I don’t know John L. Smith and I don’t pretend for one second to understand what makes the guy tick.
I’ve heard plenty from other reporters that Smith, while he failed miserably as Michigan State’s coach from 2003-06, was a decent guy that was always fun to talk to.
But the fact that Smith was named as Arkansas’ new football coach, replacing the fired Bobby Petrino, makes me wonder about the guy.
He had just taken over as the head coach at Weber State about five months ago and instead of honoring his alma mater, he bolted back to Fayetteville before even coaching a game for Weber State.
When he took the job with his alma mater, he said that “Loyalty is No. 1.” Apparently that only applies to a school that can cut a hefty paycheck.
The whole mess also makes me wonder about Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. It started with hiring Petrino, a stand-up guy to be sure. Forget the fact he was fired for his relationship with a former Arkansas volleyball player, this is the same dude who bailed on the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of his first season to take the Arkansas job.
So to replace Petrino he brings back Smith, who was more than happy to dump on his alma mater right after running his first spring.
“Disbelief. Confusion. Shock,” Weber State defensive back David James told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I definitely didn’t think this was going to happen. It hit me from the left. It hurts a little bit.”
Arkansas is a talented team and odds are Smith will do just fine in his 10-month appointment. But something tells me this will end in disaster. If this is how the Razorbacks hire coaches and this is the type of guy they want, I’m betting on a big mess for the Hogs.
Smith made press conferences interesting inEast Lansing. I’m betting it elevates to a ridiculous level at Arkansas.
Keep the cameras rolling, it could be Long smacking himself in the face this time.