Jeff Long is out as the athletic director at Kansas just two days after the school parted ways with Les Miles. Looking back on Long's tenure in the position, it's clear to any impartial observer that he was the worst athletic director in the country. His time in Lawrence was a complete disaster.
Long was hired in 2018 and immediately set about trying to fix the football program. In November of that year he announced head coach David Beaty would be fired at the end of the season, but allowed him to stay on and finish the campaign. Then he completely botched things by refusing to pay Beaty's $3 million buyout. The former head coach sued the university and eventually a settlement was reached, but it was a terrible look.
Long then hired Miles to take over the football program. What should have been a comprehensive search for a new coach became a game of "hire your old buddy' as the two men had known each other since they worked at Michigan together starting in the late 80s. Long claims Kansas did background checks on Miles and also added the following:
""I also asked Coach Miles directly during the interview process whether there was anything in his past that could potentially embarrass the university or himself or our program, and he said no. We also did our due diligence by talking to individuals within the LSU athletics department to see if there was anything we should be aware of regarding Coach Miles' tenure at LSU and received no indications of any issues.""
So, wait. You mean the guy you were offering $3 million a year to didn't voluntarily open his closet and show you every skeleton? Who could have possibly seen that coming?
Miles was let go late Monday night after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct dating back to his days at LSU surfaced. Rather than fire the disgraced head coach for cause, Long negotiated a $2 million settlement for his old pal. When asked why Miles deserved to be paid after lying during the hiring process, Long said that it was "debatable" whether Miles had actually lied. And no, I'm not making that up.
Taking away the off-the-field stuff for the moment, Miles was 3-18 in two years at Kansas and went 1-16 in the Big 12. Why? Because he runs an offense straight out of 1993. Instead of targeting a young, innovative coach to turn around Kansas' moribund program, Long went for what is essentially a football dinosaur who already had a questionable past.
It's also worth noting that Kanas' basketball program received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA under Long's watch and he opted to stick with head coach Bill Self despite his obviously corrupt program.
In the end, Long was horrible at his job. He half-assed oversight of his two biggest programs and left Kansas worse off than when he found it. That shouldn't shock anyone who knows anything about him. During his time at Arkansas he made two football coaching hires. One was Bobby Petrino, whose tenure ended in disgrace after an affair with an employee was exposed by a motorcycle crash. The other was Bret Bielema who was ... well, Bret Bielema. Kansas should have seen this kind of crap coming.
Long and Miles are both gone and now Kansas is left trying to replace both of them in March. Everyone in this scenario got exactly what they deserved.