NCAA FB

Arkansas AD backs Smith, coaches

Share This Story

   
 

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP)

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long isn't giving up on coach John L. Smith or the season just yet.

CFB ON FOX IN 2012-13

Get the latest FOX College football news, analysis and videos right here.

Long said Wednesday that he is committed to Smith for this season, despite the program's difficult start.

Speaking to a group of reporters following an appearance at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club, Long said he is also committed to the rest of the coaching staff, which remained intact after former coach Bobby Petrino's firing in April.

''I also want to be clear I remain steadfastly behind this group of young men and this coaching staff,'' Long said. ''Supporting this team is the best course of action for the short- and long-term. . . . I will fulfill my commitment to the players and coaches for this season and I will not abandon them. I'm confident they will work hard and win games.''

The Razorbacks (1-3) lost their third straight game last week, a 35-26 setback to No. 23 Rutgers. They were 21-5 the last two seasons under Petrino, who was fired for hiring his mistress to a position in the athletic department and initially lying about her presence during an April 1 motorcycle accident.

Smith, the former Michigan State and Louisville coach, was hired on a 10-month contract in April to replace Petrino after having served as an assistant the last three seasons for the Razorbacks.

WHO SETS THE CURVE?

Check out the FOXiest fans from schools across the country and tweet us your photo.

Smith mistakenly referred to Arkansas as Alabama during a speech to fans in Little Rock earlier this week, and Long says he has talked to the coach about his public speaking. The coach has also come under fire from fans in recent weeks for telling reporters to ''Smile!'' two days following a 52-0 loss to the No. 1 Crimson Tide.

Long said he believes Smith, the assistants and players are taking the season seriously and are committed to working hard and rebounding this season. Long also said he hasn't told Smith to limit his public speaking, though Smith's weekly Monday news conference after the Alabama loss was limited to 12 minutes rather than his usual 20-minute session.

The Razorbacks, who play at Texas A&M on Saturday, were ranked No. 8 to begin the season but fell out of the poll after an overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson missed the second half of the game with a concussion, one of several key injuries the team has suffered this season — including season-ending injuries to fullbacks Kiero Small and Kody Walker.

Long, however, wanted no part of the injury discussion.

''We don't make excuses, and I'm not going to make excuses,'' Long said. ''Injuries are part of the game and are unfortunate. Everybody has injuries and you've got to play through them and compete, and I think we will.''

Long said he expects to hire a long-term coach after the end of the season. Smith said before the season that he was interested in becoming the long-term answer for the Razorbacks and Long was asked whether Smith was currently an option.

NCAA FASHION POLICE

Oregon, Maryland and others show off their unique uniforms from this season.

''Coach Smith and I both said early on in this process when I hired him in April that it would be clear at the end of the season whether he was a candidate or not,'' Long said. ''That's still the way I feel today.

At the end of the season, we'll know very clearly whether he's a candidate or not.'' He added that he didn't ''think anybody could be happy, given the expectations we had for our program'' this season.

Long would not discuss coaching candidates, saying only that he was open to hiring someone with head-coaching experience, a coordinator or even someone with an NFL background.

''I'm not going to eliminate anybody at this point,'' Long said.

Tagged: Arkansas

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash