$1.25M Donated in Honor of Long’s “Courageous Leadership” During Petrino Scandal

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Citing “the courageous leadership” by University of Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Board of Trustees approved a $1 million gift to help fund the university’s planned Student-Athlete Success Center Tuesday.

Reynolds Foundation Board Chair Fred W. Smith made a separate, personal donation of $250,000 to support the Student-Athlete Success Center and to rename the university’s existing student-athlete development program as the Jeff Long Student-Athlete Development Program, according to a news release from the university.

The center will provide combine academic resources and a dining hall for use by the university’s 460 athletes.

“The courageous leadership demonstrated by Jeff Long in the course of recent events has further affirmed our confidence in his leadership and his vision for intercollegiate athletics at the University of Arkansas,” Smith said in the release. “Mr. Long acted with integrity and with the best interests of Razorback student-athletes and the University of Arkansas in mind.”

Long recently fired former Head Football Coach Bobby Petrino after it was determined he was not honest with Long and the University about a motorcycle accident during which his coworker and mistress, Jessica Durrell, was a passenger.

According to the University, the 47,000-58,000 square feet Student-Athlete Success Center is one of the proposed facilities outlined in the recently released Razorback Athletic Master Facility Plan.

It’s expected to cost between $18 million to $23 million. There is currently no timetable for design and construction of the facility which will require approval from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, the news release states.