Looking back, giving John L. Smith a ten-month contract may not have been the smartest thing Jeff Long ever did.
In separate interviews with Sporting News, Haynes, who was the Razorbacks’ defensive coordinator last season, and Petrino, who was their offensive coordinator, said Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long made a mistake when he hired Smith to a 10-month contract last April, a couple of weeks after Bobby Petrino was fired amidst a personal scandal.
It was a mistake that bore such awkwardness and dysfunction within the program that both ex-coordinators—and Smith himself—believe some players eventually quit on the team.
Whether or not Smith was the right man for Arkansas at that time, he, Haynes and Paul Petrino say the duration of Smith’s contract had players convinced the entire staff wouldn’t be around in 2013, and that realization led some to tune out their coaches.
“I don’t think an A.D. should ever hire somebody for 10 months,” Paul Petrino said. “Players know what that means; they understand that. It hurts the power of the head coach and the assistants.
“They should’ve hired (Smith) for two years or hired someone else for two years, or just (expletive)-canned all of us.”
Not that I feel too sorry for Long. It’s the risk you run when you hire a wandering soul like Bobby Petrino – and let’s not forget how the timing of that hire went down.
Karma is a beyotch.