Jeff Long has integrity

Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell

Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell

The Arkansas Times Blog reported that the Arkansas Football Program got a large gift today from some people who appreciated Jeff Long’s Integrity. Here is an blog post from Shannon Blosser of Kentucky concerning integrity.

Integrity is More Important than Sports Victories

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Christian Leadership, Christianity, Devotion, Encouragement, Faith, Life, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

Jeff Long was in a no-win situation.

Placed in a difficult place by Bobby Petrino’s personal life (an affair) that had begun to impact his duties as Arkansas’ football coach (hiring his mistress for an administrative position with the football team), Long had two choices: Fire Petrino for cause and upset a fan base that expected the team to be ranked in the preseason top 10 or ignore the situation and allow Petrino to do damage to the school’s public image while, likely, placating fans and supporters.

Long should be applauded for doing the right thing. When many expected that Petrino would not be held to any moral standards as a football coach, Long said otherwise. By doing so, Long set a precedent that, hopefully, many schools will follow.

That is integrity is more important any amount of athletic accomplishments.

Integrity and Petrino are not words that often go together. Throughout his successful football career, Petrino has burnt bridges and acted as though he believed he was above reproach. This could be seen during his time in Louisville where Petrino was always looking for a better job. It was on display when Petrino left the Atlanta Falcons midway through a disastrous 2007 in order to take the Arkansas job.

It was certainly on display when Petrino entered into a relationship with a 25-year-old, paid her $20,000, and then, essentially, helped her to get an administrative job with the football team. This is manipulative behavior. It also behavior that will have an impact on his relationship with his wife, his children, and others in his life. It also will likely impact his future employment possibilities. By focusing only on himself and his own desires, Petrino caused a pathway of damage that will take months and years to repair.

Petrino is a broken man. He is someone who needs help and, if he would seek it, counseling.

We should applaud Long for his decision to fire Petrino. Many would suspect, and rightfully so, that Long would protect his successful coach. Petrino had built a program that was to be ranked in the top 10 and a contender for BCS births. Some would suspect that an athletics director would separate on-field performance from personal indiscretions.

However, Long chose the more difficult path. In making his decisions, Long said that leaders should be held to a higher standard. Whether Petrino recognizes it or not, but as a coach of college athletes his actions off the field are as important as his guidance on the field. Leadership is more often about our actions than our words and, it appears, Petrino lost sight of that as a college coach.

Long is not the first to fire a coach for personal indiscretions. Pittsburgh fired Michael Haywood, before ever coaching a game, in December 2010 after his was arrested in a domestic violence incident. But, Long’s decision is the first in recent memory of a coach of a top 25 team being fired for a moral failing and not as a result of a NCAA investigation. What Long and Arkansas showed is that integrity is an important aspect of leadership. No amount of sports victories can replace the lack of integrity in a leadership position.

In a generation of athletics where scandals seem to happen more than an athletic contest, let us hope that this is a decision that will inspire others. For coaches, let it be a moment to reflect on their personal lives and a reminder that they are called to be leaders by both their words and actions. As well, may it be a moment of strength for athletics directors to maintain a level of integrity in the world of professional college athletics.

In this undated image released by the University of Arkansas, Razorback Foundation assistant director Jessica Dorrell is shown. Dorrell was a passenger of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino during a weekend motorcycle ride that ended with a crash that sent him to the hospital, according to a police report released Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/University of Arkansas, Wesley Hitt)

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Related posts:

Jeff Long has integrity April 18, 2012 – 6:42 am

 

Bobby Petrino’s phone records come out April 12, 2012 – 6:50 am

Jessica Dorrell and Bobby Petrino on ESPN together in 2011 April 12, 2012 – 6:38 am

 

How about a coach swap? :Charlie Strong to Arkansas and Bobby Petrino to Louisville April 11, 2012 – 7:37 am

 

Bobby Petrino statement April 11, 2012 – 6:51 am

 

Bobby Petrino fired, but now seeking forgiveness April 11, 2012 – 6:20 am

 

Video and transcript of Jeff Long’s press conference announcing firing of Bobby Petrino April 11, 2012 – 5:53 am

 

Bobby Petrino’s arrogance led to his downfall April 10, 2012 – 3:46 pm

 

 

Petrino 911 Call – Jessica Dorrell And Bobby Petrino Refuse Help April 9, 2012 – 7:03 am

 

Earlier concerns about Petrino’s character are coming back up again April 9, 2012 – 6:24 am

 

Bobby Petrino has achieved the American Dream, but still is looking for something more April 8, 2012 – 1:46 pm

Rex Nelson speculates that Petrino may be fired because “…trust has been so broken…” April 8, 2012 – 12:06 pm

Lying about Jessica Dorrell may get Bobby Petrino in a lot of trouble April 7, 2012 – 1:38 pm

Can Bobby Petrino, Tom Brady and Coldplay all find the satisfaction they are seeking? April 6, 2012 – 2:15 pm 

Bobby Petrino to survive this wreck? April 6, 2012 – 11:08 am

Pictures of Bobby Petrino April 6, 2012 – 9:11 am

Who is Jessica Dorrell? (with pictures) April 6, 2012 – 9:06 am

Major coverage of Bobby Petrino mistake April 6, 2012 – 6:51 am

What will be Jeff Long’s decision on Bobby Petrino? April 6, 2012 – 5:36 am

Bobby Petrino admits to an affair April 6, 2012 – 4:41 am

What impact will breaking trust with Bobby Petrino’s family have? April 6, 2012 – 4:24 am

Two choices now for Bobby Petrino: Follow the path of purity or impurity

If Bobby thinks he is bruised now, then he needs to read about the guy in Proverbs 7:10-27 and what happened to him. I really am hoping that Bobby Petrino can put his marriage back together. He has a clear choice between two paths. In the sermon at Fellowship Bible Church at July 24, 2011, […]

Jessica Dorrell was taking a long ride with Bobby Petrino April 5, 2012 – 4:52 pm

Bobby Petrino hurt in wreck (picture included) April 2, 2012 – 9:31 am

Adrian Rogers’ sermon on Clinton in 98 applies to Newt in 2012

It pays to remember history. Today I am going to go through some of it and give an outline and quotes from the great Southern Baptist leader Adrian Rogers (1931-2005). Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times started this morning off with some comedy: From pro golfer John Daly’s Twitter account following last night’s Republican debate, […]

Dr. Adrian Rogers – Steadfast Loyalty To Your Wife

Uploaded by on Jan 18, 2009

A Powerful comparison to Christ loving the church and the husband never walking out on the wife.

 

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