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Jeff Long's Support of John Pelphrey: Not Quite What It Used to Be?

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long appeared on the Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly radio show yesterday, and while he was complimentary of coach John Pelphrey, careful listeners will notice, as did AS360's Chris Bahn, that Long left himself a little "wiggle room" on the issue of whether Pelphrey will return after this season. As Bahn notes, in years past, Long's support of Pel has been unequivocal.

Bahn has reprinted part of the interview transcript:

Mattingly: Are you in any position today to make any comment about [Pelphrey's] future as the basketball coach, whether he’ll be back next year?

Long: No. He’s the leader of our basketball program. He’s the leader of our [student-athletes]. He’s our coach. You know what, he’s got 1/3 of the season left to go and he’s gong to work very hard. I know this, he’s already working extremely hard to make us the best we can be. There’s nothing to be said on that.

In another portion of the interview, Long says:

John Pelphrey has a high level of expectation for his program. There’s no question about that. We just have to play the season out, look at evaluate [sic] and see where we are at the end of the season.

Hmm ...

(To listen to the full interview, click here.)