Well before Bret Bielema accepted the football head coaching position at the University of Arkansas last week, he was an admirer of Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long. We now know this because Bielema sent Long a handwritten letter of support commending him for his handling of former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.
Petrino was fired last April after it was revealed he had an affair with a woman who worked in the athletic department.
Long admitted last week that he still had the letter from Bielema, the now-former Wisconsin coach, which he said was received in September. He noted the coach's letter was one of three or four he received relating to the decision to fire Petrino and hire John L. Smith on an interim basis.
"It meant a lot to me," Long told reporters. "He sent along with it a couple of things he believed in coaching. It had an impact on me."
So what, exactly, was contained in that letter? Now, we have an answer.
The Arkansas News Bureau obtained the letter through a...