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Arkansas Coach John L. Smith Over $25 Million in Debt

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A shitty week for Arkansas head coach John L. Smith just got a lot shittier if you can believe that. On the heels of a 52-0 thrashing at home by Alabama, documents filed in Smith’s bankruptcy revealed that he is $25.7 million in the tank.

Smith filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this month after real estate investments he made in Kentucky went sour. The documents filed Wednesday show Smith’s biggest assets are two retirement accounts worth about $600,000 each. Smith claims both are exempt from liquidation.

The largest debt listed is $20 million owed to a business in Louisville, Ky., called Terra Springs LLC. Smith has said he made land investments when he was coaching Louisville from 1998-2002 and that he and other investors lost money when the real estate market tanked.

Smith replaced Bobby Petrino this past offseason after some irresistible trim landed him in hot water with the university, and obviously his wife. Smith inked a 10 month contract worth $850,000 to coach the Arkansas football team this season. If he were to continue earning that salary while clawing his way out of this financial crater, my calculator tells me that he may be in debt for a while. I reached out to Petrino to try and snag a quote on the Smith bankruptcy story. He responded, but he kept it brief:

It’s a tough time to be a Razorback. The football team is in the shitter, the Arkansas head coaches can’t get their finances in order, their motorcycles upright, or their pens out of the university ink. Oh, and it appears Smith is losing his marbles. Just smile, John. It’s only 25 million:



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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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