Long’s departure stems from the way he handled the Les Miles scandal. In an official release shared by Long on Monday, the university official failed to mention the sexual assault allegations directed towards Miles last week.
Here’s his full statement:
“I am extremely disappointed for our university, fans and everyone involved with our football program,” Long wrote. “There is a lot of young talent on this football team, and I have no doubt we will identify the right individual to lead this program. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately with an outside firm to assist in this process. We need to win football games, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.”
Jeff Long was hired as the Jayhawks’ athletic director prior to the 2018 season after two AD tenures with Pittsburgh (2003-07) and Arkansas (2008-17). With a full year of Kansas AD experience under his belt, Long played a significant role in the hiring of the former LSU coach in 2019.
While at first it seemed Long would retain his AD role, a Tuesday press conference seemed to change the attitude around his future with the program. The AD continually denied having any knowledge of potential past misconduct from his 2019 head coaching hire.
The sports world had plenty of thoughts on the Kansas debacle:
Kansas AD Jeff Long in his press conference says the school ran “multiple background checks” on Les Miles and asked him if there was “anything in his past that could embarrass the university” and he said No.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 9, 2021
If the decision on Jeff Long’s status came after his press conference yesterday… which is now about 24 hours ago… his “job interview” yesterday should be the case study on what NOT to do.
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) March 10, 2021
I can’t imagine why Jeff Long was even allowed to do that press conference if he was getting fired anyway.
— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) March 10, 2021
Imagine if they didn’t fire Jeff Long after that amazing press conference yesterday🥴🥴
— B Turn (@bturner23) March 10, 2021
Wait, you mean to tell me that yesterday’s press conference didn’t inspire confidence in Jeff Long? pic.twitter.com/9GbRxye2Oe
— John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) March 10, 2021
In addition to the disturbing allegations against Miles and the oversight from Long, the two had an abysmal record with the Jayhawks’ program. In his two seasons as head coach, Miles collected an embarrassing 3-18 record — including an 0-9 showing in 2020.
Clearly it was time for some major changes at KU.