University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long may lose a little of his luster in the Bobby Petrino firing for his choice of John L. Smith as interim head coach. Smith himself is getting booed for leaving Weber State in the lurch. But he left a $130,000 job for $850,000 as he nears 64. He'd have been 71 before he made at Weber what he'll get in one lick at UA.
But when the radio talk guys are bemoaning the pick one day into the choice, even before the news conference, it's not a great thing. On the Buzz this morning, the rap on the trinomial choice of John L. Smith was mentioned in the same breath with other trinomial villains like John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. The YouTube above captures a brief rant after a special teams breakdown during his time at Michigan State.
At least one member of the UA Board of Trustees told me he sent a critical e-mail about the choice although, so far, my FOI for that e-mail has turned up no response from UA.
And here's New York Times commentary on the "coaching follies" at Arkansas:
On Monday, Long decided John L. Smith was the right guy to succeed Petrino, at least on an interim basis. Yes, this is the same John L. Smith who is ditching Weber State — uh, only his alma mater — before even coaching a game. The same John L. Smith who ditched Louisville in oh-so-classy fashion when he took the Michigan State job in 2002, telling his players at halftime of their bowl game. And mentioning the name John L. Smith at Michigan State will invoke a stream of invective to describe his calamity of a tenure there. So who better to restore dignity to a program trashed by Petrino? John L. Smith!
You may join Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com and Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com in slapping your forehead over Arkansas’s choice and the complete hypocrisy of Smith’s stated allegiance to Weber State.