Jeff Long is out as the University of Kansas director of athletics.

The decision, which was first reported on Wednesday by Brett McMurphy of Stadium, was announced to athletic department staff members during a meeting. According to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, Kurt Watsom is the program’s interim AD.

According to an official statement from the university, Long stepped down from his post.

KU chancellor Douglas Girod said in the statement that a panel composed of decorated alumni and a search firm will help him in an immediate search for a new director of athletics.

Long’s final public act at KU was holding a press conference Tuesday in reaction the school’s separation from football coach Les Miles. He was heavily criticized for several quotes he gave at the press conference, including comments about Miles’s departure, his own past in making football coaching hires and more.

Miles and the university mutually parted ways, with Miles receiving a $1.9 million settlement. He had come under fire recently due to reporting by USA Today and The Advocate out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to Miles’s time at LSU.

Long was hired in 2018, and midway through that football relieved David Beaty of his coaching duties and brought Miles to KU. Prior to Kansas, his most recent athletic director job was at the University of Arkansas.

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