Yes, we get it — from one who was morally bankrupt to a financially bankrupt one.
Now, with that out of the way, the Razorbacks’ new head coach is currently facing an off-field situation that could very well bleed into the 2012 season.
Speaking to the Associated Press, John L. Smith confirmed that, because of several bad real estate investment deals in the state of Kentucky more than a decade ago, he is making plans to declare bankruptcy in the not-too-distant future. Those plans may include filing after the new season has kicked off.
Smith told the AP that the investments began when he was head coach at Louisville from 1998-2002, with the real estate dealings ultimately reaching into the multi-millions of dollars. As was the case with hundreds of thousands of people — if not more — during that time frame, Smith said he and his fellow investors “”got in over our head with land, and then the bubble burst and all this land value dropped and we couldn’t sustain it.”
Now, Smith is ready to turn the financial page despite the less-than-perfect timing of the situation.
“There have been some sleepless nights trying to get this resolved,” Smith told the AP. “There comes a point in time where you say `Enough is enough,’ and I want it cleaned up and whatever we have to do, we have to do.”
Smith said he decided to divulge the situation now so that it doesn’t become an issue by surfacing initially during the season.
After Bobby Petrino was fired in April for lying about and/or covering up an illicit relationship with a football program employee, Smith was hired away from Weber State later that month to replace Petrino. Smith had just been hired by Weber State, his alma mater, the previous December.
UA athletic director Jeff Long said the university was aware of Smith’s situation prior to his hiring.
“Certainly, initially, I had concerns, but as he explained the situation to me, it clearly became a bad investment,” Long said. “There’s a large differentiation for me between what we had just gone through and someone who had made a bad financial decision and put himself in a financial difficulty. But at the same there, there was nothing inappropriate other than he had engaged in a risky financial deal.”