Arkansas AD denies Bret Bielema is on hot seat

Photo of Arkansas AD denies Bret Bielema is on hot seat

Kevin Sumlin found out he was on the hot seat earlier this week, but the same can't be said for a fellow SEC West head coach.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long told Jason Kersey of SEC Country that Bret Bielema isn't in danger of losing his job.

"Bret is the leader of our program," Long said. "The leader is more than just winning games - and I know some fans don't wanna hear that. Trust me, it doesn't mean we aren't competing with every fiber of our being to win in the toughest conference and the toughest division of that conference. But when you look at what Bret's doing, we're building a program that's built on an outstanding foundation."

Bielema has put together three straight winning seasons to go along with a pair of bowl victories, but he's never won more than eight games in a campaign with Arkansas. His overall record sits at a very underwhelming 25-26, yet Bielema doesn't seem concerned about the safety of his job.

"I understand why people would think that," Bielema said, "but I think our program is in a place where we're extremely healthy. In academics, we're high as we've ever been. Socially, we don't have a lot of problems. I'm not saying we're all sitting around the camp fire singing 'Kumbaya' every night together, but our guys aren't behaving poorly away from the game. So the element we have to raise is just our athletic performance."

Raising the athletic performance is easier said than done in a division that boasts Alabama and LSU, but Long sees big things ahead for the Razorbacks.

"There's gonna be nothing more special than when a Bret Bielema team wins an SEC championship, plays in that final four," Long said, "because you know what? He's done it the right way."

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