Bankruptcy Documents Detail Smith's Financial Troubles


FAYETTEVILLE — The extent of Arkansas coach John L. Smith’s financial troubles were detailed in bankruptcy documents filed in federal court Wednesday.

The 63-year-old has more than $25 million in liabilities against $1.2 million in assets, most of which are in retirement funds.

Smith originally filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Sept. 6, which came two days before Arkansas’ 34-31 loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The preliminary filing came two months after Smith first disclosed his financial troubles, which were the result of real estate investment deals that went sour in Kentucky.

Wednesday’s full filing showed Smith’s assets include $2,000 in real property and $1.2 million in personal property. It included retirement holdings, home furnishings ($5,000) and memorabilia ($2,500). The documents also show Smith as having $300 cash on hand and $500 in his checking account. 

The biggest claim against Smith is $20 million from Terra Springs LLC, in Louisville. Others claims include: Republic Bank ($2 million), King Southern Bank ($902,000), RLBB Acquisition LLC ($600,000), Stockyards Bank and Trust ($328,515.65) and American Express ($10,810). Documents also show Smith owes John D. Rhodes of Louisville more than $865,000 after a legal judgment issued in April.

Smith is being paid $850,000 as part of his 10-month contract with the Razorbacks, which he agreed to in April after former coach Bobby Petrino had been fired.

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said Smith had been up front with him about the financial problems during the hiring process, according to The Associated Press.

The court documents show Smith’s monthly income is $19,857. After payroll deductions, Social Security, retirement savings and other withholdings Smith takes home $9,278. Documents show Smith’s average monthly expenses total $27,620.

Smith was not available for comment Wednesday. He described filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy two weeks ago as being a “weight off my shoulders.” Smith said it wouldn’t be a distraction for the Razorbacks as they began the season.

“It’s out of my hands,” Smith said about filing for bankruptcy on Sept. 6. “Perfect. Now I can concentrate on what we have to concentrate on.”

But Wednesday’s filing adds to what has been a tough two weeks for Smith, who has come under scrutiny for Arkansas’ performance on the field. The Razorbacks were ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll after a season-opening win against Jacksonville State, but have lost to ULM and Alabama (52-0) the past two weeks.

Arkansas (1-2) plays Rutgers (3-0) in Razorback Stadium on Saturday night.