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Long gets pay raise, bonus for Texas turndown

By Matt Jones

This article was published November 5, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

university-of-arkansas-chancellor-david-gearhart-left-and-athletics-director-jeff-long-listen-during-a-sept-14-2012-presentation-in-fayetteville

University of Arkansas chancellor David Gearhart (left) and athletics director Jeff Long listen during a Sept. 14, 2012 presentation in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long will receive a pay raise and bonus after Texas showed interest in interviewing him for the same position last week.

Long was given an immediate $100,000 annual raise last week and will get a second $100,000 raise in July 2014. He will make $1.1 million after both raises are implemented, more than doubling his salary from last November.

He will also receive a one-time bonus worth $100,000 later this month and would owe the university $1.3 million should he accept another job prior to June 30, 2015.

It is the second bump in pay and buyout Long has received in the last year. His base salary was upped to $750,000 last November with a $150,000 increase scheduled for June 30 of this year. His previous buyout clause was $1 million.

In a letter dated Nov. 1, 2013 obtained through a Freedom of Information request, University of Arkansas chancellor David Gearhart acknowledged "interest from another institution of higher eduction" in Long and rewarded the athletics director for agreeing to remove his name from the search.

Long was mentioned in multiple media reports over the weekend as one of three finalists for the Texas job. Arizona State athletics director Steve Patterson was hired to the Longhorns' position Tuesday.

"I'm proud to be a Vice Chancellor and the Director of Athletics at the U of A," Long said Sunday. "Further, I’m not seeking a position or engaged in the search process of another university."

According to a USA Today database for athletics directors' salaries, Long was the 11-highest paid athletics director in the country with $903,900 in annual income and bonuses of up to $650,000 earlier this year. With the latest pay raise, Long would be the seventh-highest paid athletics director in the country, according to the database.

Long has been Arkansas' athletics director since Jan. 1, 2008 and he was named by his peers as one of four athletics directors of the year for the 2012-13 term. Last month he was appointed commissioner of the inaugural college football playoff selection committee.

Long is currently helping drive a capital campaign intended to upgrade facilities on the UA campus. A dual-sport practice facility for baseball and track is under construction to be completed late next spring, and construction of a basketball practice facility and athletics academic center are expected to begin soon.

Earlier this year, the Razorbacks opened the Fred W. Smith Center, a $40.35 million football operations complex. Arkansas officials are exploring the possibility of expanding club and suite seating at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, though on-campus football attendance was its lowest in 10 years this season.

All projects are part of a 30-year master athletics facilities plan Long unveiled in Oct. 2011 that will cost the school an estimated $320 million.

Texas isn't the first school to show interest in Long during his time at Arkansas. Last year he publicly removed his name from an opening for the athletics director position at Stanford after reports linked him to a list of candidates.

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