Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach John L. Smith hasn’t had a very good 2012.
It started off well in April as the former Michigan State Spartans and Louisville Cardinals coach signed a 10-month contract to be the head coach of the Razorbacks. At that time, he was set to be paid $850,000 for his duties as coach; $425,000 each by the University of Arkansas and the Razorback Foundation, a financial support group with the school.
But in September, Smith had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after is was made public that bad land developmental deals he was apart of in the Kentucky area had left the coach, who had $1.3 million in assets, with a bill that totaled $40.7 million.
Smith’s newly restructured contract is going to allow him to still receive 71% of his initial agreement, after the bankruptcy. Of the $600,000 he is now set to receive in two payments, only $250,000 will be forked out by the University itself. The Razorback Foundation will be taking up a larger cost of $350,000, but will still be saving $75,000 on the original agreement.
Smith has maintained that he is being unfairly punished because he could not make the “substantial” payments required. The ruling against him at the time was of slightly harsher language.
“Smith was not duped into signing the notes, but instead had sufficient time to read the agreements, ask questions and/or seek legal counsel regarding the documents’ terms,” said Judge Audra Eckerle, who ruled against Smith.
Smith was asked if he spoke with the University in an attempt to discuss his contract, but as expected avoided the issue saying, ”I’ll comment on football. I’d rather not comment on any of that. That’s not in my hands.”
Smith has a meeting on Friday with many of his creditors, a day before the Razorbacks host the Kentucky Wildcats in an early SEC game. When asked if the meeting might be a distraction to his team, Smith only said, “I’m preparing for Kentucky.”
Nothing has been said publicly regarding the future of the coach, but it is widely believed that Arkansas has already internally began the hunt for a new leader, and will be announcing that they will not be retaining Smith as soon as the season ends.