FanDuel - WFBC

April 24, 2012

Quitter Replaces Quitter at Arkansas: Only four and a half months after taking the football head coaching job at Weber State, John L. Smith is leaving to become the interim head coach of Arkansas. The 63-year-old coach is bailing on his alma mater without ever coaching a game to be the one-year replacement for Bobby Petrino, who quit the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 only 13 games into a five-year contract to lead the Razorbacks. "Smith left behind 18 new recruits who believed in him -- and were betrayed by him. He left behind a staff that came to Ogden because of him," writes ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski.

posted by rcade to football at 11:28 AM - 3 comments

I have only a little sympathy for Weber State, and that only because Smith only left to take an explicitly interim job. When you're the AD at a school like Weber, you can't expect loyalty when an FBS school comes calling, much less an AQ school.

This is like a 0.3 Petrino on the abandonment scale (where 0.1 is Urban Meyer retiring and waiting a year before going to another school, 0.7 is Kiffin bolting out of Knoxville after one crap year to the job everyone knew he was trying out for, and 1.0 is, well, Petrino dumping the Falcons during the regular season).

posted by Etrigan at 01:22 PM on April 24

I don't think Smith should be let off so easily. Leaving your alma mater without ever coaching a game shows that your word is meaningless even when you've given it to your own school.

Though he could not have foreseen that his former employer would need him in these circumstances, he knew in taking the FBS job that it was low pay and low profile and a lot of jobs would open up in the FCS that would pay better and be more prestigious. Yet he said he was committed to Weber State.

The only way I'd give coaches like Smith a pass is if the NCAA let players break their commitments the same way.

posted by rcade at 01:31 PM on April 24

The only way I'd give coaches like Smith a pass is if the NCAA let players break their commitments the same way.

This. If a player switches schools they have to sit out for a season. Time to change the rules. Sick to death of the NCAA at this point.

posted by scully at 08:35 AM on April 25

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