Arkansas Athletic Director Talks Hogs 2012 Football Season
Arkansas AD Jeff Long speaks to a crowd in Fort Smith on Friday
It was an off season that seemed like it would never end. With all the major issues behind them and the season actually ahead of them, Athletic Director Jeff Long says these are finally exciting times.
“Certainly, we’re focused on the future, focused on the upcoming season and it’s going to be a great one for the Hogs,” said Long.
The last two years has been the greatest stretch in program history. But with six players arrested in a four-month span, and the scandal and firing of Bobby Petrino that excitement and buzz could have died down. Instead the fans responded positively.
“Our fans have rallied around this team,” Long said. ”We’ve sold more season tickets in Fayetteville in the history of our program so the fan support is very strong. So they’re eager and excited and it means a lot to our players that they are rallying behind them.”
The fans may be nervous for one game in particular; September 15, at home against defending National Champion Alabama. Head coach John L. Smith went on SportsCenter earlier this week and said it’s vital that Arkansas wins that game. In hindsight Long advises fans otherwise.
“It won’t break the season if it’s a loss, but obviously it’s a huge game with national implications as well as conference implications,” he said.
Fans will be pleasantly distracted by all the changes to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The new video board is just one of them.
“There’s going to be a number of things they’ll see in our stadium,” said Long. ”We’re looking forward to unveiling them. We are always trying to continually improve our program and this year is no exception. They’ll see improvements.”
More than anything, they’re hoping for improvements on the field.