OT: Razorbacks coach John L. Smith declaring bankruptcy

Submitted by markusr2007 on July 4th, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Bad real estate deals the cause:


Long, who is continuing to research potential candidates for a long-term solution as head coach - including Smith - said he doesn't believe Smith's personal financial problems will influence his ability to coach.


''I think the people that want to make more out of it than there is here will do that, regardless,'' Long said. ''But I think those will be the minority. This is clearly to me a man who has made a poor financial choice, and I think if we look across our society today, especially in these times, we will see many very good people leading their organizations who have made some poor financial decisions. That's the way I see it.''




July 5th, 2012 at 2:28 AM ^

I have plenty of sympathy for people who are forced into bankruptcy - there is no saying that I won't go through the same situation myself in the future.

But, seriously - this guy is a millionaire (or should be). 

It's FAR different to over-extend yourself when you're making the median American family salary of roughly $45,000 than when the lowpoint of your career in the last 15 years is making $150,000.  It takes a certain breed of idiot to blow that kind of money.  Are you telling me that if you were/are making six figures a year, you would enter into an investment that would cause you to go absolutely broke if it went poorly?  I didn't think so.

To boot - he will declare bankruptcy now.  His liabilities will be wiped out.  Considering he has already earned some of his 10 month salary, that means that by January 1, this guy will have $500,000 (less taxes) in assets.

I don't think "whoopdy fucking doo" applies when you see jackasses like this blow through more money than many people will be lucky to make in our lives - especially when they will be back in the top 1% of all Americans within a few months.

OMG Shirtless

July 5th, 2012 at 3:24 AM ^

He is clearly not eligible for a Chapter 7 so his liabilities will not be wiped out.  What are you supposed to do if you bought a shit load of real estate 10 years ago, because at the time it seemed like a good investment before all hell broke loose.  He'll have the debt restructured and have huge payments for 3-5 years.


Blue in Yarmouth

July 5th, 2012 at 9:25 AM ^

I'll tell you something my former chief of staff once told me when I first got out of med school:

"Being a Dr. doesn't mean you'll be rich, you'll just be broke at a whole different level".

I thought initially that he was full of shit, but soon realized he was right. People find ways to push their standard of living to the limits of their financial means. Instead of buying a 20,000.00 car that most average families buy, you find yourself buying an 80,000.00 car. Instead of buying a nice second hand boat for pleasure cruising, you buy yourself a 70,000.00 yacht. Instead of the 200,000.00 house, you buy an 800,000.00 house. 

The bottom line is most people find ways to spend the money they make and most barely live within their means. Some unfortunate people don't find that balance and overextend themselves and it shouldn't matter who they are or how much money they have made, they deserve sympathy IMHE, especially in the state the world finds itself today. 

I don't care if the person is my worst enemy, I wouldn't wish financial turmoil or the loss of a job on anyone because who knows how many family members (who I don't have issues with) are dependant on them. 

I feel bad for the guy regardless how much money he has made in his past. Being bankrupt just isn't something to be joked about IMHE.


July 4th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

...and it would be funny really these are the opening words of Smith's speech at their fall practice, however...

"''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.''

Yes, there is a difference, but in a sense Long has fired a distraction and hired someone who has distractions at the same time. I would think that this would certainly loom large in Smith's mind and potentially cause him to be not 100% in the game sometimes, but then, Smith seems to imply that it won't affect him, and as it has been made fairly clear that Smith probably isn't the long-term solution at Arkansas, I suppose they can run with this. 



July 4th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

I'm not going to pick on JLS for his financial concerns because MANY people in this country are feeling the same pain, but if I'm the AD I would be a little worried about how bankruptcy would affect my coach's ability to focus on the day-to-day grind of his profession.  Not saying JLS will not be successful because of it (I think he'll fail because he's a poor gameday manager), but this would concern me nonetheless.


July 5th, 2012 at 2:33 AM ^

However, John L. Smith is not "MANY people in this country".  He is John L. Smith.  He was earning $150,000 a year coaching for Weber State.  He is earning $850,000 coaching Arkansas for ten months.

I think it's an insult to average Americans to compare his bankruptcy to a common situation.  He is, and has, made a ridiculous amount of money, and he blew it on an irresponsible investment.  I think it's a laughable situation, not a sympathetic one.

Other than the initial comparison, I agree with you on your assessment.


July 5th, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

I am not saying his life is like others, but the financial pain he is suffering is very similar to other people.  And while numerous people have filed for bakruptcy protection because of lost jobs, medical costs, and other factors beyond their control, there were a significant number who were over-extended (like JLS), though likely not to that scale.


July 5th, 2012 at 7:46 AM ^

That's where his problems started. Anybody who believes that it's impossible to lose money on real estate shouldn't be investing in it.

Smith is just another in a long, long list of college and pro coaches who can't keep from investing their dough—and losing their shirts—in "can't miss investments." RR ended up on the wrong side of a RE deal. What these guys don't understand is that their high profile attracts a lot of sharks looking for an easy killing, and as Smith admits, they're coaches, not businessmen.


July 5th, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

What a role model for young men...  Bankruptcy due to unemployment or family health reasons is forgivable, but due to bad real estate investments?  No.  I'd want my kids to go to a coach who is responsible and can teach responsibility, and the failure of an adult to live and invest within his means is about as irresponsible as it gets.

snarling wolverine

July 5th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

I think this is a little harsh.  Smith was certainly naive in his thinking that real estate was a surefire bet, but I don't think this is necessarily a sign of poor moral character.  It's more likely (IMO) that he was simply out of his depth when it came to investing his money and didn't realize it in time.