There has been a lot of fallout from the firing of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino after his controversial span of events earlier this month. Most of it has been negative but there is a silver lining that has come out of the whole ordeal and it benefits the University of Arkansas students.
In light of the “courageous leadership” shown by Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and its board chair announced a donation totaling $1.25 million to the University of Arkansas and its student-athletes.
The University has announced that all of the donation- $1 million from the Foundation and $250,000 from Reynolds Chairman Fred Smith- will go towards construction of a brand new student recreation facility. Here is a statement from Smith in a news release concerning their donation:
“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. “Mr. Long acted with integrity and with the best interests of Razorback student-athletes and the University of Arkansas in mind.”
Smith hit the nail on the head in his assessment of the decision made by Long and other Arkansas athletic officials. They had to make the decision that they did and they carried it out in the best manner possible. Above all else the administration made a decision that would benefit Arkansas students and student-athletes the most.
With all of the other negative stories concerning Arkansas football, it’s nice to see a positive story like this one and I give props to the Reynolds Foundation for thinking about the students amidst all of the other damaging stories swirling around.