January 31st, 2013 11:22 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Arkansas
Tags: AD, Alabama, Leave Smith, Players Quit
A pair of ex-Arkansas football coaches are blaming AD Jeff Long for ruining the Razorbacks’ 2012 season with his signing of John L. Smith to a 10-month contract as interim coach. Former offensive coordinator Paul Petrino — brother of Bobby — and former defensive coordinator Paul Haynes also told The Sporting News that some members of the team quit on the coaching staff last year.
According to Petrino, the length of Smith’s contract led players to believe that the entire staff would turn over before 2013:
“I don’t think an AD should ever hire somebody for 10 months. Players know what that means; they understand that. It hurts the power of the head coach and the assistants. They should’ve hired (Smith) for two years or hired someone else for two years, or just (expletive)-canned all of us.”
“Even if they had a plan to get rid of us no matter what, which I think they did, you say two years and I think the kids dig in. When you give 10 months, everyone is on eggshells.”
Smith himself told The Sporting News that “a little more time would’ve been nice. Does that give you more teeth? Yes.”
And then there was the issue of players quitting. According to Petrino:
“There were some seniors who kind of hung it up, to be honest with you. They were going to worry about their futures more than that team. A couple seniors said they were hurt and I don’t know if they really were.”
Some players quit. The AD should’ve given Smith a two-year deal. And it’s even admitted in the piece that more than one of Smith’s assistants wanted the Arkansas head coaching job… making things tougher on Smith. Bad, bad, bad.
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