FAYETTEVILLE, AR - The following is a statement from University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long:
"As a member of the higher education community, a director of athletics and a native of Ohio, I am deeply troubled by the unfounded and slanderous remarks the President of the state's flagship institution, Dr. E. Gordon Gee, made about Coach Bret Bielema. While I recognize Dr. Gee has issued an apology stating regret for his comments, it does not erase the unwarranted attack on Bret's character. It is widely known Coach Bielema placed an emphasis on academics, character development and community outreach while serving at the University of Wisconsin. His 2010 and 2011 football teams won the Wisconsin Athletic Department's community service and Champs Life Skills awards. Bret also had 131 academic all-conference selections in seven seasons and his team's APR figures climbed each year with a most recent multiyear rate of 975 and a final single year rate of 1000. In his time here, Bret has demonstrated the qualities we sought when we brought him to the University of Arkansas and has supported our football student-athletes as reflected in one of our highest spring GPAs."