Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
John L. Smith allegedly attempted to hide his income from the University of Arkansas from creditors, who have filed complaints against the bankrupt former interim Razorbacks coach.
John L. Smith, who served as head coach of Arkansas this season in the wake of the Bobby Petrino scandal and firing, has been accused by his creditors of fraud in his contract with Arkansas according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.
Smith, who was reportedly on the hook for $40 million in liabilities due to bad real estate investments and was revealed to have next to no money in September, allegedly tried to game his contract to avoid having to pay more money to those he owed. Apparently, the former Louisville and Michigan State coach ensured that his contract would pay him the majority of his $850,000 salary in two lump sums after the season ended. The reasoning is that he hadn't yet filed for bankruptcy when he signed the contract, and debtors aren't necessarily entitled to keep money they earn before they file for bankruptcy. This made it appear as if his income was just a tad over $100 a month, whereas in fact it was closer to $80,000.
Although Smith claimed the deferred payments were due to his impending retirement, the 64-year-old has since taken the head coaching job at Division II Fort Lewis College. USA Today reports creditors allege other improprieties as well, according to filings made this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Smith, of course, was fired after a dismal 4-8 season for a team that started out ranked in every major preseason poll.