby Petrino. And most certainly, they will forget Jeff Long. And that will be the biggest travesty of all.
People are always asking for role models in sports. Well you found one. Jeff Long. No he’s not going to score a touchdown, dunk a basketball or even help a team win a national title, but he’s got guts! And that’s enough for me. My 13-plus years of military experience have allowed me to see courage in many different forms. Jeff Long showed the kind of courage that he will never get credit for, and could probably lose hist job over. In this current world, it’s every man and woman for themselves. Jeff Long thought of everyone else. And that is also a commodity that has lost its way in our country.
I will commend Jeff Long for standing in the face of tough times and making tough decisions. And we will soon forget this whole thing, but I won’t forget Jeff Long and how he did the right thing.