Smith Files For Bankruptcy, Says It Won’t Distract Team


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach John L. Smith filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court Thursday, following through with plans he first revealed in July.

The filing shows Smith has claimed estimated liabilities between $10 and $50 million. It also lists his assets between $1 and $10 million. Smith told the Associated Press in July his financial trouble was due to bad land investment deals in Kentucky.

“It's a weight off my shoulders,” Smith said after Thursday’s practice. “We will let the professionals handle it."

The eight-ranked Razorbacks (1-0) are wrapping up preparation for Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe (0-0) in Little Rock.

Smith addressed his bankruptcy filing after Thursday’s practice and insisted it wouldn’t be a distraction to his program as it moves deeper into the season.

“I don’t think it has, and I don’t think it’s going to, and now it’s really better,” Smith said. “Like I said, let (the professionals) handle it.”

Smith told AP in July he had informed Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long of his financial situation before being hired to replace Bobby Petrino in April. Long also told AP at the time he didn’t believe it would affect his ability to coach the Hogs.

Smith is earning $850,000 under the 10-month contract he signed with the program when he left Weber State to return to Arkansas. The bankruptcy filing Thursday is just an initial document. A more detailed filing will come at a later date.

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